Recently we were invited to spend a weekend at Chateau Yaldara Weddings discovering how it might differ from other Barossa Valley Wedding Venues. Our take on this revamped slice of Barossa Valley history is what follows.
In my 10 years photographing weddings in the Barossa Valley I had never heard of Chateau Yaldara. This little gem had slipped under the radar, how could that be ?
Untouched for decades it was recently purchased by some fellas who like their wine so much they thought they’d just buy a whole estate. They’ve investing millions to bring this charming old Chateau and it’s surrounds out of the 80’s and into the 21st Century has resulted in the reopening of its doors to the wedding industry.
We were also handed the keys to the onsite accommodation. On-site accommodation is a real plus for any wedding venue. For newlyweds to be able to crawl to bed after their massive day is such a plus in my eyes. For the Bride and Bridesmaids to have somewhere to chill out and get make-up and hair sorted on the morning of the wedding, without having to travel all over the countryside, it is such a bonus.
On the banks of the North Para River, accommodation is the original home of founder Hermann Thumm. It has been completely renovated to create a pretty spectacular 5 bedroom home, each with its own ensuite. We had the choice of the 5 bedrooms and settled on the master suite upstairs, which sits up amongst the canopy of the surrounding Redgums…Enjoying some Wine and nibbles on the patio listening to Kookaburras laughing, we really didn’t feel the need to move far beyond the bathtub after that. Our hunger did eventually get the better of us, so we ambled down the hill 100 meters to the restaurant, siting on a bend of the river slightly downstream. We enjoyed a tasty 3 course meal and numerous wines matched to each dish for us by the wonderfully attentive staff.
Courtney the wedding co-ordinator also treated us to a detailed tour of the grounds and cellars. She gave a great insight into some of the history, along with the various options for wedding ceremonies and receptions, from small long table dinners in one of the barrel rooms for the smaller intimate weddings, to the Grand Ballroom which can seat up to about 300.
Photography-wise, backdrops and scenery variations are endless. Grassy hilltops at sunset. Dark moody cellars, manicured gardens and vineyards, rocky outcrops over the creek…the list goes on and on. Having numerous options for a wet weather wedding day is a real plus for any wedding photographer, and Chateau Yaldara Weddings doesn’t let you down on this front.
You may ask if I struck some kind of a deal with these guys to write nice things about their wedding venue in exchange for the weekend escape ? Nope. Nothing. They just wanted to put themselves out there, introduce me to the venue and get some feedback from me. Was is the perfect wedding venue. Not for everyone no. There’s always room to grow and improve, and that goes for all of us I’m sure you’ll agree. Would I recommend Chateau Yaldara to wedding couples looking in the Barossa Valley ? Absolutely.