The Cabernet Sauvignon produced from vineyards around the Eden Valley village is of the highest quality, with perfectly ripened cassis-accented fruit flavours. These contrast with wine from higher, cooler sites that have more elegant undertones of green leaf and dark berry characters.
Chardonnay is a relative newcomer, with the first commercial vineyards in South Australia being established at Mountadam in 1973. The variety has proved to be highly successful and rich complex wines are being produced; their flavours range through a classic array of melon, fig and cashew.
The Eden Valley also has a proud Riesling tradition and is the most important white grape of the region. The wines have strong lime juice aromas with great intensity of flavour on the palate. As the wines age, marmalade and toasty nuances appear on nose and palate. Good Eden Valley Riesling will take ten years or more to reach its peak.
Shiraz ranks as the most important red grape and is often the most highly regarded wine of the region. Contrary to expectations, the wines rarely show the spicy and peppery characters of cool climate Shiraz from other parts of southern Australia. Rather, they tend to more luscious plum and blackberry fruit characters, with touches of liquorice and more gamey, forest characters. Structurally, the wines are very smooth, with ripe tannins that are integrated and well balanced, guaranteeing a long life.