As the gateway to 18 outstanding wine regions, including the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale, it comes as no surprise that Adelaide has been selected to join the exclusive Great Wine Capitals of the World group.
South Australia, home to the National Wine Centre and Australian Wine Research Institute, produces 80 per cent of Australia’s leading wine. There are more than 200 cellar doors within an hour’s drive of the city centre and key Adelaide vineyard Penfolds, on the city fringe, was recently named World’s Most Admired Wine Brand by Drinks International in a poll of almost 200 experts.
Thanks to some of the world’s most rigorous biosecurity measures, South Australia has been kept free of phylloxera, which has blighted European grape plantings. This means the state is home to some of the world’s oldest vines. The vines used for Henschke’s Hill of Grace shiraz, for example, date back to the 1860s; Kalleske’s Johann Georg Shiraz is a single-vineyard wine produced from grapes planted in 1875; and Pewsey Vale in Eden Valley has vines dating back to 1847.
In addition, the state has recently seen a blossoming of young, innovative winemakers who embrace alternative varietals, organic farming and minimal-intervention natural winemaking principles. Basket Range, in the Adelaide Hills, is home to a community of progressive winemaking labels such as Ochota Barrels (a favourite of Mick Jagger), Gentle Folk Lucy and BK Wines.
Great Wine Capitals, established in 1996 by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce, encompasses the Old and New worlds of wine, including Bilbao in Spain for its Rioja; Bordeaux, France; South Africa’s Cape Winelands; Porto in Portugal; the Napa Valley in the US; and the Casablanca Valley in Chile.
Adelaide’s wine regions are a worthy addition.
South Australia features some of the world’s oldest vines, produces 80 per cent of Australia’s leading wines and is home to the National Wine Centre and Australian Wine Research Institute.