Australia is a pretty big country with almost 7.7 million square kilometers of land. There’s a whole lot of people in it too but what we’re looking at are the abundant wine regions throughout this southern continent.
We’ve covered a few so far but this article is focused on the Adelaide Hills in Southern Australia. This area is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges, just east of the city of Adelaide, with over 3052 hectares of planted vineyards. The region was started in the mid 1800s when a European settler planted his own cuttings of Grenache or possibly Shiraz taken from Capetown. In the decades following this first planting, 225 winegrowers and producers showed up to practice their own winemaking in the Adelaide Hills.
The designation of Adelaide Hills refers to any area within the region that has an elevation of 300m or higher, particularly because of how these elevations affect the grapes. Because of the location of these hills, the area stays relatively cool compared to the rest of the country but doesn’t get an overwhelming amount of rain, which is the ideal combination for grape-growing. The varying degrees of hills and valleys tends to create microclimates which can present interesting situations for each wine on the vineyard.
The cool climate and location on slopes and hills does lend itself to early harvest white wines which is why there is a larger percentage of white grapes planted over red. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the most common, followed by Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Of course, like the rest of the country, Shiraz is definitely present here as well. Within each grape variety planted here, you’re likely to get unique tastes from each one, simply based on where they are planted or which winery they come from.
There are over 90 wineries and 48 cellar doors in the region of the Adelaide Hills, which is so large, it has two designated sub-regions: Lenswood and Piccadilly Valley. Producers here have their own challenges with the micro-climates and cool temperatures, however the area is becoming known for its artisanal value and innovative ideas.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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