A traditional wine region shrugging off its reputation for cheapies to produce some stunning new wines
The Riverland Wine Region of South Australia is an irrigated region along the Murray River from the border with Victoria downstream to Blanchetown. Renmark is the major city in the region. It was established when the surrounding districts were developed for irrigation by the Chaffey Brothers.
Other towns along the Murray in this region include Berri, Loxton, Barmera, Waikerie, Morgan and Blanchetown.
The climate is hot and continental. Evaporation rates are very high and viticulture in this region is impossible without irrigation. Although the region is not well known it produces almost 25% of Australia's wine grapes.
It is fair to say that until recently the Riverland Region was seen mainly as emphasising quantity over quality, but recent changes in technology and attitude have lead to some interest in producing quality wines.
Since the turn of the century the varietal profile of the region has changed markedly. Although the mainstream varieties Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay still dominate the acreage statistics, newer varieties more suited to hot summers are increasingly important.
A quick glance at the list of producers and varieties will show the rich diversity of varieites here.
The Riverland Wine Improvement Committee is a non-profit group which has done much to introduce and test new varieties and clones into the region. They sell propagating material and sell wines under the Cirami label.
The wineries listed below are located in the Riverland and are using the alternative varieties listed. However a large proportion of the vintage, especially of the mainstream varieties is taken for vinification elsewhere.
The Riverland region has a wealth of tourism infrastructure and attractions. Many of the wineries in this region have cellar doors. you can quickly explore the accommodation options using the search box below.
Collins and Co make wine from a range of alternative varieties
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