More schnitzel than sambo and plenty of lederhosen in the Hills. The Germans took a liking to the region so you see a little piece of this history around the region, now and then. Hahndorf feels a little like a Germanic Disneyland theme village, but has a pleasant charm and a thriving food and wine scene. The region is a hop, skip and a jump from Adelaide; the high country sits on the outskirts of the city’s urban sprawl, but feels a million miles from the roaring hustle and bustle of Australia's favourite city of churches.
The region is a classic cool climate and the vineyard sites reach up to around 700 metres above sea level. The Adelaide Hills is divided into two sub-regions, Lenswood and the Piccadilly Valley – they offer high daily sunshine hours and even growing seasons, which the region highlights with its vast fruit growing capabilities. The region suits white wine varieties and Pinot Noir predominately, with benchmark Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and sparkling wine production.
The Adelaide Hills is playing a major role in Australia’s counter attack on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – examples are pristine, tightly wound, vibrant wines that proffer an individual style and in some cases a sense of terroir of the region. Sparkling wine production has also been on the rise with high acidity Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blends. Alternative varieties are also creating a slow burning buzz.
The region is known for its premium wines rather than bulk production with many producers classified as boutique. Wines are often called ‘elegant’, with the best examples showing restrained rather than overt flavour profiles. It is an excellent region for aromatics; white wines are particularly highly perfumed and often show potential for longevity.