Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
Seppeltsfield is a showpiece of the Barossa Valley, a magnificent complex of 19th century winery buildings surrounded by almost 100 hectares of vineyards. Seppeltsfield was a focal point of the fledgling Barossa wine industry from the 1850s and now boasts the world’s longest unbroken chain of vintage wines, going back to 1878, enabling the release of a genuine 100-year-old fortified wine each year since 1978. Apart from the extraordinary range of fortifieds, Seppeltsfield today also produces a range of limited production table wines, including blends of Shiraz, Grenache and Touriga, and sparkling wines under the Gert’s Blend label.