Situated in the Mount Lofty ranges at an altitude of 1,800', this is Australia's premier cool climate region. Chilly evenings and sun-drenched days make this area ideally suited to early ripening varieties, praised most for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In the foothills of the Victorian Alps, along 2,000 feet slopes, Alpine Valleys' vineyards are snow-clad in winter and bathed in warm sun during summer. Ancient river flows created granite-based soils that produce flinty, minerally wines.
Founded by German Lutherans in 1847, Barossa is the heartland of gutsy, seductive Australian Shiraz. A warm inland region 50 miles north-east of Adelaide, its weathered, rolling hills and clay/loam soils make for a myriad of microclimates.
While some 44,000 acres of densely-planted Gamay Noir produce a swath of quaffable Beaujolais annually, devotees hold that Cru Beaujolais is where it’s at. Morgon, Fleurie, and Moulin-à-Vent, are three of the ten Crus that satisfy us on every level. The individually-staked gobelet vines thrive in the manganese-rich, schist soils and produce complex, structured, age-worthy reds. This soil structure provides a minerally edge to the raspberry and dark red fruit characters typically seen.
Maritime climate with short, mild winters and hot summers, autumn and winter rains. The weather is moderated by influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.
From Chablis in the north to Beaujolais in the south, humble Burgundian vignerons have farmed the world's most parcelized vineyards since the 13th century. Climates vary from inclemently continental to mild and agreeable; soils, from Jurassic limestone through alkaline clay and manganese-rich schists.
Located on the south island of New Zealand, Central Otago is ideal Pinot Noir country. Careful site selection has resulted in pristine wines showing both power and finesse, leading to industry growth in the area. Picturesque vineyards are now found throughout the breath-taking Middle Earth landscape.
Few wine regions garner as much attention as Champagne. Situated east of Paris, this unique region produces sparkling wines through a strictly regulated process from just three grapes:Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Altitude plays a hand in the Clare's cool continental climate, ensuring crisp night temps that envelop the grapes and retain natural acidity. Boutique in both stature and philosophy, Clare Valley is sought after for mineral-driven, age-worthy Riesling and Shiraz.
Flat as a board and measuring only 9 x 1.5 miles, Coonawarra is defined by a band of intensely red topsoil ("terra rossa") overlying a bed of soft limestone. This soil profile and the cool continental climate are nirvana for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Chardonnay.
Heathcote's 600 million year-old Cambrian volcanic soil is bright red mineral-laden. The best vineyards straddle a north-south ridge creating distinctly regional Shiraz. Yields are naturally restricted by low annual rainfall and dry farming is common.
Since the 1830s, these vineyards have used summer rainfall, afternoon cloud cover and sea breezes to temper an otherwise warm to hot climate. Semillon and Shiraz develop immense complexity with age rewarding the patient enthusiast.
Located 30 kilometers from the sea, this area enjoys a Mediterranean climate with low rainfall and warm, dry summers. The sweeping vineyards benefit from cool North winds and “Tramontane” which blow over the mountains towards the sea and warm Mediterranean sunshine which, together, protect the vines and keep them vigorous.
The Limestone Coast wine region sits in the southeast of South Australia and is a conglomerate of constituent regions that include vineyards and wineries within Coonawarra, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Wrattonbully and Robe. The alluvial soil of the Limestone Coast sits atop 26 million year old limestone caverns providing excellent drainage. Limestone Coast wine styles vary accordingly within its sub-regions. Cooler parts of the Limestone Coast allow for longer ripening periods to produce more medium weight red wines and leaner white wines. Warmer regions of the region produce fuller flavored, riper, bolder whites and reds.
Margaret River sits atop an ancient granite strip measuring 60 miles in length and surrounded by ocean on three sides. Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc excel, but it's Chardonnay that has brought the region most critical acclaim.
Marlborough's dramatic topography combined with a cool maritime climate, marked diurnal temperature variations and free-draining alluvial soils make it one of the world's great wine regions. Known foremost for Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is gaining international recognition for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.
This region's temperate maritime climate is created by bordering Mount Lofty Ranges to the east and the cool Southern Ocean to the west. Warm days and cool nights create a perfect environment for maintaining great acid balance with rich, ripe fruit. Many varieties thrive here, yet the Rhone varietals stand-out as the star performers.
Unique for the diversity of soils found in such a small geographic area, Napa Valley and its 15 sub appellations possess distinct microclimates and terrains, imprinting recognizable traits on the grapes grown within them from Cabernet Sauvignon to Chenin Blanc.
The city of Paso Robles, situated 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, is in San Luis Obispo County, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The area is characterized by warm, clear days, generally unencumbered by clouds, fog or severe winds. Nighttime temperatures drop by approximately 40 degrees, cooled by a marine layer that moves over the region after sunset. Proximity to the ocean, orientation of the numerous canyons and valleys, and varying elevations produce diverse macroclimates, allowing production of both cool and warm loving winegrape varieties. There are four general soil associations, primarily formed from the weathering of granite, serpentine, shale and sandstone.
Côtes De Provence is the largest AOC in Provence as well as the oldest wine making region in France and rosé was one of the first wines to be produced there. Today, Provence devotes over 88% of its production to rosé wines. The Mediterranean moderates the temperatures and the famous “Mistral” wind keeps the vineyards dry, free of pests and the skies clear. The geography is diverse with numerous mountain ranges that texture the landscape providing gentle slopes (vines love hills!) and sheltered valleys. The soils are diverse as well. Limestone rules in the western part of Provence where the land was once covered by a warm, shallow ancient sea. Travel east and the soil is mostly chrystalline schist (granite) and, in one small area, volcanic.
The result of an extreme climate, a mysterious varietal heritage and century-old blending skills, Rutherglen's wines are unique the world over. Fruit shrivels on the vine during fall, accumulating sugar for the complex fortified wines produced.
In Santa Barbara County, the north-south coastal range of mountains abruptly turns to run almost east-west for 50 miles, framing the valleys in a unique transit to the Pacific Ocean. This is the only stretch of land from Alaska to Cape Horn constituting an east-west traverse. The unique topography allows the flow of fog and ocean breezes to shape distinct microclimates and makes the region one of the coolest viticultural areas in California. However, warmer daytime temperatures in the inland areas allow a wide variety of winegrapes to be grown. Terrain and climates vary widely, from steep, wind-swept hillsides to rolling inland valley vineyards where summer temperatures often reach the century mark.
Climatically ideal for Pinot Noir, Tasmania has a cool to moderate maritime climate, heavily influenced by cooling western winds. This picturesque region, adorned by jagged peaks and pristine lakes, has proven to be a noteworthy force in the creation of premium cool-climate wines.
The NW corner of Chainti rests on the hills between the Montalbano and Arno valleys. The mild, even climate lends suppleness to the oft-astringent Sangiovese. Here, soils are riddled with seashells imparting minerality and complexity to DOCG and IGT wines.
Successful cool-climate viticulture is protected by the Coast Range to the west, the Cascades to the east and a series of hill chains to the north. Pinot Noir has put Willamette Valley on the wine map, but it consistently earns top honors for Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc.
Rolling hills and steep valleys characterize this cool, inland region 32 miles east of Melbourne. Grapes were first planted in the mid-1800s on loam/clay-based soils that have since proven ideal for the cultivation of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.