– With Peter Bourne –
Shiraz thrives in both the Barossa and the Eden Valley regions, although the style of Eden Valley shiraz is more savoury and subtle to the warm-blooded, brash Barossa style so loved by international commentators like Robert Parker Jnr.
Riesling also loves the Eden Valley with its cooler nights and higher humidity, but is far less comfortable in the hotter, drier Barossa Valley. Incidentally, the Eden Valley receives 280 millimetres of rain annually versus 160 millimetres for the Barossa Valley — so neither could really be considered a ‘wet’ climate!
Cabernet sauvignon does well in the Eden Valley, though the cooler years in the Barossa Valley can yield some high quality wines. The sun-loving grenache prefers the Barossa to the Eden Valley, appearing in many guises — as a rosé, solo or part of a GSM (grenache, shiraz, mourvèdre) blend.
Newer varieties to our shores like tempranillo are doing well in both regions, while nebbiolo has taken a liking to the cooler Eden Valley. Given our warming climate, it’s safe to say that Eden Valley has a brighter future, but few would dispute that the Barossa Valley is home to some of Australia’s greatest (and oldest) shiraz.