Catriona is on a delightful tour around the Barossa Valley to uncover its hidden little secrets.
Made up of Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, the Barossa is Australia's richest and best-known viticultural region. Much of its appeal comes from its rich years of tradition and community pride.
Unlike the convict colonies of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, South Australia was planned as a free settlement for honest and hardworking men and women. Soon after proclamation in 1836, a mineralogist surveyed the ranges north of Adelaide in the hope of establishing vineyards, orchards and cornfields.
The first German settlers arrived in 1839. Two-and-a-half years later, 200 dissident Lutherans made the journey to the Barossa from Silesia, Brandenburg and Posen. There they developed Bethany, a Prussian village near Lyndoch, which had been settled earlier by English immigrants. The combined British and German influence produced a culture unique in Australian settlements.
A truly unusual way to explore the Barossa is with Auburn Tours, owned and run by Trevor Wehr. Trevor's grandfather purchased a brand new Auburn Phæton automobile in 1935 and drove it until the early 1950s. The vehicle was put into storage until Trevor restored it to its former glory. Now, visitors to the Barossa get to tour in old-fashioned style.
Trevor and his wife Elizabeth share a passion for wine and the history of the Barossa, so are the perfect people to impart local knowledge and interesting information.
Their tours take four to six hours, leaving from guests' accommodation, and including at least two historic and boutique wineries. Itineraries are flexible. Lunch can be a platter at a winery, restaurant meal or a gourmet picnic basket.