The Valley derives its name from the Barossa Ranges, which were named by Colonel William Light in 1837. Light chose the name in memory of the British victory over the French in the Battle of Barrosa, in which he fought in 1811. Despite this link to British history, the Barossa Valley has a strong German heritage, especially in the town of Tanunda. Additionally, the region has a strong German Lutheran history. Along with the expected Lutheran churches the major towns also boast Lutheran schools and other connections to that faith.
The valleys chief claim to fame, however, is the role in plays in Australia’s internationally recognised wine industry. The Barossa Valley is primarily known for its red wine, in particular Shiraz. Other main grape varieties grown in the region include Riesling, Semillon, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. The success of the wine industry has historically been celebrated every two years with a week-long Barossa Valley Vintage Festival. The festival draws visitors from all over the world and has entertainment for all tastes including a huge street parade, concerts and gourmet dining.
Today the Barossa Valley is the focus of a six million dollar tourism campaign that has generated much interest due to the unique combination of stark visual imagery and the music of the Australian singer, Nick Cave. His song, Red Right Hand anchors the ad, which emphasises the region’s links to the land. While the focus of the promotion is the Barossa Valley, the new commercial is part of a long-term strategy to promote the whole state as a food and wine destination.
Take a look at the full promotional video, and let me know what you think.
And just because I can, here in full is Nick Cave's Red Right Hand. Enjoy.