Adelaide Plains

The Adelaide Plains region has a dry yet maritime climate, with a very low incidence of disease. The region is hot and arid, with an annual rainfall among the lowest of any Australian wine region.  Most production is processed in the Barossa Valley, with the exception of a number of small producers who have shown just what can be achieved with the fruit of the region.

The soils in the area are excellent and readily support high yields. The main styles produced are Chardonnay, Colombard, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

34° 41'S
Latitude
20m
Altitude
130mm
Growing season rainfall

Cabernet Sauvignon

A medium to full-bodied, forward, ripe style Cabernet Sauvignon has long been a mainstay of the Adelaide Plains and is often blended with Shiraz or Merlot.

Chardonnay

Most of the Chardonnay produces wine of a medium to full-bodied style, with tropical fruit and ripe peach flavours. 

Colombard

This variety is particularly suited to hot climates, thanks to its ability to retain relatively high levels of natural acidity. For this reason it is much prized as a blend component. Here, however, Colombard can produce a wine with an appearance and flavour profile similar to that of Sauvignon Blanc.

Shiraz

In the hands of the region’s small producers, this wine can have remarkable quality, showing a totally unexpected touch of spice that is normally reserved for cooler climates. Winemaking skills have no doubt played a part, but it demonstrates what can be achieved with grapes grown on mature vines and with controlled yields.

Top varieties grown in Adelaide Plains
Climate
  • The climate is hot and rainfall is extremely low during the growing season, so viticulture is made possible by irrigation and summer's south-westerly sea breezes. 
  • The growing season rainfall of only 192 millimetres (7.56 inches) is as low as in any Australian region. 
  • The compensation is a climate in which it is very easy to ripen large crops of grapes in a virtually disease-free environment. 
Soil
  • There are two soil types. The most common is the ubiquitous red-brown loamy sands found through so much of south-eastern Australia, with alkaline subsoils and free limestone at deeper levels. These are excellent viticultural soils that readily support the typically high yields of the region. 
  • There are also smaller patches of heavier loam and cracking clay soils which are very different in structure but, once again, tend to alkalinity rather than acidity, promoting vigorous vine growth.