The Southern Flinders Ranges emerged as a wine growing region in the past two decades of the 20th century. The region is a natural north-western extension of the Clare Valley, with which it shares many geological factors. It has a climate that can be described as warm, with most vineyards requiring irrigation from underground sources. The soil is fertile and quite suitable for viticulture. It's an exciting playground for outdoor adventures and at the end of an action-packed day, visitors will be tempted by the wine and food flavours in the region. The Southern Flinders Ranges has been overwhelmingly a red wine area, with Shiraz being the main wine produced.
The region counts the Clare Valley as a neighbour to the south.
Viticulture emerged in the 1980s.
The region is currently home to around five wineries.
Climate is warm and dry with maritime influences from Spencer Gulf.
Irrigation is usually necessary.
Soil is generally deep, limestone based and fertile.
Premier variety is Shiraz, producing rich, robust wines with aging potential.
Principal plantings are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Despite its northerly situation, the climate of the region can be described as warm and dry, rather than hot, being assisted in its relative mildness by its elevation and the maritime influences of the Spencer Gulf to the south-west and southerly winds from the Gulf of St Vincent. Most vineyards are irrigated from underground sources.
The region rises from near sea level (20 metres) to 718 metres (the peak of Frypan Hill), though most of its vineyards are located between 40 and 500 metres (131 to 1640 feet) altitude. Indeed much of the region sits above 300 metres (874 feet). The soils, although varied, are quite deep and mostly limestone based, fertile and quite suitable for viticulture.
Shiraz : These are full-coloured, robust reds with rich berry and liquorice aromas that bear some resemblance to those of the Clare Valley. The wines have good ageing potential.
Map Coordinates: 33º 22´S
Altitude: 20 - 718 metres (66 – 2355 feet)
Growing season rainfall, October -April: 161 millimetres (6.3 inches)
Mean January temperature: 25.1 C (77.1 F)
Relative humidity, October - April, 3 pm: Average 36%
Harvest: Early February - early March
Angela Meaney, Winemaker, Bundaleer Wines, Southern Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Angela Meaney grew up in a farming family in Appila, a very small town in the heart of what is now the Southern Flinders Ranges GI. A somewhat new region to the old business of winemaking, the wine producers are predominantly small, family-owned businesses - many, like Angela- with their roots in the traditional primary production activities of the area.
“The Southern Flinders Ranges region, located in the foothills of the famous Flinders Ranges, produces a wide range of grape varieties. However, our strength lies in red grape production of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Several wines have won local and national awards, and some of our brands are beginning to gain international recognition,” Angela says.
“Red wines are made exclusively from grapes grown at our Bundaleer Vineyard, at the southern boundary of the Southern Flinders region. With an altitude of 450 metres, our vineyard is planted on the edge of the Bundaleer Forest, home of the acclaimed Bundaleer Forest Concert Weekend, 200 kilometres north of Adelaide and just 70 kilometres north of the world-renowned Clare Valley.
“Years ago the property was an orchard and some of the old fruit trees remain. We create deeply coloured red wines with dominant berry flavours, including our signature Sparkling Shiraz, a delicious example of a truly Australian style. Our cellar door is at the North Star Hotel, the oldest pub in the Flinders Ranges.
“The Southern Flinders Ranges became a GI through the dedication of Malcolm Orrock of Remarkable View Wines. Their cellar door in Murray Town, where you can sample such interesting varieties as Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Petit Verdot, is a key destination for anyone wishing to experience our region.
“Now the rest of the world is discovering what we have known for a while ─ in the Southern Flinders we really can make great wine!"