It is a welcome surprise to discover this exciting premium wine region located on an unspoilt, rugged coastal landscape nestled between lakes and the Southern Ocean.
Highly respected in discerning wine circles, the region’s cool climate wines are acclaimed for their distinctive character and premium quality. The soils, aspect and protected maritime climate, along with the long and gentle growing season are all distinctive attributes leading to the production of powerful, yet elegant wines which are rich in colour and structure.
The Robe wine region is situated on the eastern side of the Woakwine Range on the coast between the townships of Robe and Beachport, within the Limestone Coast area of South Australia.
The region has a defined history in fishing, pastoral activities and tourism, with little viticulture prior to 1989. It has certainly made up for lost time however, and some observers believe its potential is as exciting as any region in Australia.
Vineyard development began to flourish in the Robe region in the mid to late 1990’s. Southcorp Wines purchased land and started establishing vineyards in 1994 within the Robe region and several independent operations soon followed.
The climate is cool and strongly maritime, being influenced by the Southern Ocean to the west and lakes to the east. The January mean maximum temperature is 22.3°C and the July mean maximum temperature is 13.8°C. The average total annual rainfall is 667mm, with the growing season rainfall approximately 210mm.
Due to the maritime influence, the daily temperature range experienced by vineyards in the Robe region is less than other inland regions within the Limestone Coast.
The growing season is long, cool and dry. While the summer temperatures are 3°C lower than the nearby Coonawarra region, harvest is at much the same time.
The Woakwine range offers the region a degree of protection from the strong southerly winds that are generated from the Southern Ocean.
Robe has a wide variety of soil types; ranging from terra rossa and sandy loam on the limestone ridges, to calcareous sand on the coastal dunes through to rendzinas on the coastal plains.
Robe is on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, a region renowned for its unique soil known as terra rossa – an Italian word meaning “red soil”. The soil comes from the clay left behind by weathered limestone, which gives it a red colour. It’s ideal for making wine and can be found in vineyards in La Mancha, Spain, as well as the Limestone Coast, here in South Australia.
Robe’s vineyards supply grapes to wineries as renowned as Penfolds. While most grapes leave the region, there are a few local wineries and a couple of cellar doors.
Governor Robe Wines come from Waterhouse Range Vineyard, which is on 57 hectares in the heart of the region. The cellar door, in the historic Attic House on Robe’s main street, has wine tasting, regional gourmet produce and local art on display.
Plantings (Reds and Whites)
Vital Statistics - Robe Weather Station
The main grape varieties planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Chardonnay, followed by Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Semillon, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris and Malbec.
The above varieties are producing fruit of excellent definition and palate structure.
Sauvignon Blanc: Has punchy tropical and grassy aromas so typical of the best varietals around the world and these aromas are underpinned by a palate that is pure, crisp and stacked with flavour.
Chardonnay: Offers fragrant citrus and apple aromas with rich but elegant citrus and mineral flavours and a natural acidity that gives the wines finesse and structure.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Has deep vibrant colour with varietal aromas of blackberry, tobacco, mint and mineral (earth). The palate has wonderful structure and texture with sweet ripe fruit characters and is a variety that seems to be well suited to the maritime climate of Robe.
Shiraz: Rhone comes to Australia! Robe Shiraz is a complex sought after wine with intense raspberry’s, mulberry’s and black pepper aromas. The wines have rich elegant berry fruit, a succulent mid palate that is framed by fine tannins and tight acidity offering a long spicy finish.
Robe Region Wineries & Vineyards
Governor Robe Wines, Almanda Vineyards, Elgin Vineyards, Kangaroo Hill Vineyards, Karatta Wines, Penfolds, Dawson Vineyards and Woodsoak Vineyards.
Robe Grape Growers Association Contacts
Mick Quinlan Watson
President, Robe Grape Growers Association
Ph: 08 8768 2083
Secretary, Robe Grape Growers Association
Ph: 08 8768 2711