The locals’ guide to Gourmet: The best way to do Barossa Gourmet Weekend

 Here are the best tips for your Barossa Gourmet Weekend (Image Source: Barossa Gourmet Weekend)

By Nikita Skuse | @nikita_skuse

If you’re ever going to visit the Barossa Valley, the Barossa Gourmet Weekend is the time to do it.

It is the highlight event of the region and runs in the first weekend of September, with many attending using it as an excuse for a three-day food and wine bender.

It showcases the Barossa’s best local produce and spreads across multiple wineries.

With so many locations and so little time, it can get a bit pricey if you have not planned ahead; so below are some tips from a few Barossa dwellers to help you make the most of the event.

Getting around

Arguably the most popular choice for getting around Gourmet Weekend is the shuttle bus, which loops between 13 different wineries along on the “Gourmet Trail“.

If you’re stuck for ideas on transportation or have left planning until the last minute, this is probably the easiest option, but not necessarily the most convenient.

UniSA psychology student, Tayla Pudney, is from Tanunda and works in amongst the Barossa fine food and wine industry.

She said that being a local has given her an advantage in knowing the best places to go and how to plan the Barossa Gourmet Weekend effectively.

“When planning my weekend, I tend to opt for a private bus for me and my friends,” Ms Pudney said.

“Instead of catching the public bus, I find it easier to organise my own and the hire costs often work out to be the same as the public bus once split between the group.

“The biggest reason why I prefer to hire my own bus comes down to the fact that you are guaranteed transport and it is on your own terms, in comparison to the public bus which tends to be full leaving you waiting an hour for the next bus.”

Many places will offer designated drivers free soft drinks as a thank you for being the safe friend, so there are perks to the job that you could convince them with.

Food and wine

As much as Gourmet Weekend can be a rowdy event, it caters to everyone, and many families will be out and about for the day.

This means you can choose a location based on what type of atmosphere you’re looking for.

If you’re wanting to get a bit rowdy, you probably don’t want to be stuck sitting with a bunch of elderly people and screaming children, listening to jazz or whatever other music old people listen to.

It’s hard to say what will be good each year, but I’ve predicted three spots that I think will be winners for the younger crowds.

Whistler Wines

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Barossa Gourmet Weekend at Whistler Wines (Image source: Whistler Wines)

 

Whistler Wines is a small, family-owned winery located in Stone Well, and although it may be small, it’s a hot spot on Gourmet Weekend.

In the last couple of years that my friends and I have attempted to get into Whistlers, we’ve been turned away at the gate due to the thriving winery reaching full capacity.

If you want a chance to see what all the hype is about, you’ll have to make sure you get in early to secure a spot.

Charles Shaw, Nuriootpa resident and tourism industry worker, said he and his friends always go to Whistler Wines during Gourmet Weekend because of the scenery and venue layout.

“It’s busy during Gourmet Weekend but it’s a nice place so it’s still a relaxed atmosphere,” Mr Shaw said.

“The staff are very friendly as well out there, always very welcoming and really explain their wines to you.”

Kellermeister

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Barossa Gourmet Weekend at Kellermeister (Image source: Nikita Skuse)

Kellermeister is a slightly larger winery, located in Lyndoch, southwest of the Barossa.

Their “Chill Zone” event that is held over the Saturday and Sunday is always a hit with all the generations, flooded with both young, rowdy crowds as well as more chilled families—it’s a good balance.

Caitlin Dutschke, UniSA business and marketing student from Keyneton—30 kilometres east of the Barossa—said she loves Gourmet Weekend as it’s a “great event to show off the amazing wines made in the Barossa Valley”.

She said she especially enjoys heading to Kellermeister.

Having been the last two years, she said she’s looking forward to a third trip this weekend because of the good vibes the winery brings.

“The atmosphere of good music and special events held at Kellermesiter is really part of their success,” Ms Dutschke said.

And she’s not wrong.

The blend of live music and good views sets a great mood, and it is probably one of the best atmospheres you’ll find around the Barossa on Gourmet Weekend.

The only downfall to this location is the food, so I’d probably eat elsewhere, but the wine definitely makes up for it.

The Greenock

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Tent City Disco at the Greenock (Image source: Barossa Gourmet Weekend)

Tent City Disco” at The Greenock is a new event this year and is without a doubt what I’m most keen for.

The Greenock Pub will be transforming their backyard into what they describe as a “glamorous bohemian paradise of rugs, cushions and fire pits”.

They say that for an upbeat vibe of DJs and dancing, head down on the Saturday, or if you’re after a more family-friendly atmosphere, try the Sunday instead.

UniSA education student and Nuriootpa local, Caitlin Upton, is planning on spending her birthday weekend at the “Tent City Disco”.

She said that the idea of having tents is exciting and brings some “Adelaide vibes” into the Barossa.

“It’s something different. I’m really excited for some cider and some wine and I’m excited to see what it’s like because we’ve never had anything like it before.”

Kick-ons

If you’ve managed to survive the day (or you’ve passed out, resurrected and are ready for more), the best place to continue the festivities is in and around the Tanunda area.

Some years this is arguably the highlight of Gourmet Weekend.

Barossa year 12 student Lora Tonkin said the Tanunda pubs will be the best kick-ons after Gourmet Weekend.

“It’s all locals there so you sort of know everyone, it’s the gathering place in the Barossa I suppose,” Ms Tonkin said.

There are three pubs worth visiting in Tanunda, all within a short walking distance of each other.

There’s The Clubhouse, The Valley and the Tanunda Hotel, but according to Ms Tonkin, there’s a clear favourite.

“The Valley is definitely number one priority and the rest are sort of just eh,” she said.

My only tip is that if you want to get a drink, plan 20 minutes in advance because you’ll be waiting a bloody long time in line at the bars before you manage to get served.

Barossa Gourmet Weekend is on this Friday, September 6 to Sunday September 8.

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