The Examiner

Take a magnificent Barossa shiraz journey

Picture Shutterstock
Picture Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Laithwaites.

When Ben Cohn thinks of Australia's famed wine region the Barossa and a glass of its iconic shiraz, the words that come to mind are food, family, friends.

"Getting together with family around the table with plenty of food and enjoying shiraz, which is just meant to be had with food, is what the Barossa and its shiraz is about," says the wine buyer from Laithwaites, one of the world's longest running wine clubs.

"And it's about wine heritage, some of the oldest shiraz vines in the world are there. Barossa shiraz is Australia's gift to the wine world, it's divine."

Right now as the weather turns cooler, when a glass of the big, bold shiraz the Barossa is synonymous with comes into its own, Laithwaites is inviting people to come on a tasting adventure and discover why Barossa shiraz is loved by so many in Australia and around the world.

Its wine buyers have curated a special selection of "wines worth talking about" in a celebration of the iconic match. The Magnificent Barossa Shiraz case includes award-winning shiraz from six Barossa wineries, large and small - most of which are family owned - exhibiting different aspects of the region.

Also family-owned, with founders Tony and Barbara Laithwaite still at the helm, Laithwaites is firmly focused on working with family wineries, giving members the opportunity to discover special wines they might otherwise not know about.

"We try to mainly deal with the wineries that are run by families rather than the really big guys on the block," Mr Cohn said. "One of the benefits to that is it makes wine more interesting I think.

"Whereas a big winery might make hundreds of thousands of cases a year the smaller ones might make one or two thousand dozen of something and it's very specific to the vintage. It's far less generic and gives our customers more variety."

They come with wonderful stories too, from generations of winemakers and entwined with history stretching back to the 1840s. There are no cobwebs here though - there's innovation as well with younger winemakers putting their own spin on shiraz.

"One of these wines we've included for example is from Tscharke, family-owned, biodynamic and sustainable with sixth generation winemaker Damien Tscharke. who is wonderful at making shiraz," said Mr Cohn.

Sixth generation Barossa winemaker Damien Tscharke. Picture supplied.
Sixth generation Barossa winemaker Damien Tscharke. Picture supplied.

"Rather than the smack-you-in-the-head atypical style of shiraz, he's aiming for a more modern style, quite aromatic, still with that rich fruit characteristic but more of a light fresh style."

Then there's the Chateau Tanunda winery, a trip back into the very beginnings of Barossa Shiraz. The spectacular chateau is the site of the region's first winery and where the first vines were planted.

"Really it's the heart of the Barossa," said Mr Cohn. "When it was built in 1890 it was actually the largest building in the southern hemisphere. It had fallen into a wreck but was bought by the Gever family in 1998 who refurbished it and have created one of Australia's best wineries."

Also part of the selection is shiraz from Salena Estate, one of the Barossa's largest family-owned wineries. "Bob Franchitto is an Italian immigrant and his wines are highly rated," said Mr Cohn. "This one is a gold medallist and it's a really lively Barossa shiraz."

Aromatic vibrancy

Tscharke Shiraz Shiraz Shirax 2022. RRP $24

Tscharke Shiraz Shiraz Shirax 2022
Tscharke Shiraz Shiraz Shirax 2022

The name reads like a celebration of shiraz. but It's actually a nod to the Tscharke family's three vineyards where fruit was sourced and then meticulously blended by sixth-generation winemaker Damien Tscharke. Aged in old French oak vats to retain its vibrancy, it's a lighter, aromatic style than your atypical big, bold Barossa shiraz.

Beating heart

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2019 RRP $25

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2019
Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2019

Close your eyes and you'll think it's Christmas come early, This sumptuously rich, gold-medal 93pt Barossa Shiraz from 'the birthplace of the Barossa delivers festive pudding flavours with aromas of blackberry and plum accompanied by spicy, dark berry fruits on the palate. A magical long finish with fine tannins.

Italian heritage

Salena Estate Black Label Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021. RRP $36

Salena Estate Black Label Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021
Salena Estate Black Label Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021

One of Australia's most loved family wine producers, Salena Estate is named after owners Bob and Sylvia Franchitto's daughter. From their vineyards, they produce exceptional wines, like this Barossa Shiraz. It's deliciously abundant with mulberry and plum and hints of liquorice, vanilla and pepper. Yum.

The Magnificent Barossa Shiraz case features two bottles of these three wines plus more for just $16.99 a bottle. You'll save up to $228 on the mix - it's only $203.88 plus free delivery. Order online by visiting or by phoning 1300 762 832 Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm AEST. Available while stocks last. See website for full T&Cs. LIQP77016550.