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What you need to Know about The Festival of Adelaidean Shiraz 2014
Sunday, 1st June, 2014  - David Farmer

The Festival of Adelaidean Shiraz extends through the month of June and will provide you with many chances to purchase the best premium shiraz at excellent prices.

We use the term Adelaidean to encompass all of the vineyards which are part of the enormous area of the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia.

Shiraz dates back to the first vines planted at Adelaide in 1837. As settlements spread from Adelaide, shiraz followed and regions such as McLaren Vale (1840), Barossa Valley (1842) and the Clare Valley (mid 1840s) are now recognised as world class producers of this variety.

Here are the nine things you need to know to journey with us on this Festival.

1. The taste of shiraz from many premium South Australian regions is similar and we group them as Adelaidean Shiraz styles. In masked tastings it is extremely difficult to tell the regions apart. In a statistically meaningful way it may well be impossible.

2. The term Adelaidean shiraz is applied to these 13 regions which going south from the top left are:

South Flinders Range

Clare Valley

Barossa Valley

Eden Valley

Adelaide Plains - Gawler


Adelaide Hills


McLaren Vale

Langhorne Creek

Currency Creek

Fleurieu Peninsula

Kangaroo Island

Bold - Regions featured during the Adelaidean Festival.
Italics - Historic regions with little production.
Underlined - Regions which display warm climate tastes.

The 13 regions of the Festival of Adelaidean Shiraz

3. Of the 13 regions 4 have taste characters which at times are sufficiently distinctive to place them outside the idea of Adelaidean Shiraz and these are Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and from some parts Eden Valley.

4. The taste similarity of shiraz from the regions we examine in detail should not come as a surprise as they are part of a warm climate zone. From the southern Flinders Ranges to Kangaroo Island cover latitudes 33S to 36S or over 300 kilometres.

5. We take the view that the Adelaidean Shiraz region is more important than the Rhone Valley which makes similar styles and is some 180 kilometres in length. An old line of hills which can dissipate heat by cooling in the evening compares to a valley where the heat can be trapped.

6. While we list 13 regions it is far more profitable for the drinker to think of an overall taste and simply ask, which wine offers the best value today? Think of the whole Adelaidean area, not specific locations. Please do not say; 'I've never heard of Currency Creek and refuse to buy it'.

7. You will understand wine flavours better if you change from thinking of separate regions and see taste as a continuum which alters slightly across this vast region. Considering wines as belonging within boundaries is to miss understanding a more complex and more practical buying idea that good things can come from anywhere.

8. When you buy think of what is in the glass, then the price, next the location and finally I might add the variety. And of course our June Adelaidean Festival is based on the safest drinking red I know which is shiraz.

9. So please join Ben and me as we take you on a month long journey over the twisted rocks, scarps and valleys of the Mount Lofty Ranges and enjoy what we have discovered. Let the Festival of Adelaidean Shiraz begin.

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