Adelaide Hills wineries put themselves firmly on the cool-climate wine map

Not every state capital in Australia boasts its own wine region; however, the Adelaide Hills region allows its namesake city to do just that, with Adelaide wineries found just a stone’s throw east of the thriving metropolis.

Over a hundred Adelaide Hills wineries are located here in the Mount Lofty Ranges, in one of the largest wine-growing regions in the state of South Australia. The proximity of the wineries in Adelaide Hills to the state’s capital and the area’s stunning natural beauty have boosted its wine industry, with most wineries in Adelaide welcoming visitors at their cellar doors to taste their award-winning cool-climate wines, often paired with gourmet cheese boards or premium local produce, or even served up with some innovative Asian-inspired cuisine.

Adelaide Hills winery history

There have been wineries near Adelaide since the mid-nineteenth century. The first South Australian vineyard was planted in 1835 by settler John Barton Hack in Chichester Gardens, North Adelaide. Five years later, he was forced to pull his vineyard and move his Adelaide winery to Echunga Springs near Mount Barker due to rapid urban development. The Adelaide Hills wineries list was added to shortly after with vineyards being planted by such Australian wine-making godfathers as Penfold and Hardy. A French-trained winemaker, Edmund Mazure, also pioneered traditional method ‘Champagne’ and sparkling Burgundy – a unique Australian red wine style, forerunner of today’s sparkling Shiraz.

By 1900 around 225 grape growers practised viticulture and winemaking on the Adelaide wineries map in the Central Lofty Ranges, but many early Adelaide Hills wineries and vineyards went bankrupt in the early 1900s when the Imperial Preference, favouring exports of Australian produce to the UK, was removed. For the next fifty years, land previously belonging to wineries, Adelaide Hills gave over to cattle and sheep as well as fruit and vegetable farming. It was only when a group of pioneering winemakers recognised the cool-climate characteristics of the region in the seventies and eighties that the Adelaide Hills wineries map began to be redrawn. Since then the region has become a Mecca for small artisan wineries.

Adelaide Hills – perfect terroir for premium cool-climate wines

The various mesoclimates of the Adelaide Hills provide the ideal conditions to produce a range of unique wines using cool climate grapes. Blessed with a dry ripening season and cooler temperatures than much of Australia, Adelaide Hill wineries’ grapes mature slowly, leading to concentrated wines. The region’s trump card is altitude, with Adelaide Hills wineries perched at 400-650m above sea level, benefitting from the cooler temperatures that come with increased elevation. The Adelaide Hills wineries map is etched with numerous valleys, various slopes and exposure to sunlight, meaning that matching site with grape variety is vital. However, its creative winemakers have shown themselves to be up to this challenging task with their wines winning awards and gaining increasing global recognition. Adelaide wineries’ list of innovative styles includes ‘new wave’ Chardonnay, which will make you forget your ABC motto, cool-climate Shiraz, making it possible to drink Australian Shiraz in the summer, exemplary traditional method fizz from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and super trendy, zippy, peppery Grüner Veltliner.

No winery in Adelaide Hills is the same

With over 90 wine labels and 48 cellar doors, remarkable wines, sustainable viticulture and stunning scenery, wineries in the Adelaide Hills have something to suit all tastes. From small boutique producers to larger, globally-recognised wineries, Adelaide Hills map should point everyone in the ideal direction. Our local expert at Wine Paths will help you uncover your perfect Adelaide Hill winery and experience.

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