Piccadilly Valley

The Piccadilly Valley is the cradle of the modern Adelaide Hills wine region, with the first vineyard planted in 1979.

The Valley runs from Stirling in the South to Ashton in the North. The Valley bed sits at just over 400m altitude and the highest hill is Mount Lofty at 727m. The vineyards are situated at altitudes of 450m – 600m, and are on small internal undulations, with slopes from 10°C to 20°C that give aspects to many points of the compass. The amount of heat received by a site is very orientation dependent.

The geology of the Piccadilly Valley consists of pre-cambrian sediments ranging from 1,600 million years-old calcsilicates to 700 million years-old phyllites, shales, sandstones and quartz-rich strata. The soils are podsolised duplex, sandy to clay loams and the geology is from either Woolshed Flat Shale, Basket Range Sandstone or Barossa Complex.

The long term heat summations observed in the Tiers vineyard (450m altitude) in the South of the Piccadilly Valley are on average 1,172 degree days during the growing season (October to April – average over the last 30 years, minimum of 1,045 observed in 2011) which is similar to the average heat summation observed in most Tasmanian viticultural areas.

It is interesting to note that the development of Australian sparkling wine production following the Traditional method used in Champagne started simultaneously in the Piccadilly Valley and in Tasmania.
The Piccadilly Valley has been established in 2000 as a sub-GI (geographical indication) of the Adelaide Hills wine region.

A very small number of wineries are actually established and producing their wines in the Piccadilly Valley. The grapes harvested in the Piccadilly Valley are sought after by wineries located in the wider Adelaide Hills or even in other regions of South Australia. The warmer sites of the Piccadilly Valley are generally used for table wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir), and the coolest sites are generally used to make sparkling wines (following the principles of Traditional method).

The Piccadilly Valley is ecologically diverse with several protected native forests (populated with the native Stringy Bark tree). It also remains a strong agricultural area with several market gardens, apple and cherry orchards, and the occasional small sheep farm.

As at November 2017, the total surface area under vine in the Piccadilly Valley is 231.54 hectares:
Variety Area (ha) % of total ha planted to vines
Chardonnay 98.67 42.61
Pinot Noir 87.69 37.87
Sauvignon Blanc 15.46 6.68
Meunier (Pinot Meunier) 10.6 4.58
Pinot Gris 5.75 2.48
Merlot 4.2 1.81
Unknown variety
(no variety listed against block in register)
3.33 1.44

Source: Vinehealth Australia