Champagne, France, Adelaide Hills
Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.
A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.
Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.
Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Krug are world renowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
Famous for their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir, the viticulture of this region was re-established in 1979 but grapes were planted locally as early as 1839. During the last three decades, Adelaide Hills has emerged as one of Australia’s most exciting cool climate wine region, being known to produce elegant, distinct, sophisticated wines. Located in the Mount Lofty Ranges and only a 30-minute drive from Adelaide, this region is home not only to over 90 wine labels and 48 cellar doors, but also to multiple forests, beef and dairy farms, apple and pear orchards.
Known to be one of the largest geographical wine regions in Australia, the Adelaide Hills are made up of two registered sub-regions: Lenswood and Piccadilly Valley. These narrow band of hills stretch across to be approximately 70 km long and 30 km wide and border Barossa and Eden Valleys to the North and McLaren Vale to the South.
The climate of this region is considerably cooler compared to other wine regions in the summer, due to the altitudes of the vineyards being 400-700 meters high. The cooler drier climate produces grapes with ideal fruit composition, creating the perfect balance of flavour and acidity.
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