Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Barossa Valley

Today I will tell you a little about the Barossa Valley. Our vineyards are located on the Barossa valley floor NE of Tanunda nestled close to the foothills of the beautiful Barossa ranges. For people who don’t know, the Barossa Valley is located about 1 hours drive North of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The Valley Floor is about 320 meters (1000 feet) above Sea level (where our vineyards are located). The Barossa GIC (this stands for geographic indications committee) is made up of 2 sub regions. They are Eden Valley and Barossa Valley.
Eden Valley is the high altitude area, up to 1000 meters (3000 feet) above sea level. This is located on the East side of the GIC and is cooler than the valley floor and so grows very good Rieslings and Chardonnays but is also capable of some very nice Red’s such as Shiraz and Cabernets. There are also some plantings of more unusual varieties like Viognier getting a name for themselves.
The Barossa Valley is the other sub region of the Barossa GIC. This area is where all of our vineyards are located. Wine grapes have been grown here since 1842 soon after white settlement started in this area. The Barossa floor has been proved to be one of the best places in Australia to grow grapes, if not the World. We have a Mediterranean climate (that is hot dry summers, cool wet winters). We receive just over 500 mm (19 inches) of rainfall, we are able to give or vines up to another 100mm (4 inch) in supplementary irrigation (we have never given our vines that much, normally 40-80mm is the most they get). Most varieties of wine grapes have been planted somewhere on the valley floor. In the 1940’s and 50’s the Barossa was best known for our fortified wines. Now the star performer is Shiraz for full bodied table wines. But the Barossa can grow virtually any grapes well. Our vineyards have about 12 different varieties of grapes in them. I will tell you more about them in a future post. Map thanks to AWBC.

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