Since more than half of all Australia’s wine is produced here, South Australia is the country’s most influential viticulture state – with a vast diversity in geography and climate creating an equally eclectic range of wines from cool climate Riesling to signature Shiraz.
Unsurprisingly, the state is home to some of Australia’s most renowned wine brands, including Penfolds Grange, Jacob’s Creek and Henschke Hill of Grace, as well as hundreds of wineries spread over 15 distinct South Australia wine regions.
South Australian wines are dominated by red varieties, with the country’s ubiquitous Shiraz (known elsewhere as Syrah) the most planted grape – while Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, especially when combined with Shiraz and Mourvedre for the classic Australian GSM blend, also flourish.Quality white wines have been less successful from South Australian wine regions, with the notable exception of Riesling from Clare Valley and Chardonnay from the cool climes of Adelaide Hills. Given the vast size of South Australia, which covers 745 miles and borders every other Australian state except the island of Tasmania, climate and topography vary wildly across the wine regions of South Australia.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive tours of wine regions in South Africa, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury stays, fine dining experiences and some unique activities.All of our private tours can be tailor made to meet your exact specifications, ensuring every detail is taken care of before you even step foot Down Under. We have created an overview of the six revered South Australia wine regions to help you plan your ideal itinerary:
The Barossa Valley is the oldest and arguably most important of all wine regions in South Australia with a reputation for producing the world class Shiraz that first put the country on the international map.
The red wines from Barossa are similar in varietal profile to those from France’s Rhone Valley with full bodied styles featuring rich chocolate and spiced flavours – while the continental climate has attracted leading wine makers including Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Peter Lehmann. Also within the Barossa zone is Eden Valley, which despite its close proximity is better known for producing white Riesling from its more elevated vineyards – although Shiraz is still successfully harvested here too.
The south eastern Australia wines here display plenty of exotic fruits and floral characters in their youth, developing into more complex styles with age and the best examples can be cellared for 10 years.
McLaren Vale is challenging Barossa for title of Australia’s best red wine producer. The warm climate creates luxurious, chocolate toned Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, while the maritime influence is responsible for fine Chardonnay, Viognier and Marsanne.It is by far the most important region in the Fleurieu zone, with wine making traditions among the oldest in the country and some of the best wines come from vines planted over 100 years ago.
Clare Valley, in the Mount Loft Ranges zone, competes with Eden Valley for the South Australian wine region’s finest white styles – with Riesling reigning supreme over Chardonnay and Semillon. It is a popular destination for tours of South Australia wine regions since it is one of the country’s most picturesque regions with a collection of quality conscious estates that are often boutique wineries with their own cellar doors.
Nearby Adelaide Hills is tempered by coastal winds to create a Mediterranean climate that is among the coolest of all South Australia wine regions and accommodates clean and fresh Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; the latter two are also used in the region’s sparkling ’Methode Champenoise’. As the largest wine growing region in the state, together with its closeness to Adelaide and the natural beauty of the landscape, Adelaide Hills is another region that attracts wine enthusiasts by the hundreds of thousands.
The Coonawarra region within the Limestone Coast zone is most renowned for its unique red soil, known as ‘terra rossa’, which is key to producing some of Australia’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Although other red varietals and blends are produced here, the success of its Cabernet Sauvignon has given rise to local events including the Coonwarra Cebernet Celebration and the Coonwarra Cup.
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