The Barossa is 70 km north of Adelaide and is comprised of two distinct subregions: the cool-to-warm Eden Valley, with schistic soils at 450 metres, and the warm Barossa Valley with its complex array of rich brown-red soils and alluvial sands at 270 metres. The overall region is dry, with rainfall predominating in winter. Cool afternoon breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent moderate temperatures during summer.
The Barossa Valley soils are ancient, up to 200 million years old. The soils vary throughout the sub-regions ranging from red-brown earth over heavy clay at Koonunga Hill to duplex sandy loams over clay at Kalimna and red-brown soils over limestone in Gomersal.
The Barossa was settled by Silesians (from east Germany) and English immigrants during the late 1830s. Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor General, named the region after a battle site, Barossa, near Jerez in Spain, where British and French forces clashed in 1811, during the Peninsular War. Penfolds largest winery is close to the township of Nuriootpa. The Barossa Valley is home to many of Penfolds most celebrated company and grower vineyards.