Hey Guy and Gals,
I was reading the GuildSomm study guide for Australia. The guide describes the climate for Fleurieu/McLaren ares as "...essentially Mediterranean." A few sentences later, the guide describes the Adelaide Hills GI as a "...cool maritime climate."
On the Australian wine map, the Fleurieu/McLaren Vale area seems to be situated right on the coast incorporating Kangaroo Island, and the coastal area south of Adelaide including Aldinga Beach and Victor Harbor. The Adelaide Hills GI appears to be situated just behind and more inland from the Fleurieu/McLaren Vale areas.
The Intro book describes a maritime climate as marked by "mild temperatures" and "influenced by a large body of water." The definition for Mediterranean climate includes summers that are hot and dry aside from the immediate coastal area where summers are milder due to coastal currents.
The issue I'm having understanding how the Adelaide Hills Gi, which is further inland would be "Maritime" while the Fleurieu/McLaren Vale areas right on the coast would be Mediterranean.
In my experience with places like the central coast in California like Monterey/Carmel, the areas down by the coast are the coolest, wettest and most foggy while anything further inland like Carmel Valley, is warmer, less foggy and more stable in terms of overall climate.
Does anyone have any direct experience visiting McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills?
I was just there last summer and can help you understand.
Yes- the 2 regions abut one another. But- if you look at a topographic map, you'll see that the difference between Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale is elevation.
McLaren Vale is relatively flat, and the vineyards start a block from the ocean. The climate is mild and Mediterranean. However, in Adelaide Hills, you climb up literally into the hills (Mt Lofty Range). High elevation makes for more dramatic temperature swings, and an overall colder climate. It also changes the intensity of sunlight, growing season length, etc.
In McLaren Vale, the vineyards are dominated by Rhone and Bordelaise grapes, which benefit from the long, even growing season. IN Adelaide Hills, it's more Chard and Pinot.
Shaw & Smith is one of the old guard producers in Adelaide Hills and if you email them I am sure they can get you a comprehensive insiders details.
Instead of thinking about the Monterey Carmel analogy, think more about the Rutherford District vs Howell Mtn.
hope this helps!
Thank you so much for your response. I’m at a Certified study group right now and just passed the information on to everyone. Now it makes sense.
anytime. Did you check out Shaw & Smith?