While as Kiwis we are strong advocates for New Zealand wine, and rightly so, there are also may stellar varieties available from other regions, such as South Australia.
With more than 700 wineries, mostly producing different varieties of red wine, the region produced a selection of styles that are not as well-represented from New Zealand producers.
It is well-noted that the rebirth of South Australian Grenache is garnering most of the attention from a trend perspective, but alternate varietals have well and truly established themselves as mainstays in the SA wine industry.
There has been a shift over recent times to look for varietals native to the Iberian peninsula, Italy, Greece, Austria, Germany and even Croatia.
Regionality has an influence with the likes of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional & Mencia planted in McLaren Vale, and alternate Rhone varieties planted across both the McLaren Vale and the Barossa – including Grenache Blanc, Carignan, Counoise, Roussanne, Picquepoul.
At altitude in the cool region of the Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo, Gamay and Grüner Veltliner are experiencing a surge in growth.
Get into Grenache
South Australian Grenache is making waves in Australia. This medium-bodied red shares some characteristics with Pinot Noir but winemakers are approaching Grenache with much more care and diligence.
In South Australian vineyards and wineries they are working with the variety much like their counterparts in Barolo do with Nebbiolo and in Burgundy with Pinot Noir.
They are blessed with vine age, cool sites, ancient soils – many sites sit on pure sand, and are working with various maturation vessels like ceramic eggs, amphora, Cocchiopesto’s (Italian terractta) and Foudres.
South Australia’s Phylloxera-free status allows wine to be produced from vines up to 160 years old, and the oldest continuous single vintage in the world with Barossa Valley’s Seppeltsfield ports dating back to 1878.
Offering wine from old vines all adds to the story creating a memorable wine experience at your liquor business.
With 18 unique wine regions known for their distinctive terroir and varietal excellence, South Australia has some famous sub-regions that wine lovers will recognise and be excited to explore.
From Clare Valley Rieslings, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignons, Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale Shiraz, to Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir and sparkling wines – there is a lot to discover.
Bucket list wines
Some of South Australian most-established and historic wineries are consistently named in the Top 50 Vineyards in the World at the World’s Best Vineyard Awards.
Examples include Penfold’s (Magill), Henschke and Seppeltsfield (Barossa Valley) and d’Arenberg (McLaren Vale).
South Australia itself was named one of the 12 Great Wine Capitals of the World, alongside Bordeaux in France, Napa Valley in the US and Bilbao Rioja in Spain, by Global Network Great Wine Capitals.
For more on South Australian wineries, click here.
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