The Riverland is a one hell of a big wine region. Some say bigger than Texas, probably right there, but don't quote us on that. All we know is, is that it’s really big and they grow a lot of grapes for wine there. Well, we know a little more than that, but that's the most important thing about Riverland – its size. This is the powerhouse of wine grape growing in Australia. The biggest fruit bowl, contributing to a huge amount of wine, and with a specialty in bulk grape production for the big companies.
The Riverland makes up almost half of South Australia's total crush at vintage and is said to single handedly account for a quarter of ALL of Australia's production. The majority of the region creates fruit for wines that are shipped overseas and there are around 1,300 grape growers working towards the massive total of wine produced.
But don't let the size of the region intimidate you. Key wineries in the region produce some of Australia's best value for money wines, many of which are keenly priced and broadly enjoyed. The noble varieties of Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc are most commonly found in wines from the region, offering early drinking, sunshine-in-a-bottle styles. As the wine industry is a major industry in the region, production facilities are generally built on a grand scale. But a depth of wine grape growing history in the region and a sense of family owned business gives the Riverland the edge over other large-scale wine regions.
And while the region features hectares and hectares of vineyards, there is a vibrant local food and wine culture, which is rapidly being populated by boutique producers, keen to show the potential and diversity of the region.