APART FRON SEEING THE WINERIES it is also good to see some of the small towns that are located close to the wineries, and there are also bike trials that you can follow under different names like ‘The Riesling Trail’, ‘The Rattler Trail’ and other names –
Visitor Centres are full of information, maps, brochures and advice from the locals who manage the centres –
These are just some of the small towns that you might visit, but there are also many others -
While the main reason for people visiting the wine regions is to visit the Cellar Doors of the wineries, sample some wine and maybe buy some to take home, it is also interesting to sense the history and heritage of the different regions.
Farming, be that growing wheat, raising cattle, wool growing or having a vineyard all depend on soil type and quality, terrain, the seasons and climate – and most importantly sunshine and water.
South Australians recognize the importance of rainfall and water possibly more than other Australians – with the dry desert regions covering a large part of the state. In 1865 the Goyder Line was drawn on maps to indicate that any land north of the line was considered “Marginal Land” – therefore subject to very marginal farming. What this meant in effect was that the land north was more likely to be affected by droughts and lack of water, and if sheep or cattle were to be raised there would be fewer cattle or sheep per acre than the areas to the south. It also meant that farms the further you went north became bigger in acreage – with the bigger ones measured not in acres and hectares, but in square kilometres.
Looking back to the 1800’s and early half of the 1900’s – you see a lot of old buildings in the small towns and villages in the wine regions which relate to the early settlers – everything from grand mansions, to stables, civic buildings, churches, and small cottages – and these paint a picture of the times.
The grand mansions are few and far between – but they relate to a time when wool made fortunes for the big wool growers; the churches to the time when religion played such a strong role in bringing the communities together – including the Lutheran and other denominations; the civic buildings – such as Town Halls, Gaols, and Banks were a sign of prosperity but also lawlessness while small outbuildings such as stables, sheds and the smaller cottages were homes of the farmers, workers and immigrants who lived their lives here.