SOUTH AUSTRALIA IS AUSTRALIA'S WINE STATE, producing almost 80% of the country’s premium wine and renowned internationally as a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.
The state’s wine industry generates almost $1.8 billion in revenue, with $1.2 billion of this from exports to countries including the United Kingdom, China and Hong Kong, the US and Canada.
Regions such as the Barossa Valley are proud of being distinctive. Aside from having some of the world’s oldest vines, Barossa is unlike any other wine region in Australia or the world.
Over 150 years, about 750 expert vignerons in the Valley have blended their knowledge of the land and its climate with modern viticultural practice, creating a partnership with the 50 large and small wineries.
The Barossa isn’t a New World wine region like Chile or the United States; nor is it under centuries-old restrictions as in Europe.
The first German settlers used European experience and their descendants have adapted it to suit the soil and climate to develop a Barossa identity.
The Barossa wine industry developed differently from Europe where, traditionally, grape growers were winemakers. Although some Barossa growers did make their own, most sold their grapes to wineries.
Entrepreneurial English and German settlers built wineries and sold their wines to the vast market of wine consumers in London. The wealth of the English gentry enabled the valley’s commercial wine industry in the 1850s and 1860s but the real growth took place from 1880s onwards.