Barossa dishes the dirt in new campaign

By Marguerite Winter

In search of a striking new campaign to promote the region, the good burghers of the Barossa went hunting for a single image that captured its wine and good credentials… and found it in the soil.

The result is an earthy, sepia-toned mini film featuring a young man and woman wandering about a moody, rustic landscape of grape vines and vegetable patches to a Nick Cave soundtrack that talks up the Gothic atmospherics of the ad. The campaign will run from June this year.

It’s hard to say whether the ad’s more Cathy & Heathcliffe than Tess of the D’Urbervilles, but it’s certainly arresting, which is what South Australian Tourism wants it to be. The authority is looking for another Kangaroo Island moment; it has anecdotal evidence that last year’s ‘Let yourself go’ campaign for the island increased visitation to many other regions of the state. 

Hard to know, however, why the Barossa would be seeking to stress its food credentials. Of all the wine-growing regions of Australasia, this one surely has the highest and best-known food profile, courtesy of its resident First Lady, Maggie Beer. Apart from the long-running The Cook & the Chef series for ABC-TV, Maggie’s eponymous food line is everywhere, while daughter Saskia’s free-range chooks for Barossa Farm Products is the premium offering in most markets.

Mother and daughter are emblematic of a quite distinct culture that have served this region well; as the small Prussian communities of the Barossa developed alongside English and other influences, they held tightly to their religious and cooking traditions. It’s why when Barossians gather together, it’s usually Lachsschinken (smoked salmon) all round.


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