When was the last time you had a white wine from South Australia?
March 2022 takes our #WorldWineTravel group to South Australia where we focus solely on white wine. Yes, you read correctly. We are exploring white wines in an Australian state where reds rule! Hosting the group this month, below I provide a high-level overview of the region, which is home to some of the world’s oldest established vineyards. Scroll down for information on joining us just in time for the spring equinox.
“White wine plays something of a supporting role in South Australia. A notable exception is the world-class Riesling that has emerged from the Clare Valley in the past few decades. Almost inevitably, Chardonnay is grown widely here, and higher-quality wines are being made in cooler areas such as the Adelaide Hills and the best sites in the Limestone Coast region. Among the less common white-wine varieties are Semillon, Roussanne, Viognier and Verdelho.” WineSearcher
South Australia Facts
One of Six States – Australia has six states (similar to a U.S. state)
Location – South central Australia. It runs along the southern end of the Great Australian Bight (open bay) and includes Spencer Gulf, the Gulf of St. Vincent, and the Southern Ocean.
Map courtesy of Wine Australia.
Climate – Extensive coastline and bays bring cooling influences, yet many areas can heat up, making the climate as diverse as the geology and soils. Climatic ranges span from the relatively warm temperate climate of the Barossa Valley to the maritime areas of McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu Peninsula’s Currency Creek, Langhorne Creek and Southern Fleurieu. Finally, the cooler Adelaide Hills region and the hot climate of the Riverland region on the Murray River.
Major White Grape Varieties – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Colombard, Riesling. Note Semillon, Roussanne, Viognier, and Verdelho are grown too.
Wine Production – A whopping 44% of Australian wine is made in South Australia!
Phylloxera Free – Yes, you read that correctly too! The root eating bug didn’t hit this area, thus it contains some of the oldest producing grapevines in the world.
Sustainable Mindset – Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is a national program for grape growers and winemakers touching the environmental, social, and economic aspects of the business. Both this program and ACO Certification (formerly Australia Certified Organic) are utilized by wineries in South Australia.
Reduce Use and Conserve – Research and projects abound to help wineries utilize less and reduce outputs (e.g. glass, water, energy, carbon emissions). See SAWIA and Green Industries SA.
Adelaide – Known as Australia’s wine capital and from what I read, a super base from which to explore with a ton of great restaurants.
Internationally Renowned Wildlife Haven – Kangaroo Island is a sanctuary for an extraordinary variety of native wildlife and vegetation.
Regions of South Australia
The state boasts 18 diverse regions, listed here with their total vineyard area. Recognize a few?!?
- Adelaide Hills- 3,957 ha (9,778 acres)
- Adelaide Plains- 567 ha (1,401 acres)
- Barossa– 11,609 ha (28,686 acres)
- Clare Valley – 5,093 ha (12,585 acres)
- Currency Creek – 1,032 ha (2,550 acres)
- Eden Valley – 2,169 ha (5,360 acres)
- Kangaroo Island – 144 ha (356 acres) smallest area
- Langhorne Creek – 6,069 ha (14,997 acres)
- McLaren Vale – 7,438 ha (18,380 acres)
- Riverland – 22,032 ha (54,442 acres) largest area
- Southern Fleurieu – 488 ha (1,206 acres)
- Southern Flinders Ranges – 5,176 ha (12,790 acres)
- Coonawarra – 5,784 ha (14,293 acres)
- Mount Benson – 54 ha ( acres)
- Mount Gambier – 274 ha (677 acres)
- Padthaway – 4,067 ha (10,050 acres)
- Robe – 677 ha (1,673 acres)
- Wrattonbully – 2,666 ha (2.5 acres)
“I think there’s a bit of a shift away from the more industrial-based approach to viticulture to more reliance on enhancing soil biology and natural systems. Our approach in the vineyard is one of nurture more than anything. It is about encouraging resilience, so vines can withstand the stresses of drought or hot summers.” Mike Harms
Why South Australian Whites
South Australia serves up a variety of terroirs, historical and newer winemaking techniques, and forward thinkers who value sustainable grape growing and winemaking methods. All of this make it an excellent choice to sip their white wines while welcoming spring in the Northern Hemisphere: the spring equinox is March 20th. Keen to join us? You might discover a new favorite white wine!
How to join with a blog article:
Send me an email sharing you are in: include blog url and title, Twitter handle, and any other social media details. You can message me in Facebook or contact me at lynn at savortheharvest.com.
Send your post title to me by Sunday, March 20th to be included in the preview post. Your title should include “#WorldWineTravel” on the tail end.
Include links to the other #WorldWineTravel March participants in your post, and a description of the event. I’ll provide the HTML code you can easily put in your initial post, which will link to people’s general blog url.
Publish your post between Friday March 25th and 8:00 a.m. PT on Saturday, March 26th.
We would love you to join our Twitter chat Saturday, March 26th at 8am PT, 17:00 CET using hashtag #WorldWineTravel
Once all the posts are live, I will send updated code so you can update your article with the permanent links to everyone’s #WorldWineTravel posts.
Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts’ to comment and share. We have a Facebook group for participating bloggers to connect and share, too.
To learn more about South Australian wines, head to Wine Regions Australia.
We’re really looking forward to this chat having been to Adelaide which is, as you note, a wonderful place with which to access several key regions. Still figuring out exactly what we’re going to focus on but loved this overview!
Glad you are joining the group this month. And based on your having visited, I’m looking forward to reading your article!
What a fantastic introduction to the South Australian wine region. I feel so informed now! Look forward to joining the event!
Very kind of you Deanna, chat on the 26th!