Mediterranean sensibility

McLaren Vale is one of the great and oldest names of Australian wine. The birthplace of wine in South Australia, it lies just south of the capital city of Adelaide and offers a multiplicity of soils which bask under a Mediterranean climate. 

Today, although it has over 7,500 hectares under vine and with demand for its wines at an all-time global high, it retains much of the innovative spirit that it was born with.

Much of that spirit of innovation stems from the fact that the Vale still has many boutique wineries who are continuing to push the boundaries in the search for perfection.

Read more about McLaren Vale.

McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale
This map is not an accurate representation of the regional GI boundaries. Please click here to view an accurate map of the regional boundary.

McLaren Vale snapshot

McLaren Vale is one of South Australia's oldest and most picturesque regions, nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the white, sandy beaches of the Gulf of St Vincent.  It offers exceptional wines and regional produce all set amongst rolling vineyards, a rugged coastline and a charming collective of villages. With so much to offer winemakers and with its natural propensity toward change and experimentation, it’s not surprising that that McLaren remains a draw for some of the most creative winemakers around.

These winemakers add to the vibrancy of a region that for decades has been lauded for its ability to produce brilliance from an array of noble varietals like Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon to newer arrivals like Nero d’Avola, Fiano and Vermentino.

McLaren Vale is a region of beauty with a focus on quality and innovation that ensures its reputation will continue to grow and grow. McLaren Vale is also one of the more environmentally conscious regions in Australia with a large percentage of producers farming organically, biodynamically or employing sustainable farming methods.

Read more about McLaren Vale.

6,210ha
Total vineyard area
50-250m
Altitude
34° 16'S
Latitude
180-200mm
Growing season rainfall
21.7°c
Mean temperature (Jan)
1910
Heat degree days
White
10%
Red
90%
Type

Cabernet Sauvignon

This variety shines in the cooler sites and cooler vintages. Full-bodied with ripe, soft tannins and classic blackcurrant/blackberry aromas and flavours.

Chardonnay

Although it doesn’t get the attention of the red varieties Chardonnay is the most planted white variety in the region. Various styles are produced, depending on site, but range from lighter bodied citrus flavoured through to more full-bodied peach and melon flavoured with varied oak use.

Grenache

Grenache is grown in several parts of McLaren Vale and there are many very old vines dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is still used as the backbone in classic GSM blends but single-varietal wines are very exciting. Typically high in alcohol but with lively, juicy raspberry-scented fruit and spicy flavours.

Shiraz

While many varieties do well in McLaren Vale Shiraz is still considered king and still accounts for almost 50% of the total crush each year. A range of sub-regional styles exist but dark chocolate, blueberry and spice characters are common. The best examples are typically medium to full-bodied with vibrant, pure fruit.

Vermentino

Like Fiano, this is a relatively new arrival to the region but is already showing promise. The variety is perfectly suited to the region’s Mediterranean climate, producing wines with bright citrus flavours complemented by a refreshing minerality.

Top varieties grown in McLaren Vale
Climate
  • The cooling effect from the ocean creates substantial meso-climate variation
  • Exposure to or protection from ocean influence dictates success of varieties planted
  • Low summer rainfall
Soil
  • Wide range of soils but red/brown loamy sand quite common
  • Sandy soils on hillsides around Blewitt Springs
  • Some areas with terra rossa

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