Located in the McLaren Vale in South Australia, d’Arenberg has existed in one form or another since 1912, when Joseph Osborn purchased nearly 75 acres of vineyards. Four generations later the winery is still owned by the Osborn family, now headed by Chester d’Arenberg Osborn. The d’Arenberg wines were winning awards as early as the late 1960s, and today they are among Australia’s most admired and award-winning wines. Although the estate makes a variety of red and white wines, its signature wines are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre blends. The Dead Arm, a 100% Shiraz, is one of d’Arenberg’s most admired wines. Its unusual name comes from a fungus disease that affects vineyards and results in a “dead arm” on the vine, which means extremely concentrated grapes are produced on the unaffected side of the vine. Also noteworthy is d’Arenberg’s The Coppermine Road 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
South Australia is the nation’s most important wine region. South Australia is to Australia what California is to the U.S. About half of Australia’s wine comes from South Australia and many of the country’s most acclaimed producers are there. Wineries based in South Australia include Penfolds Grange, Torbreck, Amon Ra, Henschke and Jacob’s Creek. The prestigious Barossa Valley is located in South Australia, and is often compared to Napa Valley because it is gorgeous topography covered in grape vines. First farmed by 19th century German-speakers who immigrated from what is now Poland, the Barossa Valley is the crown jewel of the region. South Australia has widely varying climates, from very hot, dry areas to cooler, high altitude areas. There are more than 150,000 acres of vineyards in South Australia, with more being planted each month. Shiraz is king, though the region also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and Semillon.