That time of the year is coming. Christmas! And those who have followed the blog for some time know, that when Christmas comes, our little family takes off somewhere warm. For a month. This is our substitute for having a summer holiday. Most years, we have headed towards South East Asia. Its warm, affordable and easy living. No good wine though – just good beer and cocktails. However, this year will be different. Very different! We will take the plunge and head almost as far as one can go from Sweden, to Australia. And it will be a fantastic adventure. But before we go, I wanted to check out a few things about Australian wine.
What I cant get over is that Australia is such a big country. Its bigger than Europe. Almost. So traveling from one city to another, will be like traveling from Sweden to Spain or Portugal. Our route will include Sydney, Cairns, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Australia’s wine regions are spread out. On the west coast, there is Margaret river with its famous Sauvignon Blancs; in the east, New South Wales with Semillon and Chardonnay (we are considering a day in Hunter Valley while we are visiting Sydney); in the south Melbournes Yarra Valley with its Pinot Noir and way down south, Tasmania with fantastic sparkling wine production. And last but not least, one of our destinations, Adelaide, with Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and McLaren Valley, which I will spend some time on this post.
Adelaide Hills is known for producing cool climate wines. The first vines were planted way back in 1870. However, due to changes in climate and other reasons, wine production ceased for 50 years, and was reborn in 1979. Today there are around 100 producers in Adelaide Hills who have planted over 4,000 hectares of vines between them.
Adelaide Hills is a very diverse wine region, with many different altitudes and micro climates. That’s why the region is so interesting – many different types of wines are produced here. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were some of the first varieties to be planted here, but now the region is known for its Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and cool climate variations of Shiraz. There are also some interesting newcomers, such as Grüner Veltliner, Fiano, Sangioneve, Nebbiolo and Montepulciano. Wine makers are also experimenting with natural wine production in the region.
Other wine regions close to Adelaide include Barossa Valley and Mclaren Valley. Both within two hours of driving from Adelaide CBD. Barossa Valley (90 minutes drive from Adelaide) has a Mediterranean climate (warm summers and mild winters) is known for its Cabernets and Shiraz. McLaren Valley (30 minutes drive from Adelaide) is more accessible. There you will find world-class Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay as well as lesser-produced varieties such as Tempranillo, Marsanne, Rousanne and Sangiovese.
Sounds very promising does’t it! Adelaide will be our wine destination during our trip and I am hoping to taste some awesome wines from all over the island. We will leave for our trip on the 11th of December, so its about 30 days to go. There is already a countdown slip on the refrigerator door.