It's no secret that the Barossa is world famous for the quality and diversity of its wineries but if we're really honest, sometimes you just need to try something different. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all! So with that in mind, we're pulled together a list of our favourite #notwine experiences in the Barossa. Don't worry, that delicious Grenache will be waiting for you tomorrow!
Check out a local brewer
We're easing into this #notwine caper slowly and carefully, with a couple of local beers and brewers to discover. The Barossa is home to a burgeoning and really interesting micro-brewing scene, with a genuine sense of collaboration and support for one another, and of course, some delicious beverages.
Following a (very) successful foray into home brewing, Brenton Rehn of Rehn Bier finally succumbed to the chorus of support and started brewing commercially, albeit still in tiny quantities. Brenton and his wife Robyn recently opened a "Brewery Door" in Tanunda where you can get up close and personal with the brewery equipment, enjoy a range of Brenton's delicious beer and sample their toasted sandwich menu.
Stein's Taphouse offers a huge array of local, Australian and International craft beers, a great little Americana-inspired menu and a steady roster of great local musicians, leading towards the blues and alt-country end of the spectrum. Their outside deck is great for a lazy Sunday session, while their location in the heart of the Provenance Barossa precinct means you're close to all the action, with Bean Addiction Coffee Roasters, Barossa Distilling, Penfolds' Cellar Door and First Drop Wines all within coo-ee.
Horse-riding (and helicopter-ing)
Surely there are few nicer ways to explore the back hills of the Southern Barossa than by horse back. Bridgette and the team at Barossa Horseriding do a fabulous job of bringing the joy of horseback riding to the Barossa, with a range of hosted tours available, on very friendly, well trained and reliable horses. The tours meander through the family property between Lyndoch and Williamstown, offering views of the Barossa that the not many people get the opportunity to experience.
And for a complete change of pace, Bridgette's family also own and operate Barossa Helicopters so if your heart desires you can dismount from your trusty steed and step right into a waiting helicopter which will whisk you across the Barossa skies - another rarified view, indeed!
Barossa Farmers Market... and Casa Carboni
The Barossa Famers Market holds a special place in my heart and in the heart of the Barossa community. As the second oldest farmers market in South Australian (pipped at the post by our good friends in Willunga!) it has been the chosen meeting and trading place for locals for over 12 years and is still a bustling foodie hub every Saturday morning. Stock up on picnic supplies, prepare the pantry for a special dinner, and enjoy an indulgent sweet treat - all accompanied by a local coffee and set against the backdrop of the week's news and gossip.
If you're not ready to leave it all behind, check out one of Matteo's cooking classes. Combining a hosted tour of the Barossa Farmers Market, and a cooking school at his Italian enoteca Casa Carboni, Matteo Carboni is a wonderful guide to this very special Barossa institution and his cooking school showcases the market's freshest produce. You'll learn new skills and recipes to bring the taste of Italy and the Barossa back to your own kitchen, and at the conclusion of the class, sit down with Matteo and your new friends to enjoy a delicious, shared lunch of your own making. Bellissimo!
One of the nicest things about the Barossa is how easy it is to turn a corner or two and suddenly find yourself immersed in the most incredible natural landscape. There are a whole range of bushwalking tracks and trails from easy strolls (and incidentally, if easy strolls are your cup of tea, don't forget to check out our weekly Heritage Walking Tours through the picturesque village of Krondorf) to invigorating hikes.
We suggest you pay a visit to our friends at the Barossa Visitor Information Centre who will be able to equip you with all the information, maps and insider tips you'll need to discover your own little corner of the Barossa. And if we may.... a picnic is a wonderful addition to any bushwalking adventure. Stock up on delectable local produce at either the Barossa Farmers Market or the Barossa Pantry at the Co-Op Fresh Foodland and you're well on your way.
Is there anything we've missed? Comment below to tell about your favourite #notwine Barossa experience.