Cool climate varieties
The Adelaide Hills wine-growing region lies above an altitude of 400 metres and varies from a gently sloping landscape in the east to deep gullies with steep slopes where the region borders Adelaide.
The altitude and the steep topography have a major cooling and humidifying effect on the climate which, along with the highest rainfall in the state, lends itself to the production of cool-climate varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Beautiful verdant valleys
There is a wide range of soil types as you travel east to west across the rivervalleys of the Torrens and Onkaparinga. They vary from sands to loams, with a red to yellow clay subsoil, which is mostly based on sandstone bedrock and is slightly acidic.
A favourable feature of the steep slopes is that they are generally covered by deep soils, making the slopes preferred vineyard sites with less frost and better water drainage. The beautiful verdant valleys criss-cross the north facing slopes to capture the sun and provide protection from the strong cold southerly wind. Grape maturity is very dependent on altitude, aspect and choice of variety.
The vines are grown with tall, well-exposed canopies to enhance ripening and flavour development. The choice of variety is closely associated with the climatic regimes within the region.
Piccadilly lies at the centre of the coolest, wettest section of the Adelaide Hills. From there the hills gradually lose height and gain heat summation to the north towards Gumeracha, to the east towards Woodside and to the south towards Kuitpo.
The grape growing spectrum across the hills from sparkling wine and beautifully structure Chardonnay to supple Pinot Noir, intense Sauvignon Blanc, spicy Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Viognier, reflect this wonderful and gradual flow of climatic variation.
Reference: Adelaide Hills Wine Region Guide 2004