Just 20 miles long, Australia’s most famous wine region is an enchanting place, with a landscape of rolling hills and neat vineyards. Its small but sophisticated towns such as Tanunda and Lyndoch display a Teutonic tidiness, which, along with excellent sausages and Lutheran churches, provides evidence of the German immigrants who joined the original British settlers. Most Barossa Valley wineries and cellars are low-key compared with the grand estates of the Napa Valley and the châteaux of Bordeaux, but they offer warm and unpretentious hospitality. The Barossa should be toured at a gentle pace, stopping for wine tastings, excellent meals and walks down old-fashioned main streets lined with bakeries, craft shops and boutiques.
I particularly recommend a tour during harvest time, March through April; private tastings can be arranged. Oenophiles worldwide covet the finest Barossa Shiraz for the robust flavors that are a result of complex geological conditions — small, twisting subvalleys and sandy soils — combined with low humidity, limited rainfall and generally warm temperatures.
Eden Valley Wines
Eden Valley is both a town and a significant wine-growing area that is part of the Barossa region. Its signature varieties are Riesling and Shiraz. Henschke (1428 Keyneton Road, Keyneton; Tel.  8-8564-8223) which dates to the 1860s, lies a short drive from Eden Valley township. Its flagship Shiraz, Hill of Grace, is world renowned. henschke.com.au
Most wineries have tasting and sales rooms — here called “cellar doors.” Tastings are free, up to a point. Choose three or four wines, then use them as a springboard for a discussion with the staff. They appreciate your interest and can better direct your tasting if you give them a general sense of what you enjoy.