Robe Wine Region is a revelation by the sea. Relatively new to the wine scene, its breathtaking Limestone Coast beaches, picturesque lakes and weathered cliffs make it a summer holiday destination with all the trimmings.
The Robe wine region is a tiny and emerging wine region on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, was given official GI (Geographical Indication) status in 2006. It derives its name from the historic fishing port of the same name and extends to the town of Beachport in the south. The region of Mount Benson lies to the north. The wine industry was a late entrant here, with fishing and tourism playing a big part in the local economy until the 1990s when there was a steady growth in vineyard plantings. Since then, this small region has established itself as one of the premium wine producers of Australia.
Like its northern neighbour, Mount Benson, the region’s climate and grape-growing conditions are influenced by the cooling effects of the Southern Ocean. These make the ripening season, especially the summers, cooler than the inland regions in the east, thereby extending the growing season. This is one of the reasons that Robe’s wines display a similar intensity and depth to those of Mount Benson. Altitudes of 164ft (50m) to 492ft (150m) also have a marked effect on the mesoclimate and specific wine styles. The Woakwine mountain range offers some protection from the cool southerlies and its slopes are ideal for growing red grape varieties. Many lakes also dot the landscape, moderating the cool temperatures. Robe’s soil profile varies, with patches of terra rossa, redzina (a dark fertile soil) and sandy loam over a limestone-dominated sub-soil. All in all, site-specific terroir plays a huge role in deciding the quality and style of wines produced in the region.