Petaluma was founded in 1976, built on the belief in carefully selecting the finest viticultural sites within a particular iconic Australian wine region. This belief is based on planting the right grape varieties specifically suited to that region. The wines of Petaluma are a singular expression of this founding belief.
Today, we have a dedicated team of grape growers and winemakers, working together in order to create truly remarkable wines.
Our winemaking is uncompromised and intuitive and the wines are handcrafted. Constant attention to detail and dedication to quality, above all else, see the wines of Petaluma setting the standard for now and decades to come.
The distinguished sites belief led us to nurture Riesling in the Clare Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz in Coonawarra, Chardonnay in the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills, Shiraz from the warm escarpment of Mt Barker and Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills.
Ben was born and raised in South Australia. After a career as a project manager and engineer, Ben's passion for wine led him to take a leap of faith. He returned to student life to study winemaking at the University of Adelaide. After completing his formal wine education, he got into research and scale winemaking, and completed a vintage in the Mosel Valley, Germany in pursuit of his love of Riesling.
After more than 15 years in the wine industry, Ben has had a variety of roles that have allowed him to develop his skills in all styles of winemaking. This includes a stint as a sparkling winemaker in Napa, California. Ben enjoys judging wine shows and engaging with consumers as part of his role and development as a winemaker.
From a philosophical perspective, Ben is fascinated by how winemaking combines art and science. Due to his engineering background, he takes a systematic approach to his work in order to ensure that there is enough time for fun and creativity.
Piccadilly Valley & Mt Barker
The Piccadilly Valley is the coolest viticultural region in South Australia and home to Petaluma’s Chardonnay vineyards. Tucked in behind Mount Lofty, the Piccadilly Valley is a jigsaw of sub-valleys with an underlying geology up to 1,800 million years old. Planted on relatively steep north and east facing slopes (up to 550m in altitude), the vines receive the full benefit of the warming early mornings. These distinguished vineyards, which have matured for almost thirty years, favour delicate Chardonnay flavours and high natural acidity.
The soils of Mount Barker are formed from the underlying micaceous granitic schist geology and are ideal for the vigorous Shiraz variety, producing ripe but elegantly structured wines.
What Makes It Unique?
Predominantly grey-brown or brown loamy sands with some patches of mostly sandy soils.
Altitude creates various meso-climates but overall the climate is cool. The region is very hilly with various valleys and sub-valleys and best suited to early ripening varieties.
During the growing season there will be around 260mm of rainfall with a mean temperature of 20.4°c (January)
Best known for cool-climate classics like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and is pushing the case for alternative varieties.
Taste our Adelaide Hills Wines
The Clare Valley is Riesling country and the Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling is one of the most revered examples.
Planted in 1968. Located 500 metres above sea-level in the eastern hills of the Clare Valley. The slate geology underlying the Hanlin Hill vineyard is perfect for producing the highest quality Riesling. Hard rock creates Riesling, which is invariably characterized by high acidity and slate nuances.
Cool nights and sunny days in the Clare Valley provide ideal conditions for the rich citrus flavours found in Petaluma Riesling. The flinty austerity that the wine maintains is due to the fruits’ high natural acidity.
What Makes It Unique?
Clare Valley has 11 different recognised soil types. Polish Hill is known for broken slate, while Watervale has limestone in sub-soils.
Temperatures from 40°C during the day to 1°C at night are common during main ripening months. This region has protection from cooling maritime breeze.
Average growing season rainfall is 232mm with a mean temperature of 22.3°c (January)
Celebrated for its Rieslings, the Clare Valley also produces world-class reds, including Shiraz and Cabernet.
Evans Vineyard was planted in 1968 and lies in the heart of the Coonawarra. It was purchased by Petaluma in 1978 by the late Australian wine legend Len Evans. The region’s famous Terra Rossa red clay over limestone soil reflects the maritime presence of its geological past. The cold Southern Ocean has now receded by some 80 kilometres, but it still exerts a moderating influence on the climate of Coonawarra, contributing to the region’s ability to produce elegant and long-lived Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines.
What Makes It Unique
A flat region famous for its terra rossa soils. Thin iron-oxide based top soil over limestone
Coonawarra experiences a maritime influence due to upwelling of cold ocean currents at certain times of the year.
Average growing season rainfall is 260mm with a mean temperature of 20.1°c (January)
Coonawarra is famed for its age-worthy red wines, most notably its Cabernet Sauvignon.
Taste Our Coonawarra Wines
This is Croser
Croser was created as it was believed that the right region in Australia could produce sparkling wine to rival Champagne. That region is the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills.