The Adelaide Hills region is just a short 20 minute drive east of Adelaide. Located in the Mount Lofty Ranges, a stretch of land, around 70km in length offering a wide variety of soil types.
The numerous twisting hills and valleys provide a huge diversity of vineyard aspects, slopes, altitude, soils, water catchments and macro climates which therefore offer a wide variety of growing conditions.
Due to its high altitude, 400 - 700 metres above sea level, the Adelaide Hills region experiences higher rainfall and cooler ripening conditions than other South Australian regions. It is therefore widely recognised as one of the premium cool climate wine regions of Australia.
Sauvignon Blanc is best suited to the cooler regions such as the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Wines from this variety have a distinct, crisp, passionfruit and guava fruit flavour, and are best when consumed young and fresh. This extremely popular variety today is a lively, easy-drinking style that is an excellent accompaniment to seafood dishes.
Unquestionably the most widely planted white grape variety around the world, and in Australia. Chardonnay is very expressive of the climate in which it is grown: in warm regions it produces wine with ripe peach flavours; in a moderate climate it produces melon flavours; and under cool conditions citrus notes appear. Some of Australia’s most popular Chardonnays are blends of grapes from a variety of warm and cool regions. Key Chardonnay regions in Australia include Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley, Tasmania and Margaret River. Chardonnay also lends itself to a great deal of winemaker expression, benefiting from numerous techniques including lees stirring, battonage, malolactic fermentation (in which malic acid is converted to lactic acid giving it a creamy mouthfeel) and maturation in oak barrels, which complements the rich fruit flavours. Unless specifically labelled as unwooded, most Chardonnays see some time in oak but this is applied judiciously with modern Chardonnays where elegance and balance are key. Australian Chardonnay wines are typically best drunk when relatively young (1-3 years), and are an exceptionally good accompaniment to a range of foods from seafood through most white and some red meats.
Chardonnay also makes great sparkling wine, either on its own (called 'Blanc de blancs') or blended with Pinot Noir and also Pinot Meunier.
Pinot Noir produces light to medium-bodied red table wine with a generous varietal flavour and elegant fine tannins. It flourishes in cooler climates, such as the Adelaide Hills, where the fruit of this early-ripening variety is allowed to slowly develop attractive flavours and aromas. Flavour profiles can range from black cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavours to savoury , with an earthy gamey complexity depending on where it was grown in the region and the winemaking techniques used. It goes well with light red meat dishes or quail and duck. Pinot Noir grapes can also be used for white sparkling wine when it is picked early and pressed quickly off the grape skins. It can be blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier to make a classic sparkling wine.