The Shoalhaven Coast region was previously famous for its beaches and since the 1970s, it has also become known for its quality wine.
The region faces quite warm temperatures during the growing season, with the best results obtained from vineyards located on the north facing slopes that are well-exposed, well-drained and well-ventilated. The principal threat to viticulture on the Shoalhaven Coast resides in the unpredictable but sometimes substantial summer rainfall, a problem that diminishes to the south of the region. The main wine styles produced include Chardonnay, Chambourcin, Shiraz Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Viticulture commenced in the 1970s.
The region is currently home to around 15 vineyards and wineries.
Chief viticultural hazard is rainfall during harvest.
The climate is strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean.
High humidity can result in downy/powdery mildew and Botrytis.
Most soils are red and brown earths well suited to viticulture.
Principal grape varieties Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Main wine style is mid-weight Chardonnay with peachy fruit flavours.
Tourism is a significant local industry.
The majority of vineyards and wineries are small.
Growing season temperatures are quite warm, though extremely high summer temperatures are uncommon due to the strong influence of the Pacific Ocean. The sultry climate, with its high humidity, also diminishes stress on the vines and aids growth but, together with heavy summer rainfall, significantly increases the risk of downy and powdery mildew and Botrytis. Sunshine hours are not particularly generous in the north but improve as one moves south. Frost is rarely a problem.
Selection of well-exposed, well-drained and well-ventilated north-facing slopes is important if the best results are to be obtained. The soil varies in depth and consistency from the alluvial valleys to the hillsides, but most are red and brown earths which are well suited to viticulture and promote good yields.
Chardonnay: Chardonnay is planted up and down the length of the Shoalhaven Coast. It produces a pleasant, mid-weight wine with gentle peachy fruit flavours and a soft finish.
Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon: These are paired because they are so often blended and because, either as single varietal wines or as blends, they produce soft, faintly earthy wines without having an especially distinctive varietal character. With appropriate winery techniques, these are fresh, well-balanced, light-to medium-bodied wines best consumed while young.
Chambourcin: Chambourcin constitutes the majority of the other red plantings. It is grown for precisely the same reasons as it is in the Hastings River region, far to the north. It is highly resistant to mildew and performs well in even the wettest summers. The vibrant colour and fresh plum fruit aroma and flavour of the wine are best enjoyed while it is young; sometimes a touch of new oak is introduced to increase the balance, complexity and length of the wine.
Map Coordinates: 36°40'S
Altitude: 10 - 70 metres (33-300 feet)
Heat degree days, October-April: 1900 (cut off at 19ºC (66.2 º F) but otherwise not adjusted)
Growing season rainfall, October-April: 324 millimetres (12.7 inches)
Mean January temperature: 22.1°C (71.80°F)
Relative humidity, October-April, 3 pm: Average 60%
Harvest: Mid February – Mid March
Niki Kladis, Kladis Estate Wines, Wandandian, Shoalhaven, NSW
Kladis Estate Wines is a family-owned boutique winery located in Wandandian, a stone’s throw from the crisp azure waters of Jervis Bay.Niki Kladis from Kladis Estate Wines says the hinterland temperate climate, chocolate loam soils and modern vertical trellising of the Shoalhaven region ensures good airflow and sound fruit.
"Our relentless and passionate pursuit of producing the perfect wine has made us one of the premier wineries in the emerging Shoalhaven wine region. Our philosophy is that to produce a quality wine you must first produce the quality fruit, and you must be passionate about what you are doing. My husband Jim's Mediterranean background and knowledge of vines greatly assisted in setting up our vineyard. Careful tendering of young vines, minimal drip irrigation, the use of natural fertilisers and handpicking of fruit ensure maximum fruit quality with minimal environmental impact. Combine this with a great winemaker and you have 'Passion in a Bottle',” Niki says.
"At Kladis Estate Wines we refuse to outsource any of our winemaking functions. Our winemakers are a key and valued part of our company. Our head winemaker, Steve Dodd, maintains an ever watchful eye over every step of the process, ensuring that each drop we bottle is of the highest quality. Keeping everything in-house enables us to maintain a premium standard. All of us at Kladis Estate are passionate and committed to our product and our customers."