I’m spending next Friday in Adelaide Hills, and in preparation for my trip I thought I would research the best wineries in the region, so I know exactly where to go and what to taste. Hard work, I know!
As many of you are aware, Adelaide Hills has developed an outstanding reputation for sauvignon blanc. Three of the top six 2009 sauvignon blancs (96 points) in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion 2011 edition are from the Adelaide Hills: Dandelion Vineyards Wishing Clock of the Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Geoff Weaver Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc and Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc.
The region is also highly respected for its elegant and complex Burgundian-style chardonnay. Fruit for Penfolds multi-region Yattarna – the 2007 vintage was the highest rated chardonnay (97 points) in Halliday’s Wine Companion, is sourced from the Adelaide Hills. Ashton Hills, Grosset, Michael Hall, Shaw + Smith and Ngeringa also make outstanding examples. Tapanappa, a joint venture between Brian Croser, Jean-Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch-Bages in Pauillac and Societe Jacques Bollinger, makes the very highly regarded Tiers Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay.
Petaluma, of course, makes an excellent range of sparking wines from its Piccadilly Valley vineyard, including the Croser Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV Sparkling and the vintage Croser Late Disgorged Piccadilly Vally Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling. Piccadilly Valley and Lenswood are the two registered sub-regions of the Adelaide Hills.
I was interested to learn that Shaw + Smith had won the Trophy for Best Australian Shiraz over 10 GBP at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards for the 2007 vintage of the Shaw + Smith Shiraz. Most people don’t normally associate the Adelaide Hills with shiraz, but a number of wineries in the area, including Bird in Hand and Romney Park Wines, are making very elegant cool-climate Rhone style shiraz with its characteristic savoury and peppery notes.
I would love your suggestions on wineries to visit and places to eat? Over the next few days, I’ll explore some of these wineries in more detail.