The first vines planted in Currency Creek in 1969 are still contributing to the success of this region. Stretching from the coastal village of Port Elliot in the west to Lake Alexandrina in the east, Currency Creek is not only a great wine region, however you can also watch whales from the coastline or spot the hundreds of species of birds at Coorong National Park. The strongly maritime climate avoids the extremes of hot and cold temperatures and the region has an excellent ground water source, which is readily accessible through bores for farming operations.
Captain Charles Sturt first explored this region when he travelled down the Murray River in 1829-30 and made his last campsite near what is now the town of Goolwa. However it was not until 1969 that Wally and Rosemary Tonkin planted one acre each of Riesling, Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the main wine styles produced include Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz.
A variety ideally suited to the temperate, mild climate of the region, producing complete and rounded wines with clear varietal definition. As the level of ripeness increases, the flavours move from coffee to blackberry and on to black currant at optimum ripeness.
This was one of the wines to bring attention to Currency Creek in the early days. The wines have delicacy and freshness, with great varietal definition.
This wine is renowned for lifted aromas that lead into medium-bodied, Rhone Valley-like spicy fruit flavours. This is supported by tannins with elegance and finesse.
Top varieties grown in Currency Creek
The climate is slightly cooler than that of Langhorne Creek and shares similarities with Margaret River and California's Carneros. In common with those regions, it is a strongly maritime climate due to Lake Alexandrina and the Southern Ocean, thus avoiding extremes of cold or heat.
There has been only one September day of frost in the past 37 years, and no hail or fog.
Excellent ground water is readily accessible through bores and this is used during the growing season to compensate for the lack of rainfall.
Plantings are on the dominant rolling sandy slopes, which allow easy infiltration of water into the overlaying friable cracking clays that are easily accessed by the roots of the vines.
The other suitable soils are loams with red alkaline clayey subsoils.