The Eden Valley, perched above the eastern side of the Barossa Valley, whilst not enjoying perhaps the same recognition and fame as its adjoining neighbour, is the source of many exceptional wines, including arguably Australia’s finest. Located at higher elevation – up to 500 meters above sea-level – tends to produce wines with a little more freshness and restraint than those of the Barossa Valley.
First plantings in the Eden Valley were in 1847, in what is now the Pewsey Vale vineyard, and there are a number of small, ancient vineyards scattered throughout. Most famous, of course, is Henschke’s jewel, the ‘Hill Of Grace’ vineyard, opposite an old Lutheran church, first planted in 1860 (with several hundred of those vines remaining to this day).
Like the Barossa Valley, Shiraz is king here. In fact, the bulk of all plantings are Shiraz, although Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also commonly found. As for whites, Riesling is perhaps the most successful variety, often rivalling those of the Clare Valley to its north. Eden Valley Rieslings are generally a little more floral and mineral-driven than those of the Clare, and whilst age worthy, tend to mature a little more quickly. Semillon is also notable here.