Over the last decade, a band of exceptional producers crafting cool-climate wine has been emerging in Australia. Signature regions include Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and Yarra Valley, you will certainly find some delights. Let’s explore the stories behind them!
The Adelaide Hills is one of Australia’s largest geographical wine regions, and amongst the most diverse in terms of climate, soil, and topography. With the higher altitude and cooler climate that stand out from other regions of the state, Adelaide Hills is the leader in stylish, refreshing, elegant cool-climate Shiraz, defying the big, bold caricature of Australian Shiraz. It has been hailed as “one of Australia’s great Pinot Noir regions” by James Suckling. It enjoys a strong international and domestic reputation as the hotbed of creativity, and the home to revolutionary winemakers who lead the evolution of Australian wine in recent years.
Tasmania is known as a leading producer winning high praise and accolades from wine lovers and critics when it comes to premium cool climate wines. It has a whole lot of wine history that most don’t know about – its first recorded vineyard was planted way back in 1823 and Australia’s first sparkling wine was made in Tasmania in 1826. With a moderate maritime climate as an island, cooled by prevailing westerly winds off the Southern Ocean, the region provides conditions free of extremes in temperature. Mild spring and summer temperatures with warm autumn days and cool nights allow the grapes to ripen slowly on the vine, which helps them develop intense flavours with a refreshing structure and natural balance.
The Yarra Valley is a world-renowned cool-climate region, with varying elevations and a diverse landscape capable of producing classic styles across a range of varieties. The first wine-growing district of Victoria with 160 years of winemaking history, Yarra Valley has been revitalised to be one of the most exciting wine regions in Australia in recent years, with a wave of “new generation” winemakers who create wines with purity and precision that are truly rooted to the origins. Pinot Noir takes pride of place in this cool-climate region of incredible diversity in soil types, elevations, and microclimates. Cabernet from the Yarra Valley wine region is rich and full-flavoured but often a little lighter than wines from warmer regions. Many can be aged for 10 to 20 years or more.