Adelaide Hills, along with Tasmania and parts of northern Victoria, is one of the most elevated and coolest wine regions in Australia, making it ideal for the production of cool-climate wines.
Partly as a result of climate change and the growing appeal of low-alcohol wines, interest in wines produced at altitude has never been higher, making the region one of the most exciting wine destinations in the country for wine tasting. Adelaide lies just a stone’s throw away, meaning that it’s the perfect destination for a weekend getaway, a long gourmet lunch or a day’s wine tasting.
Adelaide Hills is an innovative region where traditions are there to be challenged and moulds to be broken. It’s arguably Australia’s most beautiful and sophisticated wine region. Vineyards are interspersed with organic apple and cherry orchards, century-old market gardens, and sheep and beef farms across the region’s rolling hills, and with around fifty cellar doors dotted throughout the picturesque landscape, wine tasting in Adelaide Hills can be found around practically every corner.
Adelaide Hills is one of the largest wine regions in the estate, stretching to the Fleurieu Peninsula and McLaren Vale in the south and Barossa and Eden Valleys in the north. The region’s terroir makes it the perfect stomping ground for Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Sparkling wine, which the subregion Piccadilly Valley is renowned for, will also be on the line-up of any Adelaide wine tasting tours.
Wine tasting tours: Adelaide Hills boasts wines from some of Australia’s most innovative winemakers
This fashionable region is considered one of Australia’s best for growing fine Sauvignon Blanc, Savvy Blanc as it’s known locally; edgy, dry and vibrant with superb fruit definition and length, perhaps New Zealand should be watching its back. Any Adelaide wine tasting will also showcase the region’s excellent ’new wave’ Chardonnay. Out with over-oaked, overworked ABC (Anything but Chardonnay) wine and in with bright, stylish wines that will overturn your assumptions about Australian Chardonnay. Elegant, structured and lean but with plenty of complexity and fruit intensity, after you’ve tasted an Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, you’ll never go back. The steep vineyards of Adelaide Hills also yield zippy, bone-dry Rieslings with superb length and its Austrian compatriot, Grüner Veltliner, is also making quite a splash here in Adelaide, wine tasting flights should also include a spicy, peppery GrüVee, which, with its crisp minerality, is fast becoming one of Australia’s most exciting varietals.
The best wine tasting tours Adelaide Hills can offer should also allow you to sample their award-winning reds. The Hills make an exciting range of Pinot Noir. With its unique patchwork of mesoclimates, slopes and profiles, just like in the variety’s Burgundian home, Pinot styles range from the bright, silky, smooth and fruity to the earthy, spicy and savoury. Adelaide Hills are also garnering praise for their stylish, elegant, cool-climate Shiraz, which stands in stark contrast to the big bold caricature of Australian Shiraz produced by its neighbours Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Its modest alcohol, attractive pepper and spice aromas, fine tannins and acidity make it the ideal red for our age.
Subtlety and crispness marry in the region’s sparkling wines thanks to its altitude. Acidity retention is key for sparkling wines and the region’s climate delivers on this too, with exemplary traditional method fizz being produced from Champagne’s mainstays Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
However, wine tasting in Adelaide Hills knows no bounds. A region run by open-minded, progressive winemakers keen to experiment with new varieties mean you could be tasting anything from Arneis to Zinfandel.
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