Terroir

South Australia:

Limestone Coast

Located near the southern tip of South Australia and bordering Victoria, the Limestone Coast produces close to one-third of South Australia’s quality wines. Within the Limestone Coast are two sub regions that Berton Vineyards focuses on:

Coonawarra

Soil
Coonawarra is famous for its bright red, iron-rich "Terra Rossa" clay soils. This unique color was caused by iron-oxide (rust) formations within the clay. The vineyards benefit from their great drainage abilities as well as capacity for holding nutrients. The prime planting region in Coonawarra is a very narrow strip of land approximately 7.5 miles long and around 0.6 miles wide.

Weather
With close proximity to the Southern Ocean, Coonawarra benefits from the maritime climate. The hot summer weather is tempered by the cool coastal breezes, allowing the vines to cool down and ripen longer. This longer maturation period allows the fruit to have more depth and concentration.

Varietal Focus
Over fifty percent of all plantings in Coonawarra are Cabernet Sauvignon. A classic tasting profile would include extracted and integrated tannins which do not overpower the palate with a slightly minty characteristic.

Padthaway

Soil
Featuring a smaller portion of “Terra Rossa” soils, Padthaway is also comprised of brown fine sandy loam soils which sit atop structured clay and limestone. Similar to Coonawarra, the soils are well-draining and have a healthy water table beneath the sub-soil allowing for very little irrigation. The region is larger than Coonawarra and spans 38 miles long and around 5 miles wide.

Weather
With a slightly warmer Mediterranean climate than the other Limestone Coast regions, Padthaway has a reliable growing season with mild winters and warm dry summers. Influenced by the Southern Ocean just miles away, the vines have a longer hang time producing clean and pure fruit flavors.

Varietal Focus
Padthaway grows mineral driven whites with balanced acidity such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are also the two most prominent red grape varieties, which focus on concentration without over extraction.

Barossa

Located within South Australia, north of Adelaide hills, Barossa is one of the most recognizable regions within Australia with plantings dating back to 1847.

High Eden

Soil
This region of rugged beauty in between Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, features ancient, iron-rich spodosol soils with lots of quartz rock. With more difficult growing conditions, the vines are stressed into producing exquisite, complex wines.

Weather
1,380 feet in elevation, High Eden is a cooler climate than much of Barossa which allows for a longer growing season with overall smaller yields. Still relatively dry with only 11 inches of rain per year, the wines have good concentration and expression.

Varietal Focus
White wine such as Chardonnay and Riesling fare well in the cooler climate conditions, but also some of Australia’s top awarded Cabernet Sauvignon’s and Shiraz’s come out of this region due to their finesse and elegant undertones.

Big Rivers

Located in the southwestern quarter of New South Wales, Big Rivers’ name is directly related to the four rivers which run through its region: Murray, Darling, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee. With many varying microclimates, similarly with the Languedoc region in France, Big Rivers is one of Australia’s most prolific wine producing areas.

Riverina

Soil
This region is the same size as Switzerland. The most common soil is an alluvial red-brown soil with gravel and sands. Sitting atop clay embedded with limestone rubble, roots run deep allowing for a fruit-forward driven character.

Weather
A hot and dry continental climate, with very little rainfall, forces this region to focus irrigating through their reliable rivers for a successful harvest. These growing conditions naturally prevent any fungal diseases that might occur in regions with higher rainfall.

Varietal Focus
Alternate red varietals such as Petite Sirah (Durif) are becoming more prominent in this region due to the late maturing nature of these wines. Longer hang times combined with the warmer climate allow for bigger reds to have soft tannins with good balance.