Crowning a gentle hill in the heart of Australia’s Barossa Valley, the Louise is an intimate vineyard retreat an hour’s drive from Adelaide. There are only 15 suites here, each with a patio overlooking the vineyards. The place offers guests a quiet country getaway with creature comforts including spa tubs, dual rain showers, private courtyards, and a destination restaurant. Some suites have outdoor showers and gas fireplaces, and an infinity pool was added in December 2014. Local art is also a focal point of the Louise. Paintings of quince and wine by Adelaide’s Catherine Fitz-Gerald, the Faultline Series by Sydney-based Kate Briscoe, and metal sculptures by Erin Keys make the dining experience at Appellation restaurant that much more memorable. A private dining room features graphics by Aboriginal artist Shane Pickett that depict the six seasons of the indigenous food calendar, a concept that plays into the cuisine. The patio at Appellation wine bar is the best place to sip a cocktail or glass of bubbly as the red sun dips below the terraced hillside.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, dotted with more than 150 wineries, many of which have open cellar doors and others like David Franz only open by appointment. Beyond wine, the area has an abundance of farms and artisan food producers, breweries, cider distilleries, cooking schools, and award-winning restaurants. The idyllic countryside is also home to such wildlife sanctuaries as Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, which puts on the breakfast with kangaroos experience. There’s a lot do in Barossa, but travelers looking to explore more of South Australia won’t be disappointed by Kangaroo Island or the cafés, design boutiques, or beaches of Adelaide.
Need to Know
Rooms: 15 suites. From $500. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options:Appellation is a destination restaurant in the Barossa Valley, recognized for its commitment to fresh, local, and homemade ingredients. Head chef Ryan Edwards and his team are guided by the rhythms of the land, harvesting from their kitchen garden, baking their own breads, and curing their own meats, with the changes of the seasons. They also employ older, slower ways of cooking and get most of their ingredients from less than 20 miles away. Nightly options include a five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, paired with complementary wines, and a seasonal selections menu that might include wild venison topped with mushrooms and pumpernickel crumble or rock lobster risotto. One Friday a month, the lodge hosts a Winemaker Dinner where guests can pull up a chair next to a top Barossa vintner and talk food, wine, pop culture, and politics over a five-course meal. Spa and gym details:A fitness center houses a gym and steam room, and massages and beauty treatments can be scheduled in guestrooms.
Who's it best for: Couples seeking a romantic retreat in a world-class food and wine region. Our favorite rooms: With outdoor showers and gas-log fireplaces, the Stonewell and Seppeltsfield suites are the most indulgent. The latter are slightly larger and offer the best views of the vineyards and olive orchards. Local highlights:The Louise offers many one-of-a-kind experiences, from an outdoor breakfast surrounded by kangaroos to a day of blending guests’ own Penfolds wine and getting Appellation chefs to conjure a matching dish. Travelers can also join a chef for a shopping trip around the Saturday farmers' market.