The Riverland is Australia’s largest winegrape region by tonnage produced. It is located north-east of the city of Adelaide, about 200km inland. The climate is Continental – long sunny days give way to noticeably cooler nights. 

 

The GI region is 4105 km2 in size and has a total of 22,032 hectares of vineyards. The main varieties grown in the region are Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

22,032ha
Total Vineyard Area
34° 23'S
Latitude
0-99m
Altitude
148mm
Growing season rainfall

Alternative Varieties

From Arneis to Zinfandel: As the region continues to grow and adapt to new conditions, grape growers and winemakers continue to explore new grape varieties with the view to delivering high-quality and delicious wines. Southern Mediterranean varieties such as Montepulciano, Vermentino and Nero d’Avola are showing real promise.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also grown extensively. Each is used as single varietal wines and in blends. The region’s warm temperatures tend to bring out the richer raspberry characteristics in the wines, while in cooler years the overall profile can demonstrate mint and blackcurrant.

Chardonnay

The Riverland boasts more Chardonnay plantings than the combined total of other regions in South Australia. Riverland Chardonnay often exhibits vivacious and ripe flavours. Oak is often used, and this supports the richness of the wines as well as adding further complexity.

Shiraz

Shiraz is currently the most significant red variety. It responds well to the region’s conditions and the resulting wines are often very approachable. Dark berries and plums are terms commonly used to describe the scent of Riverland Shiraz.

Top varieties grown in Riverland
Climate
  • The Riverland climate is Continental, resulting in long sunny days and noticeably cooler nights. 
  • Long sunshine hours ensure fruit ripens fully and low relative humidity results in little or no disease pressures.
Soil
  • The soils of the Riverland vary significantly. The two main types are river valley soils, consisting of sandy loams over clay subsoils, and Mallee soils on higher ground, consisting of wind-blown sands over lime and clay layers. 
  • Soils within the river valley, comprising loams and clays, were formed when fine clay and silt particles were deposited over the flood plain by the River Murray. 
  • On higher ground, the Mallee landscape is characterized by depressions and rises and consists of windblown sands over lime and clay layers.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.