Sunday, November 4, 2007

Adelaide Hills Wine Region

Who would swap a view of Sydney Harbour, with the Harbour Bridge on one side, and the Opera House on the other, for a view of the Adelaide Hills? Only someone passionate about great food and wine.

The Adelaide Hills is an environment that easily surpasses even Sydney Harbour. It can truly be more delightful than the Harbour, yet many visitors (and even some locals) are unaware of what is available within 20 minutes of the Adelaide CBD. Imaging a different view around each bend in the road. A distinct four seasons throughout the year, with the colours and vibrancy which they bring, and a lovely cool climate. Making the journey to the region brings you more in touch with how food (and wine) are produced and the experience of eating produce purchased directly from the growers, fresh, in season, and full of flavour, cannot be surpassed. The Adelaide Hills Wine Region is one of Australia's premier cool climate wine regions, defined as part of the Mount Lofty Ranges which has an altitude of above 400 metres. It covers a 70km strip from Kuitpo in the south to Williamstown in the north.

To put the Adelaide Hills into a global context, it is warmer than Marlborough in New Zealand, and similar to Burgundy in France. The folds and undulations of the Adelaide Hills creates a wide range of climates. In an attempt to exploit these differences the vineyards tend to be small and often steep. It is possible, with appropriate site selection and careful vineyard management to get shiraz and even cabernet sauvignon ripe.

The Hills region has cool nights throughout the growing season, due largely to the altitude. This natural range in diurnal temperature is critical for slow, even ripening and especially important in terms of natural acid retention in the grape juice. This enhances the development of aroma and flavour profiles in the finished wine. Resulting in checky little chardonnays, voluptuous pinot’s and of course vibrant sauvignon blancs. Its an ideal region for a foodie.

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