Australia is lucky to have some of the world’s best wineries right here in our own backyard. Found in the foothills of South Australia, Barossa Valley is a wine lover’s paradise but with over 150 wineries and cellar door experiences it can be hard to decide which ones to visit.
In the first article of our Q and A Winery Series, we spoke with Nicole Hodgson from Seppeltsfield Wines about their unique winery experiences and why it is a must-visit in the Barossa Valley that stands out from the rest.
What is your role at Seppeltsfield Wines?
My name is Nicole and I am the Tourism and Events Manager here at Seppeltsfield Wines.
How did you get into the wine industry?
My love of wine began when I was working in an admin role for the winemakers of Penfolds.
Can you share with our readers the origins of Seppeltsfield Wines?
Seppeltsfield is one of the oldest wineries in the Barossa Valley established in 1851 by the Seppelt family. Corporate ownership briefly took over in the 1980s; however, the winery has now returned to South Australian hands, privately owned by Warren Randall, viticulturist, winemaker and entrepreneur. He has spent the last decade building Seppeltsfield to be the internationally recognised brand that it is today.
What makes Seppeltsfield Wines unique to other wineries in the Barossa Valley?
We are the only winery in the world to release a 100 year old wine each year. After the founder Joseph died suddenly in 1868, his eldest son Benno took over the business. Benno set out to complete the cellar his father started and completed the project in 1878. Benno laid down a barrel of his best “port” and said no one was to touch it for 100 years. In 1978, the first 100 year old wine was released and a new vintage wine has been opened every year since. Our current vintage is 1919, which is quite exciting and something very unique for our visitors to experience.
What experiences are available at Seppeltsfield?
Seppeltsfield has over 25 experiences available from tours and tastings to food and wine pairings, craft and design workshops, beauty experiences and fun segway tours through the vineyard.
Two notable experiences are the Taste Your Birth Year Tour and the Centenary Winery Tour.
Taste Your Birth Year Tour
It’s not everywhere that you can step inside a cellar and taste a vintage wine from your birth year straight off the barrel but the Seppeltsfield Wines makes this a possibility. Taste a wine that is as young (or young at heart as you are) thanks to the vision of the early founders that had the patience to barrel their finest wine and not touch it for 100 years.
Centenary Winery Tour
Following a tour of the historic homestead, a private wine tasting of premium wines is given in the VIP mezzanine lounge. Plus, visit the Centennial Cellar to taste your birth year and a this year’s 100 year old vintage wine straight off the barrel.
What is your favourite Seppeltsfield wine and why?
The new release of “Northing” from grounds range of wines is my favourite. It is a classic Barossa Shiraz, drinking beautifully now but will definitely benefit from some bottle age.
Visitors must visit Seppeltsfield Wines because…
It is the only place in the world where you can walk through a Centennial Cellar past an unbroken line of wines that have been aged since 1878 and taste your birth year vintage direct from the barrel. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience that you won’t find at any other winery in the world let alone Barossa Valley.
Seppeltsfield Wines offer their Taste Your Birth Year and Centenary Tour daily excluding Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Join a private tour of the Seppelt family homestead and discover the history of these pioneering Australian winemakers before a private tasting of fortified and vintage wines.