Barossa Valley Region
The Barossa Valley region from which Henschke sources some of their fruit is often referred to as the valley floor. Stretching from as far north as Truro down to Williamstown in the south, it hugs the Barossa Range and pushes westward past Greenock and Seppeltsfield.
The first families of settlers arrived in the Barossa in 1842, most of whom were Silesians looking to escape the reforms ordered by their Prussian King to the traditional Lutheran service to which they were devoted. They purchased or leased land in Bethany and in a style similar to that of villages back home, established narrow strips of property along a main road with access to fresh water.
Known as a Hufendorf settlement, this system of town planning was also adopted in Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills when Johann Christian settled there in 1841. The new Barossans experimented with various crops such as tobacco, wheat and barley, but soon realised the potential for grapegrowing and the region developed rapidly to now include about 10,000ha of vineyard.
The Barossa Valley is well known for shiraz, grenache, mourvèdre and semillon as they are very well suited to the conditions of the region.
The Barossa Valley has an average elevation of 274m, which is considerably lower than the Eden Valley’s 400-500m.
The Barossa Valley region covers a vast area of particularly fertile soil eroded into it from the Barossa Range, which is evident by the concentration of vineyards compared to the more isolated vineyards of the Eden Valley region. The Barossa Valley has generally consistent, warm temperatures day and night which create ideal ripening conditions for the fruit and bring harvest dates many weeks earlier that the higher areas in the more continental climate of the Eden Valley.
Climate and Soils
Annual rainfall is approximately 550mm, providing drier conditions than the Eden Valley, and the mean average temperature in January is 21.7C. Soils vary from grey and brown clays to red-brown earths and yellow sands. Research is being conducted on the soils to define the terroirs of the Barossa, which will assist in site selection for grape varieties, particularly the newer European styles that are currently emerging.