McLaren Vale is an underestimated and over delivering food and wine region about 45 minutes south of the centre of Adelaide. This internationally renowned region is one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World and has been growing grapes since 1838. Today there are over 88 cellar doors in the region with an abundance of varieties and styles. Enough to cater for almost every palate.
The region has a moderate Mediterranean climate with a clear change in seasons and a long, dry and warm summer. The close proximity to the sea gives the grapes nice cool breezes at night and help elongate the ripening process. The cool nights help keep up the natural acidity in the grapes and the longer ripening season gives the grapes more complex flavour profiles.
While McLaren Vale is well known for it’s dry reds, in more recent years there has been an influx of “alternate varieties” such as Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Barbera, Fiano and Vermentino. Shiraz still counts for around 50% of the total grape production in the region but Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvédre and the alternates are being produced in larger quantities.
Typically, McLaren Vale wines are distinguished by their ripeness, structure, complexity and elegance. Some vineyards are now turning 120 years old and there are quite a few old, dry grown vineyards that continue to produce exceptional grapes.
McLaren Vale has been one of the top wine producing regions in Australia and is now getting noticed on the international level. While many producers are known throughout the world, McLaren Vale is extremely lucky to have many not so well-known producers who can only be found in Australia or even just the Adelaide region.
Some of the many producers you will be able to visit while in the area are: