Why Visit Seppeltsfield?
- You want to experience once of the most important wineries in Australian wine history
- You’re a huge fan of Port or Port style wines
- You’d like to explore the massive estate of an iconic Barossa Valley winery
- You consider yourself a foodie and want to experience the ultimate in destination dining
The History of Seppeltsfield
The Seppeltsfield Estate was established in Barossa Valley 15 years after the European settlement of South Australia. Joseph and Johanna Seppelt emigrated from Silesia and purchased 158 acres of land in Tanunda at only £1 per acre. Joseph designated the land Seppeltsfield with the original intention of planting a tobacco farm. (Side note – naming wineries must have been so much easier back then i.e. Seppelt’s+field. You know, being the first and all.) Joseph quickly realized the land was better suited to grape growing. He followed suit of many of the neighboring German immigrants, changing course to focus the estate’s efforts on viticulture and winemaking. When the time came to produce the first Seppeltsfield vintage, the wine was produced in the farm’s dairy. The estate didn’t yet have a working winery as the property was more of a working farm. So the Seppelts went to work and over the next 12 years built an impressive gravity flow winery that is still used today (following a few renovations).
In the 1800s, the Seppeltsfield business was booming. Benno, Joseph’s son, took over the winery when he was only 21. He soon married Sophie, the daughter of the Seppelts’ German neighbors, and together they had 12 kids making Seppeltsfield a massive family business. Due to imperial preference, a system of free trade amongst the colonies of the British Empire, the demand in England for wine and spirits was at an all time high. The winery was also steadily supplying brandy to hospitals all over Australia for medicinal purposes. Benno had even built his own distillery on the Seppeltsfield Barossa Valley estate so he could ramp up Brandy production and make fortified wines more efficiently. But can you imagine going to the hospital and being served up a glass or two? Today the concept seems ridiculous, but back then brandy was used to treat fevers, as a sedative, as anesthesia via inhalation, etc. Thank god for modern medicine!
Seppeltsfield continued thriving in the 20th century as the Seppelt family decided to expand within the liquor industry. Along with wine, the Seppelts also produced Brandy, Gin, and Vermouth, as well as vinegars, cordials, and essences. The Seppelt family is revered as one of Australia’s most long-lasting and expansive wine dynasties with ownership of the winery from the 1800s all the way up until 1985. At this time, Seppeltsfield went under corporate ownership for around three decades. In 2007, winemaker and viticulturist Warren Randall purchased Seppeltsfield. Warren had actually worked for the Seppelt family in the 1980s and is still the proprietor today.
Warren accomplished a great feat with the acquisition, successfully preserving the history and originality of Seppeltsfield while showcasing the winery in the modern day world of wine tourism. A true renaissance for this Australian wine gem. All of the Seppeltsfield wines were being made offsite when Warren took over. He decided to recommission the original gravity flow winery and today all Seppeltsfield red wines are processed onsite. Seppeltsfield has become even more famous for its Centennial Collection, offering an unbroken lineage of Tawny Port style wines for every vintage from 1878 to the the current year. The estate is home to massive solera cellars full of Australian Sherry, crossing Fino and Olorosso styles, Tokay, and Muscat. Today, Seppeltsfield successfully merges Barossan history, community and winemaking, offering an unparalleled experience in tourism, dining, and fine wine.
Tastings & Experiences
If you’re making a trip to Barossa Valley, definitely plan a visit to Seppeltsfield because the estate truly has something on offer for everyone. Gorgeous architecture, gardens, a non-profit craft shop and workspace for local artisans, Vass Virgin skincare, the best in gastronomy, oh and wine tasting and tours, of course! Be prepared to be in awe of the sheer amount of options available.
Daily Heritage Tour – $15 per person. Available at 11:30am and 3:30pm. Learn all about the Seppelt family history on this guided tour. Visit the 1851 Seppelt family homestead, 1877 Distillery, and the 1860s blending cellar. Finish the tour with a tasting in the winery’s award-winning cellar door.
Fortified & Canape Tasting Experience – $45 per person. Available at 11:00am and 3:00pm. Enjoy a pairing of six delectable canapés by Seppeltsfield’s Events Executive Chef matched with six Seppeltsfield fortified premium wines. Experience available Monday-Friday, bookings required.
Village Discovery Tour – $50 per person. Available at 10:30am. Enjoy a 75 minute guided tour of the Seppeltsfield village and gardens. Visit JamFactory Craft + Design, enjoy a sourdough tasting at FINO restaurant, sample skincare products at Vasse Virgin, and finish the tour with a seated Seppeltsfield wine tasting.
Taste Your Birth Year (Centennial Cellar Experience) – $90 per person. Available at 2:30pm. Offers guests the opportunity to taste a Tawny from the vintage of their birth year directly from the barrel. Enjoy the tasting experience in the Centennial Cellar with a Seppeltsfield wine educator.
Centenary Tour (Centennial Cellar Experience) – $150 per person. Available at 10:30am and 1:00pm. Enjoy a tour of the Seppeltsfield family homestead followed by a private tasting of super premium fortified wines in the VIP mezzanine lounge. The tour finishes in the 1878 Centennial Cellar where guests will taste a Tawny from the vintage of their birth year directly from the barrel, along with the 100 year old Para Vintage Tawny. Bookings required.
Moments in History Tour (Centennial Cellar Experience) – $250 per person. Available at 11:30am and 2:00pm daily. Visit the Centennial Cellar and taste the year of Elvis Presley’s passing (1977), the Moon Landing (1969), D-Day (1944), The Wall Street Stock Market Crash (1929) and the sinking of the Titanic (1912). Bookings required.
Years of WWI Tour (Centennial Cellar Experience) – $250 per person. Available at 11:30am and 2:00pm daily. Take an explorative tasting journey through each of the Years of World War I – 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. Bookings required.
This Is Your Life (Centennial Cellar Experience) – $250 per person. Available at 11:30am and 2:00pm daily. Create your tasting journey modeled after significant years in your life by choosing five different vintages to taste in the Centennial Cellar. Bookings required.
Private Group Wine Tasting – $12 per person. 10 person minimum. Available at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm. A Seppeltsfield wine educator will host your group for a private tasting of at least five premium table & fortified wines, finishing with the Seppeltsfield Vintage Tawny. Includes a sample of FINO restaurant’s freshly baked sourdough and Vasse Virgin olive oil. Tasting held in the group’s tasting pod in the cellar door or a private tasting area.
Paramount Collection Flight – $75 per person. Available at 2:00pm. Small parcels of Seppeltsfield’s fortified Muscat, Apera, and Tokay were reserved over the years for museum holdings. Some of those fortified wines are now being released as part of the Paramount Collection. Guests have the exclusive opportunity to taste how these wines have developed over the last century with this tasting experience. Includes four tastings – two styles of Apera, one Tokay, and one Muscat.
Cooper for a Day Experience – $1600 per person. Maximum 4 people per day. A once in a lifetime experience to be a barrel cooper for a day in the Seppeltsfield Cooperage with Master Cooper Andrew Young and his team. Personalized 10L hand crafted fortified wine or spirit barrel & 10L of Seppeltsfield Classic Tawny. Morning tea, a Cooper’s Platter lunch and afternoon tea included.
FINO restaurant offers the best in progressive destination dining showcasing cuisine with a deep connection to Barossa Valley and local, seasonal produce. Lunch daily from 12:00pm-3:00pm. Dinner Saturday & Sunday 6:00pm-8:30pm.
Benno’s Kiosk & Picnic Grounds – Guests can take advantage of the gorgeous Seppeltsfield estate and put together a picnic with the help of Benno’s Kiosk. Go for a tasting at the cellar door to make your wine bottle selection, then head over to Benno’s to pick up your picnic basket.
Jam Factory at Seppeltsfield – Open 7 days a week. 11:00am-5:00pm. Explore the Jam Factory to see what local artists and craftsmen are up to. JamFactory is a unique non profit cultural organisation, supporting and promoting outstanding design & craftsmanship through its widely acclaimed studios, galleries & shops for over 40 years.
Vasse Virgin – Shop for all natural skin and body care, Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and gourmet food items. Vasse Virgin also offers DIY workshops and masterclasses.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, Seppeltsfield also has a ton of options for wedding and event function spaces. But when you have a historic estate to work with, why not?