Home to over 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries, visitors to South Australia’s Barossa Valley have many chances to sample delicious wine. While each winemaker offers something unique, there are a few vino experiences that are particularly noteworthy. In fact, the following classes and workshops allow you to drink wine while learning the science behind wine making.
Murray Street Vineyards – The Importance Of Oak Tour
At Murray Street Vineyards visitors can enjoy a personalized exploration of oak barrels and how they affect the flavors and aromas of wine through their Importance Of Oak Tour. Meeting in the Barrel Theatre, you will get a private tasting of four different barrels with an explanation of the different species, forest, countries and toasting regimes implemented to make each barrel unique, and to evaluate how it affects a wine. This is followed by a tasting of the current portfolio range in the Tasting Room while overlooking the Greenock Estate vineyard.
Jacob’s Creek Visitor Center – Sensory Experience
The Sensory Experience is an interactive workshop that helps increase your knowledge and enjoyment of the complexities of wine through sensory analysis. The experience is led by a Sensory Analyst, and participants are given a series or sensory tests, as understanding the flavor of a wine involves a combination of experiences from the senses of smell, taste, touch and sight. Participants record their observations as they sniff cotton and wool, sample jellies and pair all kinds of food and wines — some working well, some not at all — and learning why this is from a scientific point of view. Bonus: You will also receive an Essential Tasting Guide to take home.
Penfolds Barossa Valley – Make Your Own Blend
At Penfolds, guests are invited to the Winemaker’s Laboratory to blend their own wine. During the Make Your Own Blend Experience, wine-enthusiasts stand at stations, each with three types of wine — Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Grenache — a beaker for measuring, a sheet for taking notes and recording percentages and measurements, and an empty bottle for the finished product. The goal is to fill the beaker using the different types of wines, each time recording how much was added and tasting their creations. Once the participant has done three trials, they will choose which wine they want to recreate and bottle to take home.
Photo courtesy of derekGavey.