There are many reasons why South Australia is the leading producer of wine in Australia, and one of them is the fact that there are 17 smaller wine regions within its overall scope. The climate and soil type vary tremendously from region to region. This diversity makes South Australia capable of cultivating a large number of different grape varieties.
The climates range from cool and wet to hot and arid. The Barossa Valley is often characterized as having a continental climate, while Southern Fleurieu is much more likely to be described as Mediterranean. If it weren't for modern techniques in irrigation, grape cultivation in the Adelaide Plains would be next to impossible because of the heat and lack of moisture. Other regions have changes in altitude that allow wine makers to choose a climate particular to the variety of grape they wish to grow.
Soil types throughout the area are no different. However, most of them involve clay and, if you dig deep enough, limestone as well. Even though the soil types differ greatly from each other, they all lend themselves to the cultivation of grape vines. In fact, the assortment of soil types is an advantage in that it allows winemakers to match varieties of grapes with their ideal soil, enhancing both the quality of the fruit and its yield.
It's because of these wide ranges in climate and soil that South Australia is able to produce more than half of all the grapes used for making wine in Australia. This comes as no surprise considering they use over 90 percent of the grapes they harvest just for that purpose [source: Atlas South Australia].
Read on to discover some of the famous wines born from this region.