January 29 2016 Why the Adelaide Hills Produce such Great Wine Why the Adelaide Hills Produce such Great Wine The Adelaide Hills region is a narrow strip within the Mt Lofty Ranges that runs to the east of Adelaide, stretching from its border with Eden Valley in the north to McLaren Vale in the south. The Adelaide Hills region is defined by its elevation, taking in only the areas that have an elevation greater than 300m. At 700m, Mt. Lofty is the highest peak in South Australia. And although this may be considered insignificant by mountaineering standards, it is highly significant when it comes to making wine. It has been said that the international success of Australian wine in the 1990s was due, in part, to its ability to capture “sunshine in a glass”. In essence, the warmer wine regions of Australia are able to produce wines with great fruit flavour - something an emerging wine consuming society was looking for. What was not recognised at that time was that some cooler Australian wine regions are also able to produce wines of great finesse, depth and complexity; the exact traits that are highly regarded in Old World wines. The Adelaide Hills is a case in point. As a wine growing region, the Adelaide Hills has proved its ability to produce wines that can take on the best in the world, and beat them. It produces wines with elegant fruit characters, fine acidity, depth of flavour and great complexity. Where to plant and what variety to plant are the most import decisions to be made when choosing to grow grape vines. Site selection, which takes in climate, soil, altitude, aspect and exposure to sunlight and heat, is key to making fine wine. The Adelaide Hills has become an internationally recognised region because it offers ideal conditions and diverse, ancient soils that grow vines that will result in balanced crops, good berry size and fine, complex flavours. The Adelaide Hills region, and in particular its highest vineyard elevations, is classified as a cool climate wine region. Higher elevation results in cooler temperatures as, for every 100 metres in elevation, the temperature drops by roughly 0.5°C. Wines from cooler climates show finer and more elegant aromas and flavours than the same variety from warmer climates. Cool climate Chardonnay, for example, shows more citrus and white peach fruit characters whereas warm climate Chardonnay has more fig, mango and pineapple traits. Wolf Blass Adelaide Hills wines include Gold Label Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Gold Label Sauvignon Blanc, White Label Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, Gold Label Chardonnay, White Label Cabernet Sauvignon and Gold Label Syrah.