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explore South Australia
Your guide to the best flavours from the winegrowing regions.
"Home to many of Australia's most prestigious and well-known wine regions, South Australia produces more wine than any other State."
Home to many of Australia's most prestigious and well known wine regions including the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Clare Valley, South Australia produces more wine than any other State. At the Barossa, with its strong German ancestry, visitors can enjoy the home base of iconic brands including Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Yalumba and Jacob's Creek, or taste the powerful reds from shiraz and grenache grapes the region is best known for. The Barossa is also a bounty of artisan foods from skilled producers. Flat, remote Coonawarra is known for its outstanding cabernet sauvignons, while vineyards such as d'Arenberg and Hardy's are famous for their reds from McLaren Vale. The Clare Valley is known for world-class rieslings with labels such as Grosset, Taylors and Jim Barry, while the Adelaide Hills’ cool-climate conditions are made for quality pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc from labels such as Shaw + Smith, The Lane Vineyard, Bird in Hand and Longview.
A TASTE of SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Barossa region, which also incorporates the cooler Eden Valley, is home to world-renowned producers including Penfolds, Henschke and Yalumba, and has been named on the New York Times’ list of “must-see” destinations in Australia. Just one hour north of Adelaide, the Barossa was first settled by migrants fleeing Germany and their fifth and sixth-generation descendants are still making wines.
"The Barossa is best known for its assertive wines, particularly reds made from shiraz and grenache grapes grown on some of the world’s oldest-surviving vines."
The Barossa is best known for its assertive wines, particularly reds made from shiraz and grenache grapes grown on some of the world’s oldest-surviving vines. The cooler Eden Valley is known for stellar rieslings. Leading Barossa wineries include Wolf Blass, Yalumba, Seppeltsfield, St Hallett, Peter Lehmann and Bethany, along with boutique producers such as Elderton, Turkey Flat, Charles Melton, Schild Estate and Torbreck. Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace are the regional icons, with Torbreck's The Laird hot on their heels.
The Fleurieu Peninsula, of which McLaren Vale is the wine heartland, is just a 45-minute drive south of Adelaide and is blessed with a beautiful coastline and vineyards that produce some of Australia’s gutsiest, most flavoursome red wines. In and around McLaren Vale and Willunga in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges there are 60-plus cellar doors and a warm country welcome, along with some excellent restaurants and cafés.
"In and around McLaren Vale, there are 60-plus cellar doors and a warm country welcome."
The first vines were planted at Chateau Reynella in 1838 and shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, grenache, chardonnay and viognier are among the most planted grapes while lesser known varieties including sangiovese, tempranillo, chenin blanc, fiano, vermentino and tannat thrive. Many of the leading wineries here are family-owned, including Oliver’s Taranga, d’Arenberg, Coriole, Angoves and Geoff Merrill. Also check out Wirra Wirra, S.C. Pannell and Fall From Grace. More than half the regional producers are members of a local sustainability program.
Must-VISIT cellar doors
Coonawarra is one of Australia’s most remote wine-producing districts – but also one of its most renowned, producing world-class cabernet sauvignons and shirazes that are invariably beautifully balanced. Coonawarra is just a small dot on the map roughly halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide.
“Coonawarra is one of Australia’s most remote wine-producing districts, but also one of its most renowned."
A cigar-shaped flat strip of red “terra rossa” soil runs from the hamlet of Penola to just north of the minuscule Coonawarra township – a distance of just 24 kilometres – and it is here that you'll find some of the most revered names in Australian wine, including Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Yalumba The Menzies, Katnook Estate and Brands Laira (recently purchased by the Casella family of Yellowtail fame), along with esteemed boutique producers including Otellia, Balnaves, Redman, Bowen Estate, Majella and Rymill. With Coonawarra, the coolest wine region in the state, often unable to meet demand, the nearby regions of Padthaway and Wrattonbully have thrived.
Must-visit cellar doors