Ocean life, oysters and a smattering of vines punctuate the Southern Eyre Peninsula, where the region’s maritime climate helps a range of red and white grape varieties to prosper.
Head for the Peninsula to soak up the seafood frontier, awe-inspiring scenery and budding winemaking scene, while savouring its bountiful produce. Although the region is still emerging, rich shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot grow well, with other white varieties also proving well suited.
The city of Port Lincoln is the region’s hub and tourism centre, just a 50-minute flight west of Adelaide, or a five-hour drive. For the full experience, factor in time in or by the water; for those seeking more of an adrenalin-filled adventure, this is the place to cage-dive with great white sharks, or swim with dolphins for a more cordial marine encounter.
James Halliday on Southern Eyre Peninsula
The Southern Eyre Peninsula – and the Yorke Peninsula on the eastern side of the Spencer Gulf – is still at an embryonic state viticulturally, although the two wineries on the Eyre Peninsula are over 20 years old. It seems remoteness, rather than lack of appropriate conditions for grapegrowing, has held back the rate of development.
The strong maritime influence of the Spencer Gulf, combined with patches of terra rossa over limestone soils similar to Coonawarra, make the area particularly suited to full-bodied red wine production from shiraz, merlot and cabernet sauvignon, while riesling and chardonnay have also performed quite well.
Viticulture on the Yorke Peninsula has been slower to develop, although the climate and terra rossa sandy loams on its south- eastern quadrant seem equally suited to quality grapegrowing.
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Early March to April