Wine & Other Stories

Adelaide Hills Wine Region: Interview with Sarah Carlson

Written by Veronica Lavenia

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Australia is a young continent but with a very interesting winemaking tradition and potential.
Its climate, the versatility of the territories are just some of the elements that allow for a constantly growing agricultural entrepreneurship, also inducing many European entrepreneurs to invest in the purchase of vineyard lands.

The Adelaide Hills are among the most generous territories. With more than 90 wine labels and 50 cellar doors, the area is internationally recognized for its distinctive wines, viticulture and breathtaking landscapes.

The region is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges east of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. It extends in a narrow band about 70km long, the highest vineyards are found between 600 and 650m altitude in areas such as Crafers, Summertown, Piccadilly and Carey Gully.

©Adelaide Hills Wine Region-Cellar Doors

The Adelaide Hills are one of Australia’s largest geographic wine regions and among the most diverse in terms of climate, soil and topography. The region is made up of two registered sub-regions, Lenswood and Piccadilly Valley.

They are bounded to the north by the Barossa Valley to the south and by McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek to the south.

Let’s find out more from the words of Sarah Carlson, Executive Officer, Adelaide Hills Wine Region.

©Adelaide Hills Wine Region- KelseyZafiridis Photography

Where in Australia is the Adelaide Hills Wine Region located.  What are the peculiarities of the territory and its wines?

The Adelaide Hills Wine Region is located in southern Australia, stretching across the Mount Lofty Ranges which are picturesque hills surrounding the city of Adelaide.  It’s a mere 25 minutes’ drive east from the city to reach the heart of the Adelaide Hills wine region.

Adelaide Hills is the coolest climate wine region in South Australia, due to its altitude which ranges from 300 to 700 metres above sea level. This high altitude ensures lovely cool growing conditions, especially at night, which is perfect for retaining delicate flavours, aromas, and natural acidity in certain wine grape varieties.

©Adelaide Hills Wine Region

Can you briefly describe the areas of cultural and wine tourism interest of the Wine Region?

Visitors to the Adelaide Hills come for the artisanal wine, food, wellness, and luxury.

Around 55 cellar doors are dotted throughout the twisting hills and valleys of the Adelaide Hills. Being a relatively young wine region, many Adelaide Hills cellar doors are designed with stylish modernity, but a few are simple charming rustic sheds.

Some of South Australia’s most acclaimed restaurants are found in Adelaide Hills wineries such as The Lane Vineyard, Pike & Joyce, Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard, and Sidewood Estate. Gourmet food is found everywhere from locally made cheese, handmade confectionery, and jams. Picking your own fruit is also a favourite pastime.

Because of its exceptional beauty and spectacular views, many visitors come to the hills to relax and unwind with wellness in mind. For example, there’s the indulgence of a day spa at Longview Vineyard or luxury accommodation at Mount Lofty House.

For more information including maps of cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills, please see:

©Cayuga Lake Wine Trail-Riesling Buttonwood

How many wineries are there in your Region and what type of wines are produced?

Tiny vineyards are dotted among its twisting valleys, both on steep slopes and undulating hills, offering a wonderful diversity of sites. There are over 200 grape growers and 90 wine producers. Many of the wineries are small and artisanal, with each crafting a handful of wines that capture a specific terroir perfectly.

©Adelaide Hills Wine Region

Most notably the region is recognised for its excellence in cool climate styles of traditional varieties of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

Many growers also champion alternative varietals, with highlights being Grüner Veltliner (having the largest plantings of this variety outside of its original home in Austria) and numerous Italian red varieties such as Nebbiolo, Barbera and Sangiovese.

©Cayuga Lake Wine Trail-Vineyard view buttonwood

Why are wines of this region so special?

Creative and adventurous, the producers of the Adelaide Hills have always believed in the potential of the region to make world-class wines. It’s a relatively young wine region, even by Australian standards. Wine-grape growing and winemaking was revived here in the early 1970s by a handful of highly knowledgeable and committed vignerons, after its early period from the 1840s to 1920s. Today this vision of producing outstanding world-class wines is a reality, with the sustainable cool climate wines made here capturing the exceptional beauty and diversity of the region.

About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Writer, book author and magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in the most popular International magazines.
Digital Content Manager and Communication Manager at "The Wolf Post", since the birth of the platform.

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