With hot, dry summers and cool, moderate winters, the Barossa is one of the world's great wine regions − an absolute must for anyone with even the slightest interest in a good drop. It's a compact valley − just 25km long − yet it manages to produce 21% of Australia's wine, and it makes a no-fuss day trip from Adelaide, which is 65km southwest of the region.
The local towns have a distinctly German heritage, dating back to 1842. Fleeing religious persecution in Prussia and Silesia, settlers (bringing their vine cuttings with them) created a Lutheran heartland where German traditions endure today. The physical remnants of colonisation − Gothic church steeples and stone cottages − are everywhere. Cultural legacies of the early days include a dubious passion for oom-pah bands, and an appetite for wurst, pretzels and sauerkraut.