The Adelaide Hills are part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of the city of Adelaide in the state of South Australia. It is unofficially centred on the largest town in the area, Mount Barker, which has a population of around 29,000 and is also one of Australia’s fastest growing towns.
The Adelaide Hills region is one of the cooler wine regions of mainland Australia as, despite warm days in January and February when the grapes are ripening, the region generally experiences cool nights. This significant diurnal variation results in cool mean daily temperatures even in summer and the consequence of this is high quality, cool-climate wines, leading to its world-famous reputation as a wine producing region. The numerous wineries and cellar doors are represented by a regional association and geographical indication called the Adelaide Hills wine region.
The Adelaide Hills were amongst the first areas of South Australia to be settled by European settlers. A number of towns in the Hills were started asGerman settlements; Hahndorf, and Lobethal are two widely known examples. The original town names and architecture still reflect this. Descendants of these first settlers and others of German origin still reside in the area. This explains the strong German cultural connection seen in the number ofLutheran churches, Lutheran schools which often have German on the curriculum, and the number of older residents who still speak German. Some customs have grown, such as the Lobethal Christmas lights which began in the 1950s.
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