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Exploring the wine regions of South Australia
Australia is home to some of the oldest working vines in the world which produce extraordinary wines, and are accompanied by numerous award-winning restaurants.
A favourite destination for many tourists is South Australia. The South Australian wine industry is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. South Australia produces a range of grape varieties - from the cool climate Riesling variety in the Clare Valley wine region to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley.
Below you will find an overview of the main wine-producing regions in SA, and the grape varieties that each region has to offer.
Table of Contents
Wine Regions, South Australia
The Adelaide Hills wine region stretches across the Mount Lofty Ranges and consists of two registered sub-regions - Lenswood and Piccadilly Valley.
The cooler altitude lends itself to producing elegant & classic wines; the most well-known varietals are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In the Adelaide Hills is a small German town called Hahndorf. The beautiful main street is always bustling with tourists and locals alike; it is a lovely place to wander and admire its charm and German influence as you explore the shops, restaurants and cellar doors.
The Barossa contains some of the oldest working vines in the world, dating back to 1843.
The connection with world-class Shiraz and the Barossa is well established and recognised around the world. Other varieties such as Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Riesling and Semillon are also grown.
There are over 750 grape growing families in the Barossa and the region continues to expand.
The Barossa consists of several small towns: Angaston, Lyndoch, Williamstown and Nurioopta, each with character and rich with history. Be sure to visit Barossa Cheese in Angaston which has a delicious range of hard and soft cheese to compliment your wine purchases. The Barossa Gourmet Farmer's Market is the place to be on a Saturday morning - a collection of stalls with various products and fresh produce. There is plenty to do in Barossa, and you will want to keep coming back for more.
The Clare Valley is the home of Australian Riesling. With its cooler climate, these conditions are ideal for producing Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines.
The Clare Valley region contributes around 2% of the Australian national grape crush, and wins over 7% of all medals awarded to Australian wine.
If you enjoy riding and being outdoors, the Clare Riesling Trail is a wonderful and unique way to experience the Clare Valley. From Auburn to Barinia, bring your own bike or hire from one of the local businesses, and follow the path.
The Coonawarra region is well known for producing world class Cabernet Sauvignon, grown on its famous rich rust-coloured Terra Rossa soil.
Walk or drive along the main highway and visit a range of wineries, each offering a unique tasting experience.
Located in the Barossa region, the Eden Valley is well suited to cooler climate varietals.
Bordering on the Barossa Valley, the Eden Valley is a picturesque rural township and the Riesling wine produced here is well regarded worldwide.
McLaren Vale is a coastal wine region which produce wines from a host of grape varieties including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Savagnin and Fiano.
This diversity and range highlights the variation in climate and soil type within this region.
With some 60 welcoming cellar doors and many with restaurants or cafes happy to serve a local cheese platter, the McLaren Vale is the ideal location to try many different wines in a beautiful setting. There are also plenty of food & wine events held throughout the year.
The third largest grape growing region in South Australia, Langhorne Creek is well regarded for their premium Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Less than an hour's drive from Adelaide, there are plenty of places to eat and drink as you explore this small township. There are local wine tours run in the area, with knowledgeable locals guiding you through the region based on your personal wine taste and preferences.
These regions have become as much a destination for food as for wine. There is a diverse offering of gourmet food, fresh seafood, organic produce, handmade cheeses, and decadent desserts.
More and more cellar doors will offer platters of food or have their own restaurant attached to the winery.