The Adelaide Hills Wine Region is one of the most diverse wine regions in Australia in terms of climate, soil and topography. The region has an intensive landscape of hills, valleys and flats. This complex landscape creates an infinite array of micro-climates that winegrape growers skilfully match to grape varieties to produce grapes with complex and refined flavour profiles.
The Adelaide Rift Complex (or Adelaide Geosyncline) stretches from the Flinders Ranges via the Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula through to Kangaroo Island. It is estimated that its sediments were deposited between 500 and 870 million years ago.
The soils can be described as a mixture of sandy loams, loams and clay loams over clay subsoils. These vary in structure and it is not unusual to find these soils combined with shale and ironstone. They are generally acidic, in some cases neutral in pH, but rarely alkaline. Soil depth is also variable due to topography, which can range from steep slopes to undulating hills, resulting in shallow stony soils to the top of hills and deep peat-like clays at the bottom of hills. The variation in topography and soil type can affect vine growth, and contributes greatly to wine style. Low lying areas with heavy soils provide potential for greater vigour, while higher well drained stony soil allow better vigour control, both of which can be utilised depending on the variety and wine style required.
The Adelaide Hills Wine Region includes all areas of the Adelaide Hills that have an elevation greater than 300m, MJT ranges from 18.2°C – 20.2°C, and the annual rainfall from 690mm – 1200mm. The Adelaide Hills has winter dominant rainfall and provides a vital source of fresh water for Adelaide through a series of reservoirs throughout the Hills catchment area.
Encompassing Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, Barossa is one of Australia’s most historic and prominent wine regions. Located approximately 70 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, it is also one of the country’s most prominent and celebrated regions, showcasing the history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine. It has close to 14,000 hectares under vine. Barossa has a rich vine and wine history dating back to the early 1840s and is home to fifth- and sixth-generation grape-growing families. Silesian farmers settled in the region seeking a fresh start and by the 1890s, dozens of wineries had been established.
More than 170 wineries are dotted throughout the beautiful rolling hills and valleys of Barossa. The area is reputed for its dynamic wine community, which includes long-established names as well as younger artisan and boutique producers. Barossa’s wine community is complemented by a strong culinary culture and local gourmet produce, which reflects the area’s European heritage. Barossa has both warm-climate and cool-climate growing conditions and a diverse range of soils. This makes it ideal for producing a wide variety of wines, from full-bodied reds and rich fortifieds to the most delicate of white wines. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mataro, Riesling and Semillon are some popular varieties with a long history in Barossa.
Many would claim the region’s star performers to be Barossa Valley Shiraz and Eden Valley Riesling. Barossa is home to some of the oldest continuously growing Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Grenache and Riesling vines in the world, dating back to the 1840s.
Coonawarra is the home of Australia’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a reputation that has been earned over more than 120 years, by grape growers carefully nurturing its ancient Terra Rossa soils and winemakers patiently ageing their wines. Since John Riddoch decreed in the 1890s that his blockers plant Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra has remained true to these classic varieties, although newcomers such as Cabernet franc and Merlot have since been introduced and the region’s white varieties are also worthy of attention, such as Riesling and Chardonnay. The region’s Terra Rossa soils, maritime climate and contemporary winemaking techniques have culminated in distinctively modern styles of Cabernet and Shiraz that are approachable while young and have yet the balance and structure to age superbly.
Only 45 minutes south of Adelaide in South Australia, McLaren Vale is home to world‐class wines and culinary experiences, as well as pristine natural attractions and unparalleled tourism offerings including unique and beautiful accommodation choices. McLaren Vale has produced wine since 1838 and more recently has been recognised for our innovative viticultural and winemaking techniques. With more than 180 years of experience, our region’s reputation is strongly established in South Australia’s and Australia’s winemaking origins. The McLaren Vale Wine Region is one of the most geologically complex wine regions in the world, has some of the oldest grape vines in the world and can lay claim to being Australia’s ‘greenest’ wine region, with the highest number of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards. Known for our Shiraz, McLaren Vale also excels in the production of ultra‐premium Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Spanish and Italian varieties that provide wine and food lovers with yet another layer of discovery. McLaren Vale’s collaborative and generous nature, unique combination of world‐class wines and produce ‐ both on the farm and on the plate ‐ with a coastal lifestyle, ensures that our region truly offers a unique, welcoming experience.
The Riverland in South Australia is a long-established, warm climate wine producing region, located east of the Barossa Valley, approximately 2½ hours north east of Adelaide in South Australia. It extends for 330 km along the Murray River from Paringa to Blanchetown. It is the largest wine producing region in Australia, and is home to approximately 1,000 wine grape growers representing over 20,600 hectares of vines.
As a wine producing powerhouse, and as the Riverland grows and develops, impact on the environment and natural landscape is always a key consideration. Preservation of the River Murray and the surrounding land is paramount, with the livelihood of the Riverland residents depending on it. The Riverland is proud of its rich history of advanced irrigation technology. From the pioneering days of flooding furrows, through the advent of pressurised systems and overhead irrigation, to leading the world in precision irrigation drip technology, water is now applied to vines when and where it should be, optimising the productive benefit and conserving the region’s most precious resource.
With warm weather conditions and long hours of sunshine, Riverland vines are consistently bathed in quality sunlight, reducing disease pressure and ripening crops, year in and year out. In nurturing these environmental conditions many wine producers have embraced alternative varieties and low input, organic and/or biodynamic viticulture and winemaking practices.