Article originally published by The Leads South Australia and republished with permission.
WINES made from grapes harvested in a tiny vineyard within a city botanic garden have been launched in South Australia.
Produced with the support of Jacob’s Creek winemakers, the limited edition wines are believed to be the world’s first wine produced solely from grapes grown within a botanic garden.
The CBD vineyard is located in the south-eastern corner of the Adelaide Botanic Garden on land owned by the University of Adelaide land and managed by the National Wine Centre, where the September 14 launch was held.
The vineyard, which features 16 grape varieties including Shiraz, Merlot, Tempranillo and Riesling, has been used as a demonstration site for drought-tolerant vine varieties suitable for South Australia’s dry climate since 2011.
Botanic Gardens of South Australia Director Janice Goodwins said the project was a unique and exciting partnership, and a reminder of the importance of plants to culture, the South Australian economy and our daily lives.
“Wine is intrinsically linked with South Australia – as a state we have some of the oldest grape vines in the world and we produce 75 per cent of Australia’s premium wine, bringing in just under $2 billion in gross wine revenue to accompany international acclaim,” Goodwins said.
“To be able to demonstrate this ancient process of cultivating a crop, fermenting its grapes and transforming it into a tantalising product for people to consume – all in the green lungs of our city – is a massive coup for all involved.”
The wine bottles’ labels feature the Amazon Waterlilly, arguably Adelaide Botanic Garden’s most iconic resident. This “jewel of the Amazon” was first displayed in the garden in 1868, only flowers for a limited time and changes colour from white to rose pink over 48 hours.
National Wine Centre General Manager Adrian Emeny said the partnership had been a true collaboration from vine to bottle.
“The vineyard has long been admired by visitors and it’s fantastic that through this partnership the fruit will be turned into wines that carry a unique story. They’ll have a real point of difference being produced from grapes grown in the heart of the city,” Emeny said.
The wines are available for purchase at the National Wine Centre and by the glass at Adelaide Botanic Garden’s Cafe Fibonacci.
The team from iconic Barossa Valley winery Jacob’s Creek provided critical viticulture and winemaking expertise, including managing the harvest and making the wine at theAustralian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide.
Jacob’s Creek Vineyard Manager Tim McCarthy, who oversaw the harvest of the grapes in February, said the project showcased the collaborative and innovative approach to producing wine in South Australia.
“We created two ‘field blends’, which involves combining different varieties of grapes in the vineyard as we harvest them, and fermenting them together,” he said.
“It’s an unusual way of making wine, and it adds an extra element of challenge, but also excitement.”
The partnership aims to produce a similar exclusive vintage from the vineyard each year until 2018.
There are 18 wine regions in South Australia, including the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley,Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast andRiverland. More than 200 cellar doors are within an hour’s drive of the city centre of Adelaide.