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A Barossa legend since 1859

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Stories of Saltram: Mamre Brook Eden Valley Riesling

Discover our refreshing Mamre Brook Eden Valley Riesling.

Eden Valley Riesling

If you’ve ever visited South Australia’s Eden Valley region, you’ll know that it has a great reputation for producing some of Australia’s best Riesling. Located northeast of Adelaide and just east of the Barossa Valley, the region is uniquely situated with a slight elevation. The cool climate brought about by this elevation lengthens the growing season, helping the grapes retain natural acidity.

The result is Riesling with great intensity, a bound of refreshing flavours on the palate and an elegant finish.

Today, Riesling is Eden Valley’s most important white grape, with great vintages offering exceptional ageing potential.

History and Terroir

Winemaker Joseph Gilbert is documented as being the first to establish a vineyard and winery in Eden Valley way back in 1847. He is recognised as being the first person to plant Riesling in Australia.

This was no small feat. For Gilbert to produce a wine of quality, many challenges would need to be overcome. The Eden Valley is windswept and rugged, and has a varied topography that can prove difficult to master, but when done correctly, the Eden Valley can produce excellent white wines.

“It’s a region of the Barossa where many white varieties are grown due to the cooler nights from higher altitude. These factors lead to grapes retaining natural acidity, have more time on the vine to build flavour and when a season arrives like the 2021, we are able to pick when flavour is ready,” explains Alex Mackenzie, Saltram chief winemaker.

“The soils are lean, so vines will not have too much fruit load as water is also very scarce. So it’s about getting the balance right.”

Saltram Mamre Brook Eden Valley Riesling 2021

While Riesling hasn’t played a major role in the history of Saltram, its presence is still of significance, with Riesling plantings dating back to the 1930s.

“The 2021 Mamre Brook Riesling is from two vineyards: Eden Valley and Watervale (Carlsfield), both planted in the 1930s. This constitutes a ‘survivor’ vine status being 70 years and older. The next level is centenarian (100 years) followed by ancestor (125 years),” says Mackenzie.

Saltram winemaker Alex Mackenzie references a visit to Germany and the Mosel in 2012, tasting and learning all about Riesling, that heavily influenced his approach in the production of Saltram Riesling from the Eden Valley.

“I try to pick on flavour, so generally the last block of Riesling to pick is from Eden Valley. The fruit has enough leaf cover to protect from the afternoon sun. I taste the fruit regularly, ensuring that grapes in the middle of the bunch aren’t sour and that the acid is fresh and lively,” explains Mackenzie.

“The wine is made simply, kept on lees and post ferment, a portion is transferred to old vats. I’m always looking for balanced flavour profile with structure and elegance. A Saltram Riesling needs to be approachable and one that will develop complex toasty notes with age.”