South Australia is one of Australia’s most diverse and fascinating states, and is well-recognised for its incredible food and wine offerings. These lucky team members enjoyed a first-hand taste of the region and its accompanying five-star luxury accommodation to see its best, discover hidden gems, and generate some creative touring ideas for their next custom-made itineraries.
The luxury day tour to the Barossa began with a mid-morning departure from The Tailor office in Adelaide, driven by The Tailor Touring Co.’s lead guide Andrew Walters in a comfortable Mercedes V-Class AMG. Only a short one-hour drive away, the Barossa is easily accessible from Adelaide, making it perfect for both a day trip or a longer luxury escape.
Views of undulating hills, rows upon rows of grapes, and clear blue skies greeted the team as they arrived in the undisputed wine capital of Australia. With a rich German history dating back to the 1800s, the Barossa is filled with picturesque towns and villages with their own distinct stories and histories.
While most famous for its hero varieties of big Barossan Shiraz and Eden Valley Riesling, the region has 40 different grape varieties offering lots of character and individuality between each wine producer.
There’s also artisan food producers with seasonal produce, traditional meats and breads and chocolates to sample, and a landscape filled with cycling, bushwalking, and wildlife spotting opportunities.
With many intimate, welcoming and rewarding experiences on offer, the team were ready to sample the region’s best wares.
Touring with Torbreck
The team’s first stop was Torbreck Vintners – a modern, small batch boutique wine producer renowned for their big tannic red wines of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (as well as their resulting blend, known as GSM). This winery is a fixture on The Tailor Touring Co.’s Iconic Barossa tour, and for good reason – it provides a perfect introduction to what the Barossa does best, and offers intimate VIP access only accessible through The Tailor.
After being personally greeted by their Torbreck ambassador, the three were shown behind-the-scenes into a climate-controlled processing room to directly taste from 4,500L French Oak barrels. Being talked through the process by their guide, their palates were led through three different types of single vineyard Grenaches, each grown in varying types of soil which offered fascinating insights to the growing process with delicious results.
They were then led into further behind-the-scenes production areas while learning about the Torbreck philosophy and emphasis on local production and sustainability. Receiving personal escorting through areas off-limits to not only the general public, but also other tour groups not organised through The Tailor, was a special experience.
The team moved to the Cellar Door for a tutored wine tasting. In the gorgeous 1800s original cottage ‘Clan Room’, the wines sampled ranged from fresh whites to full-bodied reds including award-winning ‘Runrig’. They were also shown some of the Torbreck’s champion bottles, including a 27L Goliath bottle of a 2012 ‘The Laird’!
Having enjoyed a tasting that perfectly embodies the Barossa palate with intimate and exclusive hosting, the team got back into the vehicle and took a detour to admire the views over the valley at Mengler’s Hill Lookout Sculpture Park before their next stop.
Sipping at Seppeltsfield
Seppeltsfield Road has a five-kilometre (3.1 mile) trail of Date Palms, planted by the Seppeltsfield workers during the Great Depression. Over 2,000 palms now line the sides of the estate and the road, providing a spectacular entrance to one of the region’s best-known wine estates.
The team were again shown the VIP treatment and were greeted upon arrival at the estate by the friendly Seppeltsfield staff. They were shown through the different experiences on offer across the Seppeltsfield estate, which is home to history, plentiful wine, gorgeous manicured gardens, and a variety of hands-on activities beyond wine. Custom art can be purchased at the Jam Factory alongside a rotating range of interactive workshops, history tours, cooking classes, and the Vasse Virgin Soap Factory. Even before their tasting, the team were buzzing with ideas for what could be customised for their clients at Seppeltsfield!
The centrepiece of the team’s experience was undoubtedly the Taste Your Birth Year experience. Personally escorted into the Centennial Cellar, the team were treated to views behind the scenes to see how the operation runs smoothly and embeds its history into everything it does, with special access to off-limits areas. After being shown through the longest unbroken lineage of tawny in the country, the team sampled their respective years directly from the barrel.
The team agreed that the Taste Your Birth Year experience and receiving such privileged access to the sites’ fascinating history was truly special.
Located on Seppeltsfield Road itself, the team were then transferred to their final stop – The Louise. A renowned Barossan luxury accommodation staple, The Louise has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar refurbishment.
The perfect place to enjoy a backstage pass to the Barossa, The Louise is awash in vines and offers a simple yet elegant Mediterranean aesthetic throughout. After being greeted by the friendly staff, the team were shown the refurbished main lodge, which included an arrival lounge and a Wine Lantern housing premium local and international wine. They were also shown hidden extras only available for guests! They were then shown through the fine dining Appellation restaurant, as well as the casual and chic fare of Contour Bar and Kitchen, both of which are fantastic and memorable dining choices bursting with local flavours.
Each of the luxurious villas and suites each felt very private and intimate, all offering views over the vineyards lit up by sunrise or sunset. The outdoor showers in your own private courtyard are a highlight, alongside the comfortable lounges and plush King beds.
On-site activities include an infinity pool that faces the sunset, and a refreshing Welcome Drink overlooking the scenery of the Barossa to cleanse your palate after a full day of tasting. Relaxing and indulging are high on the list of priorities at The Louise, and the team certainly felt left feeling replenished and pampered – particularly being farewelled with an individualised gift from The Louise team showcasing local Barossan fare.
Highlights of the Journey
Susanne, Luisa and Orph agreed that the behind-the-scenes access provided by The Tailor Touring Co. was an absolute highlight. Torbreck’s tutored tastings and peeking behind the curtain of Seppeltsfield’s rich history gave outstanding background to the delicious flavours they tasted. Similarly, The Louise’s fresh update provides a fabulous base to return to and relax at after a day’s adventuring.
While the Barossa certainly lived up to its expectations of outstanding wine, the team were pleasantly surprised at how many other activities and experiences were available. Having developed a taste for what the world-renowned Barossa has on offer, the team agree that the Barossa is more than worth a visit on any Australian itinerary that wants quality food and wine, as well as outstanding scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities. They look forward to sharing their knowledge to customise a memorable experience in the region for their clients.