South Australia

The state of South Australia once produced close to 75% of all Australian wines in the 1940s and 50s but with the massive country-wide expansion of the industry in the 70s and 80s, now produce just under 50%. The Barossa Valley, just west of Adelaide the state capitol is the industry’s historic centre but other regions nearby have also garnered considerable fame: McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, the Clare Valley are the most obvious examples. Newer, cooler regions such as the Adelaide Hills and the Limestone Coast are growing and gaining fame as well. North of Adelaide, straddling the Murray River, the vast, irrigated plantings of the Riverland produce over 50% of South Australia’s crush, and over 30% of the entire Australian production, much of it inexpensive bulk and box wines. South Australia’s fame was once based primarily on Shiraz and Grenache in Barossa and McLaren Vale, and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the terra rossa limestone soils of Coonawarra but other varietals are beginning to be associated with emerging regions as well: Chardonnay in Padthaway and the Adelaide Hills; Riesling in the Clare and Eden valleys to name just a few. South Australia, remarkably, is free of the vine scourge Phylloxera and remains vigilant to maintain that extremely fortunate status.

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