Barossa Varieties?

by Rob
(krondorf sa)

Rob Asks

Do you think that Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mataro are varieties that are well suited to the Barossa/Eden area?

I ask about Mataro because of it's up right nature and the likelihood of sunburn, the others I amd not too sure about.

Some others that I'm thinking about planting include Touriga, Cinsaut and Carignan, what do you think about these.

Cinsaut and Carignan, I know they aren't the best around but I think if yields are kept back and blending with shiraz and Grenache could do a thing or two.

Touriga because it's such a great grape I reckon there could be some really good varietials coming from this variety and region, what do you think about that.

What then do you would be some great white varieties for the Barossa?

Semillon, in my opinion it's okay but not in great demand, needs water and suffers from sunburn, what do you think about it?

Chardonnay, in my opinion it's not suited to the region at all, what are your thoughts?

Marsanne/Rousanee/Viognier, do you think they are well suited?

Albarino/savagnin, Fiano, what do you think about them?

What do you think of Malbec, totally different to the other reds up the top but it sounds interesting?

I personally don't like the Italian reds, but do you think any of them are suited to the area?

The other reds from France, merlot, cab sauv etc I don't think they are well suited, what are your thoughts on these?

I thank you very much I've got a fair bit here.



Darby Says

I am not a viticulturalist so I cannot say much about the specifcs of the varieites for particular sites, but I imagine most (or even all) of the varieties you have mentioned are feasible alternatives for the Barossa and its slightly cooler neighbour in the Eden valley.

Selecting the right varieites to grow is just the first stetp, you then need to make some good wine and, more importantly, sell it.

Fashions change in the wine industry and predicting
what people will drink in five years time when you finally have some wine to sell is a difficult business. I think Tempranillo has a great future in Australia, and while wineries in the Barossa haven't made much of it so far it will certainly have a role in the future. From the consumer angle more and more will be written about Tempranillo so it should be easier to sell as time goes by.

Grenache, Graciano and Mourvedre/mataro, Cinsaut and Carignan are probably best as blending varieties, but if you are in love with one of them and are prepared to do the hard yards you could make a varietal from them. These varietes except Graciano have developed bad reputations amoung winemakers and consumer in the past because of overcropping. As you note yield control is important for fruit quality. It is hard to make good wine from watery fruit.

Touriga is interesting as it has been around in Australia for a while and only recently has anyone paid much attention to using it as a table wine. I recently tasted some excellent Touriga from Old Mill Estate in Langhorne Creek, different climate I know, but not that different.

I generally agree with your comments about white wines in the Barossa, again the main problem will be to sell the wine at the end. Most consumers are fixated on Barossa as a Shiraz region. I think Vermentino is probably the best variety for most areas of Australia outside teh cooler regions. It tolerates heat better than most oter whites. It will eventually gain consumer acceptance.

Ok, Rob I've just given a rough outline of what I think fro 800km away. Your best advice will come from those with local knowledge. The vinodviersity page on the Barossa Valley will give you a list of who is using some of tehse varieites. You should go and talk to those winemakers with first hand experience, and weigh up your options.

Other Vinodiversity readers are welcome to add to the discussion via the comments lik below.

Comments for Barossa Varieties?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 25, 2010
Thanks/more info
by: Rob

Thanks very much guys, that is all either
very interesting or useful.
Graciano is one that I'm very interested in, I'd like some more information about though before I rush in; websites I've read say it's good for warm/hot dry areas, but a book I've read says its best for cooler area, so I'm blowed if I know; if anyone that is reading this has first hand experience at growing it, I'd be very interested.
Touriga is another that's at the top of my list and sounds very good too.
Tempranillo sounds good but mabye not for the Barossa but rather eden valley as you said.

Jul 23, 2010
Barossa Varietals
by: Brian

Rob, I checked my wine tasting database program, and found that I have tried 21 different Tempranillo, which comprised the Peter Lehman 2006, and Barossa Shed Wines 2005 from the Barossa Valley.

According to my rating, the top 2 Tempranillo were Gapsted 2004 and Nepenthe 2005, with the 2 Barossa wines only slightly below them. I note that both the Gapsted and Nepenthe are from cooler climate areas, so perhaps Eden Valley might be preferable to the Barossa Valley for this variety.

I have tried 7 Mataro (Mourvedre) wines, which included Deisen 2005, and Turkey Flat 2005 from the Barossa. Again these two were only slightly below my top 2 which were the Terra Felix 2005(Goulburn Valley), and Rudderless 2004 (Mclaren Vale).

I have tried one Graciano varietal (the Jacobs Creek 2008), and would like to try some more labels before expressing an opinion on the variety.

I have not tried Cinsault and Carignan varietals.

I have tried the Old Mill Estate 2007 Touriga Nacional, which I enjoyed, and would definitely like to find and try some other labels with this variety.

I have tried 18 different Malbec labels, but none from the Barossa. The Ferngrove 2005, Gapsted 2006, and The Islander 2004 are my top 3.

The alternate variety reds from the Barossa mentioned above, the other from this are that I have tried are: Cab Franc 1, Durif 1, Grenache 1, Lagrein 1, Montepulciano 1, Nebbiolo 1, Sangiovese 1, Saperavi 1, Zinfandel 5.

The alternate variety whites from the Barossa that I have tried include: Garganega 1, Viognier 1, and Savagnin 1.

Hope the above is of some interetst. Regards, Brian.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask Vinodiversity.

Keep in touch with Vinodiversity

Just enter your details below and you will receive an occasional newsletter letting you know all about the alternative varietal wine scene in Australia and beyond.



Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Vinodiversity News.

Wine map of Italy

See the best wine maps from

See also Vinodiversity's Wine Map Store on Amazon