Barossa Wine and Tourism: www.winebarossa.com
Eden Valley Wine Growers Group: no website
Eden Valley region
The Eden Valley lies just east of the Barossa Valley and is most famous for its Rieslings and some of Australia's best Shiraz such as Hill of Grace. The Eden Valley is a cool climate region nestled between 380 and 600 metres in the Barossa Ranges. It is actually not a valley but takes its name from the township of Eden Valley.
The boundary with the Barossa Valley runs through Angaston. The main towns are Moculta, Keyneton, Eden Valley and Springton. It is hilly, rocky terrain with ironstone, shales and slates protruding from the ground all over the place. The gravelly soils are also capable of producing some of Australia’s most iconic wines showing delicacy and finesse (foresty black cherry rather than the pepper of typical cool climate Shirazes) alongside power and depth.
Not surprisingly it shares similar historic roots as the German and English settlers who settled in the adjacent Barossa Valley in the 1840s.
Yalumba has substantial vineyard holdings, and a winery at Angaston, the site of the first vines planted by founder Samuel Smith in 1849. The Henschke family have also been there since the 1860s. The Eden Valley is most famous for its Rieslings (Leo Buhring, Pewsey Vale, Heggies and Karl Seppelt) which at their best have a floral lemon-lime flavour to it when young with a classic slatey minerally backbone. Like the best Clare Valley Rieslings they also develop complex toasty features with ageing over at least a decade.
However, it is not just a classic Riesling spot. The Eden Valley in its warmer lower reaches also produces some of Australia’s best Shiraz, most notably the legendary Henschke’s Hill of Grace (Australia’s most expensive and coveted red after the Grange Hermitage). For those of us with more modest wallets Thorn-Clarke’s Quartage can be one of Australia’s best value Bordeaux blends in better vintages.
One of the region’s contemporary pioneers was David Wynn of Coonawarra. He first planted Chardonnay on his Mountadam property in the southern area that is now registered as the High Eden Sub-region that also includes famous Riesling vineyards of Pewsey Vale and Heggies.
The Eden Valley also produces some of Australia’s finest Viognier, first pioneered in the country by Yalumba. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc also do well here but so far not at the world class levels of the Riesling, Shiraz and Viognier. Penfolds make a convincingly varietal Gewurztraminer from their Woodbury Vineyard. Irvine Wines have also been having great success with their powerful Merlot.
It is mainly a vineyard area with the wine tourism largely an adjunct to the powerhouse of Barossa Valley wine tourism. However, while in the Barossa it is worth taking a detour and visiting the handful of scattered cellar doors such as Henschke, Thorn-Clarke, Karl Seppelt’s or Mountadam. For the non-motorists the Mawson cycling trail to the Barossa Valley via the Mt. Crawford forest passes close to Mountadam winery. top
Several of the small boutique producers (such as Eden Hall, Flaxman, Heathvale, Radford, Poonawatta Estate and Torzi Matthews) have gotten together and established the Taste Eden Valley Wine Centre that acts as a collective cellar door in Murray Streey, Angaston and is open six days a week (not Tuesday).