2129 Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat, South Australia
08 8521 3000
When William Jacob settled in the Barossa Valley in the 1840s, he had no idea that his name would someday be lent to one of the world’s most recognisable wineries.
Today Jacob’s Creek is one of the most respected wine brands in the world. Owned by Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the 42-hectare property is home to the Jacob’s Creek brand and offers a range of wine and food experiences.
The winery is more than 150 years old, having begun when Johann Gramp planted his first vineyard on the banks of Jacob’s Creek in the Barossa Valley. However, the Jacob’s Creek brand was launched in 1976 and Chief Winemaker, Bernard Hickin, has been there from the beginning.
Growing up in the city, Bernard didn’t have any desire to become a winemaker. But after dropping in on a friend who was working at a winery in Adelaide’s northeast, his mind was made up, “Walking in, I remember the aroma of the reds fermenting, the vibrant purple colour of the red caps … it was just like being in another world…” he said.
With this in mind, Bernard commenced a degree at the Roseworthy Agricultural College. While focussed on winemaking, the degree also gave Bernard insight into elements of primary production and farming, an influence that has trickled down to this grape-growing philosophy. In 1976 he accepted a job with Pernod Ricard Winemakers (then known as G Gramp & Sons), beginning his long and illustrious career with the brand.
His achievements include overseeing the progressive move to sparkling wine production and varietal labelled wines. He steadily progressed up the ranks, becoming Operations winemaker in 1987, Senior White and Sparkling winemaker in 1994 and finally, in 2006, Chief Winemaker of Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Australian wines. He has since been recognised as a Baron of Barossa and is focussed on driving the brand with a steady and considered hand, ensuring that from vine to bottle standards and quality is maintained.
As a result, no bottle leaves the winery without Bernard’s approval. It starts in the vineyard where he decides where and when the harvest should begin. “The tastes, smells and sights at every step of the process tell us something new, exciting and surprising. It’s what we do with this information that shapes each vintage”, he said.
Usually harvest occurs in February and March across both sub-regions of the Barossa. The lower altitude valley, often called the Barossa floor, is warmer, drier and has deeper soils, making it ideally suited to growing intense shiraz. The higher altitude Eden Valley, also known as the Barossa ranges, is a cooler climate with shallow rock weathered soils that produce fantastic riesling. Therefore, Jacob’s Creek focus on premium shiraz, together with some riesling and cabernet sauvignon.
Its flagship wine is the Reserve Barossa Shiraz. It is a full-bodied red wine with distinctive regional varietal flavours of dark plum, dried fruits, spice and lovely soft tannins, matching well with braised lamb shanks, beef eye fillet, gourmet sausages and mash or hard cheeses.
Visitors to Jacob’s Creek can tour the demonstration vineyard of 14 different grapes varieties to learn more about how wine is made, hire a bike and ride the Jack Bobridge trail, take a walk through the picturesque grounds that are home to a wealth of native flora and fauna, or simply enjoy the views from the deck surrounded by the native Australian plant garden.
You can also join the Jacob’s Creek sensory experience, which is designed to enhance your knowledge of food and wine matching, or take a cooking classes in the renowned kitchen garden.
What’s more, you can top off the day with a lunch in the restaurant, which offers contemporary Australian food matched to its award-winning wines. Open daily for lunch and private functions; it features fresh seasonal produce from the region and the on-site kitchen garden.
Start with a glass of Limited Release Barossa Semillon, paired with a caramelised onion, olive and anchovy puff pastry tart with goat’s curd, before trying the slow braised free-range pork belly with roasted pear, pickled red cabbage and verjuice, matched with a glass of Eden Valley Steingarten.
For the mains, sample the dry-aged Black Angus beef fillet with roast pumpkin wedges, fennel and spiced butter, complemented by the Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz. Poultry fans will love the roast spatchcock, served with green olive gnocchi, butter-braised leek and salsa verde, paired with the Limited Release Limestone Coast Cabernet Shiraz. Finish the meal off with a poached quince and polenta tart with pistachio cream, partnered with a Reeves Point Chardonnay.
With the picture-perfect backdrop of the Barossa Ranges and the winery’s vines, this is an experience that will stay with you.