As a second-generation Barossa grape grower and chief vintner at Whistler, Josh Pfeiffer knows the lauded local wine region more than most. Now at the helm of the family wine label alongside brother Sam, he’s launched a “Next Gen” range of dynamic, expressive and unconventional organic wines with names like W.T.F., Dry as a Bone, Get in my Belly and Thank God it’s Friday. Together with winemakers such as Tom Shobbrook, they’re part of a recent shift in the long-established wine region.
“I think the Barossa is always seen as being a bit more conservative and traditional … but there’s some really exciting things happening in the Barossa at the moment,” Pfeffier told Broadsheet earlier this year. “There are a handful of producers … making some really kick-arse wines.” Beyond wine, there’s also plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, shop for local produce or knock back a pint. Pfeiffer shares his favourites.
Barossa Farmers Market
“This is the best way to start the ultimate weekend in the Barossa. This little market feels like the heart of the Barossa, showcasing seasonal produce from the region, and sold by the producers themselves, who live and breathe Barossa. Come here to get an understanding of the Barossa Valley, to meet some of the characters and to get recommendations on where to spend your time while in the valley. The coffee is great, and the breakfast options are endless.”
“This is my favourite place to grab my morning coffee. Wendy [Trotta] runs the kitchen in the cafe, pumping out some delicious food made from locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The muffins are off the hook, so make sure you get in early while they are still warm from the oven. Elisa, Dave and Antonio are Wendy’s children and all take turns running the front of house and putting out the best coffee in the valley. They are all seriously into coffee and somehow manage to keep up with the sometimes hectic flow of coffee loving locals streaming into their little cafe.”
Vintners Bar & Grill
“Vintners has been around since the mid ’90s but … I honestly think it continues to improve each year. Chef and part owner Peter Clarke has run the kitchen since they opened in 1996, and managed to remain at the top of the game for more than 20 years. The formal yet relaxed vibe at Vintners is created by one of the best front of house hostesses that I know, Rami, who is also a part owner in the business. The wine list here has plenty of awesome local producers, but also a great selection of Australian and imported wines. There is usually some special stuff out the back too, which Rami keeps up her sleeve just in case.”
“Husband and wife team, Matteo and Fiona Carboni, run this little hidden gem in the main street of Angaston as a true reflection of their passion and personalities. They welcome you into this space as if you were entering their home. After moving to Australia from Italy in 2011, Casa Carboni was born. This is genuine Italian food and service. Matteo runs a cooking school from here, while also providing guests with lunch and dinner options on select days. Fiona runs the front of house with kind and generous warmth, providing you with an authentic experience all round. The wine list here is strictly Italian, with a large majority of the wines imported directly by Fiona and Matteo. Each year they return to Italy to discover new cuisines and new wines and each year this little place gets better. Do yourself a favour and come along to one of their cooking classes, it will change your life.”
"Michael Rosenstein came to the Barossa after years spent running bars and nightclubs in Melbourne. He identified the need for a casual beer house in the Barossa where you could get a range of great beers and relax with friends. They say that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine, which makes this a popular hangout for winemakers in the region. It’s conveniently located next to Penfolds’ Cellar Door in Nuriootpa, and is usually packed on weekends with visitors seeking out a cleansing ale after a big day of tasting wine. Beer is the focus here, but you can also find a good little list of local wines – and there are bar snacks to keep the hunger at bay.”