The Hills are alive with wine-lovers' delights

THE Adelaide Hills wine region is a diverse range of geology and topography. It edges McLaren Vale to the south and the Barossa Valley to the north. The elevation (from 300 metres to 710 metres above sea level) means cooler temperatures in summer, with higher, dependable rainfall during winter months. There are records of original plantings of grapes in 1839, but it wasn't until 1979 that the region boomed. Now there are almost 100 wine producers of varying size.

Deviation Road 'Loftia' Brut

2013: The cool nights of the Hills are perfect for sparkling wines and while there are many good examples, Deviation Road are at the top of this pile. Indeed, they're nudging the pointy end of the entire Australian sparkling pile. Baked apple tart, hints of lemon cheesecake and fresh macadamias 

 Rating: 9/10  

 RRP: $45  

 Alc: 12.5%

Longview 'Kühl' Grüner Veltliner

2015: Grüner (pronounced grooner) Veltliner is a white grape that originated in Austria. Now the Adelaide Hills is fast becoming the Australian stronghold. Unique smells: white pepper spices battle smoky lime, nettles and sweeter tropical melon. Just as unique flavour: rocks/minerals along with lingering pepper and sharp, tangy acidity. Serve with wiener schnitzel.  

Rating: 8.5/10  

RRP: $24  

Alc: 12.9%

Shaw + Smith, Shiraz

2014: Shiraz grown in cooler climates is usually spicy (pepper), elegant and structured. This shows cracked pepper, rich blue plums, cherries and an undertone of graphite. The palate shows stalky, peppery nuances in fine balance with those ripe fruits, overlaid with a cook's steady hand of just enough spice. Classy.  

Rating: 9.5/10  

RRP: $44  

Alc: 14%

Wines available at major retailers.

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