At 72,000 ha, South Australia is the engine room of the country's
wine industry, responsible for 43% of its vineyards and encompassing some of
Australias most famous fine wine regions.
One of the most important quality areas is the Barossa Valley,
beginning 50km north-east of Adelaide, famous for its full-bodied Shiraz, as
well as for its Grenache and Mourvèdre. To the east, the cool Eden Valley is
home to some really fine Riesling and some top-class Shiraz, such as that made
by Henschke. To the
north of Barossa is the Clare Valley, also
a source of good Riesling but home to well-structured reds as well.
South-east of Adelaide lies the delightful vineyard area of the Adelaide Hills,
where fine Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir are produced by
wineries such as Petaluma and
Estate. Langhorne Creek to
the east of Adelaide has earned a reputation for its Cabernet Sauvignon,
Verdelho, Shiraz. Between Adelaide and the sea, McLaren Vale is a
noted area for red wines.
The unique vineyard region of Coonawarra lies 400km
south east in an area of pure limestone topped by a red, loose topsoil. Cool
enough to resemble Bordeaux, this area produces great Cabernets and Merlots and is much in demand.
Slightly to the north and to the west lie the regions of Padthaway and Mount Benson
respectively which enjoy similar success as a source of great white wines,
esp. Chardonnay. Wrattonbully
is known for its fresh varietally pure Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
However its the less-distinguished Riverland region that accounts for 50%
of the states wine production.