South Australia - Barossa Zone - Barossa Valley

5 important questions on South Australia - Barossa Zone - Barossa Valley

Describe the geography and climate of Barossa Valley

  • One of the largest wine regions of Australia.
  • The protected plain gives it a warm hot climate with cooler nights
  • Protected by:
    • West: low hills
    • East: Eden Valley
    • South: steep parts of Mount Lofty Ranges aka Adelaide Hills
  • Rainfall low, irrigation needed
  • Disease pressure is low
  • Most vineyards at 250-370m; ripe full bodied red wines
  • on valley side it is a little cooler

Describe the soil and main grapes of Barossa Valley

  • Complex variety of soils
  • North: Ironstone layer good for water retention, for most age worthy wines
  • Lack of phylloxera
  • signature variety is Shiraz, 60%: dry farmed, low yielding bush vines
  • World's oldest vines, also Grenache
  • 2nd most planted is Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 10% is white

What makes Barossa Valley Shiraz so unique?

  • Planted in 1840, world's oldest vines
  • Bush vines, dry farmed, own rootstock
  • 60% of the harvest
  • Full bodied, high %abv, high tannins, pronounced ripe black fruit
  • Many aged in new American oak, but trend moving towards French oak
  • Two styles: also fresher more elegant style.
  • Can age, developing spicy, leathery aromas.

Next to Shiraz, what other black grape varieties are important in Barossa Valley, why?

Cabernet Sauvignon (2nd)
Grenache (old and new vines); for Rhône style blends

Barossa Valley has 10% of white plantings, which are they? What style of wine do they produce?

  • Chardonnay: high quality, warm climate style; full bodied, ripe tropical fruit
  • Semillon: distintive style; higher alcohol, lower acidity, more body vs Hunter Valley
  • Premium wines are fermented and aged in French oak

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