The Barossa Valley commands the fanfare for top-shelf Australian Shiraz much as Napa Valley does with American Cabernet Sauvignon. However, one of the secrets that a wine professional will happily share is that when looking for great value without sacrificing quality, look to the “neighborhood” of the iconic regions as there will be many of the same characteristics in the wine, just as likely without the price tag associated with their famous neighbors. Here is where the Eden Valley is able to shine, just next door to the Barossa Valley, located at the crossroads of quality and value.
Planted at high elevations between 700-2,000 feet (200-600m) above sea level, the region benefits from cooler temperatures than the neighboring Barossa Valley, but enjoys just as many hours of sunshine. With undulating hills and varied terrains, the soils are quite rocky, forcing vines to dig deep into the earth in search of nutrients and water. While Shiraz is the most important grape variety in the Eden Valley, Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon have all produced wines to critical acclaim across the region.
Its proximity to Adelaide, about an hour’s drive from the capitol city of South Australia, has made the Eden Valley a popular destination for visitors since the early days of settlement in the 1840s, and some of the oldest Shiraz and Riesling vines and vineyards in the world are located here. Despite its relatively small size (2,100 hectares/5,000 acres), the fruit from the Eden Valley is of such renown that it has become an indispensable component to the blend of many of Australia’s most iconic wines. With five generations of winemaking history, The Eden Valley is also the headquarters for many of Australia’s great wine families and has the history and future to remain one of Australia’s greatest wine regions for generations to come.