Riverland – Vineyard to the world!
Brimming with life, passion and natural beauty, there’s never been a better time to visit the Riverland. Read all about it here, check it out in 360-degree virtual reality, then experience this thriving wine region for yourself.
Located in South Australia, the Riverland is the largest wine-producing region in Australia. With a past rooted in scaled wine production and volume grape growing of traditional varieties, the last two decades has seen it expand its repertoire to alternative boutique handcrafted and sustainable viticulture and winemaking practices and include a host of alternative varieties that are perfectly suited to its dry hot conditions and sandy red loam. Its conscious choices and practice of environmentally advanced grape growing practices and water conservation has seen it emerge as a region at the forefront of sustainable production.
Traditionally undervalued and overlooked against other Australia wine regions, the Riverland is on the rise and now punching above its weight, successfully shaping the future as it embraces sustainable winemaking and the growing of alternative grape varieties suited to its warm, dry climate. A trend that is an aspect of sustainability and an emerging consumer interest in its own right.
Located approximately two and a half hours north east of Adelaide in South Australia. It extends for 330 km along the Murray River from Paringa to Blanchetown.
As a wine producing powerhouse, and as the Riverland grows and develops, impact on the environment and natural landscape is always a key consideration. Preservation of the River Murray and the surrounding land is paramount, with the livelihood of the Riverland residents depending on it. The Riverland is proud of its rich history of advanced irrigation technology. From the pioneering days of flooding furrows, through the advent of pressurised systems and overhead irrigation, to leading the world in precision irrigation drip technology, water is now applied to vines when and where it should be, optimising the productive benefit and conserving the region’s most precious resource.
The Riverland is now a powerhouse in wine production and accounts for 50% of South Australia's annual crush and up to 30% of Australia's total. Traditional grape picking and production techniques have evolved to the use of high technological and innovative practices with grand and impressive stainless-steel wine storage facilities.
CLIMATE, SOIL, GRAPE-GROWING + WINEMAKING
More than 70% of all the wines produced is exported to more than 130 countries. With such close links to consumers across the globe, vineyards and wineries are well positioned to adapt quickly and economically to emerging markets and variations in consumer preferences, including climate-change responses.
The move to alternative varieties, rootstocks and clones has been progressing steadily in the Riverland for almost 20 years. More than 30 varieties are currently produced in commercial quantities with a strong biodynamic and organic culture also thriving. The region’s red soils, readily available water, low levels of pest and disease and world’s best irrigation practices have enabled growers and winemakers, working together to compete successfully in increasingly challenging marketplaces, domestically and internationally.
Technology in vineyards and wineries is at the cutting edge. Productivity and efficiency together with the sheer scale of operations has been driven by a regional focus on research, development and extension.
Terroir, ‘a sense of place’, is often said to be captured in each bottle of the world’s fine wines. Despite being instrumental in selling a wine’s story and commanding a price premium (think of the famous vineyards of Burgundy or Barolo); terroir remains an enigmatic concept. There is broad agreement, that terroir is a combination of environmental factors (including climate / soil/ topography) but also human intervention that provide a wine its distinctive charms. Currently, we are unravelling Australia’s unique terroirs, and their relationship with fruit and wine quality and how management strategies can optimally highlight the terroir of a site or region. Yet, we do know that vine growth and development are the major drivers of wine (grape) style/quality. Canopy growth and development are primarily regulated by water availability, which is in turn controlled by soil type, rainfall pattern and irrigation. The Riverland wine region is unique in all these factors; no region can replicate its ancient red soils carved out over eons by inland river flows, its water source from one of Australia’s largest river systems or the area’s remarkable weather. Ultimately, its community (many of them progeny of immigrants from old world wine countries) of dedicated and innovative wine producers, the social pillar of terroir, whose respect for and intimate knowledge of their “place” are crafting exceptional world class wines, which are still too much of a well-kept secret.
The Riverland is poised, on the verge of the new wine era. It is very much a Region on the Rise.
There are currently 85 different wine grape varieties planted in the Riverland region. This consists of a mix of both traditional and alternative varieties chosen because they are perfectly suited to its Mediterranean like climate.
The most popular traditional varieties are detailed below and make up 66% of the regions total grapes grown.
However, with the rise of a sustainable wine grape growing mindset, and demand from an open-minded and sophisticated wine drinking public, alternative varieties are now carving out their influence. The most successful in the Riverland are those that are suited to its warm, dry climate and red sandy loam including:
Aside from wine, the Riverland region is home to a vast array and variety of gourmet food producers. Include a delicious bounty of clean, green and premium produce that is all grown and harvested with sustainable practices and discerning taste-buds in mind.
Take a peek at just some of these new-age companies using age-old practices and their gourmet treats and eats –
RIVERLAND ON THE VERGE – START EXPLORING
Explore and be immersed in the Riverland in 360 degrees virtual reality, by using your own, easy to assemble cardboard virtual reality (VR) goggles.
Scan the QR code, enter your contact and address details for your free VR goggles to be shipped directly to you. Or visit https://www.riverlandwine.com.au/wine-selectors.html
Check out our delicious range of Riverland wines here!