Situated in the northern Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia’s Clare Valley was settled in the late 1830s, with the first vineyards planted and wines produced in the early 1840s. The same features that make the Clare Valley inherently beautiful are also the foundation of Clare’s famed vineyards. The climate features a warm to hot summer, but cooling afternoon breezes play a major role in slowing down the ripening process.
Some of Australia's finest Riesling is grown in the Clare Valley, and the region also produces many other wine styles, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
McLaren Vale is one of the great and oldest names of Australian wine. The birthplace of wine in South Australia, it lies just south of the capital city of Adelaide and offers a multiplicity of soils which bask under a Mediterranean climate. Today, although it has over 7,500 hectares under vine and with demand for its wines at an all-time global high, it retains much of the innovative spirit that it was born with. Much of that spirit of innovation stems from the fact that the Vale still has many boutique wineries who are continuing to push the boundaries in the search for perfection.
The Barossa Valley is an extremely important South Australian wine-producing region, particularly associated with powerful red wines from the grape variety Shiraz. A prestigious and internationally renowned region, it is not only home to some of the oldest vineyards and wineries in Australia but produces some of its most recognizable and sought-after brands. The region lies in the (very flat) 'Valley' created by the North Para river, which connects the main towns of Nuriootpa, Tanunda and Lyndoch.
Located at a latitude of 34°S, the region's geography is dominated by valley floors and rolling hills. The growing season gets gradually hotter and drier, with temperatures during the last phase of ripening often reaching more than 95°F (35°C). This results in vine stress, which, along with a wide diurnal temperature range, helps to concentrate flavors in the grapes.
The landscape of the Grampians wine region is renowned for its natural beauty and produces wines with a rare combination of elegance, beauty and power. Vineyards were first planted in 1867 and included grape varieties so rare that several have defied all attempts at identification and are, in all probability, the sole surviving examples in the world.
Nowhere in Victoria is the link between gold and wine more pronounced than in the 1.6 kilometres (one mile) of underground drives that run through Seppelt's Great Western. These drives were excavated by hand by unemployed miners after the gold rush was over in the 19th century.