The McLaren Vale region is located 45 minutes south of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. The area is bound to the south by the Sellick’s Hill range, extends east to Clarendon, reaches to the north just beyond Reynella and is bordered on the west by the waters of the Gulf St. Vincent. First planted with vines in the 1830’s, McLaren Vale is best known today for its internationally acclaimed rich, flavourful Shiraz.
The climate in McLaren Vale is similar to the Mediterranean and its suitability to vinifera grape-growing is defined by several factors:
The proximity to the Gulf St. Vincent moderates climatic conditions
Warm summer daytime temperatures are moderated by the sea breezes and “gully winds” from the surrounding hills, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and evenly
The long ripening season extends the hang time, allowing grapes to reach physiological as well as sugar maturity, maximising flavour
Rainfall is largely restricted to the winter months, lowering disease pressure during the growing season
The McLaren Vale district is comprised of a wide variety of soils, each type producing distinct wines with characters unique to each sub-region. Weak soils force vines to struggle, limiting canopy development and resulting in complex, flavourful grapes.
Wine is not the only reason to visit McLaren Vale. Also known as the Gateway to the Fleurieu Peninsula, McLaren Vale offers an abundance of activities. From taking a flight in a bi-plane, surfing, swimming and fishing to relaxing over a long lunch after a visit to one of the local art galleries, the visitor to McLaren Vale can do as much, or as little as they choose, but always with a glass of fine McLaren Vale wine close at hand!