Riesling is the classic grape variety of Germany and one of the earliest varieties brought to South Australia. Cyril Henschke developed the Henschke reputation for premium Riesling wines as early as the 1950s, from the vineyard areas of Eden Valley, Keyneton and Springton.
These dry, food-oriented wines are clean and crisp and have the ability to age into delicious marmalade on toast flavors, due to the cool climate of the Eden Valley region. This region provides excellent ripening conditions for the Riesling grape and has a unique track record of exceptional aging potential for the variety.
The 2006 Julius Eden Valley Riesling is green gold in color. The nose is very lifted, floral and perfumed with rose petals, citrus blossom, lime/lemon zest, hints of slate and green peppercorns. The crisp, dry palate shows sweet fruit with rich flavors of lemon and lime, fresh acidity and excellent length.
The Henschke family have been making wine since Johann Christian Henschke planted a small vineyard at Keyneton in Eden Valley in 1862. Cyril Henschke pioneered varietal and single-vineyard wines, including the world-famous Shiraz wines, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone in the 1950s. Fifth-generation Stephen Henschke and his wife Prue are one of the most lauded winemaking teams in the world, and international awards recognize the complementary nature of their roles, Stephen as winemaker and Prue as viticulturist. To protect their vineyards for future generations they have implemented an inspiring nursery program to preserve the genetic heritage of their oldest pre-phylloxera vines as well as continuing to lead the way with organic and biodynamic principals to enrich their land.
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The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Right next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.