Top 5 South Australian wine areas
Kind of a trick headline to get you to read about what we think are five truly amazing places. The operative term here is 'what we think'! Before you all start to campaign for your favorite area (although would be interested to hear about) these are just the places we feel are the top five. You are entitled to your opinion with or without facts.
Keep in mind that all of the following areas are filled wit worthy places to go and that we are only exposing the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Just know that there are some really good places to go in each and everyone of these areas, and that all of these areas are well worth your time to go visit.
In alphabetical order;
Adelaide Hills; The Adelaide Hills region has really come along in recent years. Now while that may sound a little condescending its not meant to be. The Hills have in the last 0 years or so, found the magic and knowledge that allows for consistently good wine. The knowledge of the weather and the terrior and what it takes to get the best out of it. Now some years are always going to be better than others but there are some consistently fabulous wines coming from this region from a number of producers. With its summer months generally dry, with average temperatures considerably cooler than other Australian wine regions and in particular the night time temperatures being cooler than most surrounding wine regions, the wines generally take on elegant cool climate style with wines displaying great finesse and varietal intensity.
The Adelaide Hills is one of the largest geographical wine regions in Australia, and among the most beautiful to spend your time exploring. The area is also a place where new ideas are tested and some with great success by some very talented vintners and winemakers, such as Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt from Hahndorf Hill are just one example
These are just a few first hand experiences,
Bird in Hand, Hanhdorf Hill, Shaw and Smith, The Lane, Tilbrook Estate, Golding, Protero, K1 by Geoff Hardy, Nepenthe, Ashton Hills, Deviation Road, Pike and Joyce and of course wine and dine at Penfolds Magill Estate.
The Barossa Valley; The Barossa Valley is one the most recognized of the South Australian wine regions. Located about 70 Km north of Adelaide it has delivered outstanding vintages for over 150 years and covers an area comprising the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley. The Barossa is not just a great wine region as it still is an area full of growers of seasonal produce and makers of specialty foods. The area has one of the oldest regional food histories in Australia and is traced back to the German settlers of the 1840's. Tasting of this food is possible at not only most of the local area restaurants but also from some of the butchers, bakers and cheese makers in the area. There is also what is believed to be the oldest surviving Shiraz vineyard in the world.
Langmeil is home to The Freedom Shiraz, planted in 1843 by vigneron Christian Auricht. Escaping war and persecution in Prussia, Auricht travelled to his new homeland, finding Freedom in the Barossa Valley. His original plantings survive to this day and are some of the oldest and rarest vines in the world. The Barossa is quit unlike any other wine region in Australia or the world for that matter, in that for over 150 years about 750 expert vignerons have blended their knowledge of the land and its climate with modern viticultural practice, creating a partnership with over 50 large and small wineries whose specialist skills have made the most of the high quality fruit.
The Barossa is not a 'new world' wine region like Chile or the United States, nor is it tied down by old rules and regulations like they have in Europe. The first settlers in the area used their European experience, and for over a 150 years, their descendants have adapted it with modern technology, and knowledge to suit the soil and climate of the area. It is this heritage and these partnerships that give The Barossa such a unique identity.
These are some we have visited;
Torbreck, Hentley Farm, Elderton Wines, Yalumba, Two Hands, God's Hill, Chateau Tanunda, Dell'uva Wines, God's Hill Wines,Izway Wines, John Duval Wines, Kaesler Wines, Langmeil Winery, Seppeltsfield and Artisans of the Barossa.
Clare Valley; Clare Valley shares the distinction of being one of the oldest regions having been settled in 1840. Settlers from England and Ireland, as well as more diverse places such as Poland and Silesia moved into the region during the 1840's, producing a rich heritage of architecture and villages, which remain largely intact to this day. Vineyards were planted alongside those first villages and winemaking has continued ever since. The most important white variety is Riesling, with the Clare Valley regarded as its Australian home.
But that is not the entire story of wines in Clare Valley. The principal red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz with a little Merlot. They make a range of styles of varietal wines, reflecting different approaches to winemaking as well as the influences of the various sub-regions and micro-climates in the valleys. Many other varieties are also grown, including Chardonnay, Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Grenache.