Situated on the coast between the rolling Mount Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent beaches, McLaren Vale offers a smorgasbord of fine wine, food, art and nature. It’s the birthplace of South Australia’s wine industry and home to some of the world’s oldest grape vines. McLaren Vale boasts more than 80 cellar doors and vineyards. Wines from the region frequently win awards at international wine shows.
The region largely produces red wine from shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Grenache. The wines are intensely flavoured with dark fruit aromas and have soft ripe tannins. Some old vine Shiraz and Granache are used to create wines with depth and complexity.
Afternoon breezes from the nearby ocean temper the warm climate in McLaren Vale.
The History of McLaren Vale Wines
1838: McLaren Vale is founded, two years after the state of South Australia is established.
Early 1840s: John Reynell establishes South Australia’s first commercial vineyard.
1850s: The now-legendary winemaker Thomas Hardy establishes his own property and delivers the largest bulk wine export to England.
Mid-1920s – late 1960s: Production is focused on fortified wine and business booms. Immigrants from post-war Italy bring fresh vitality and add to the region’s reputation as a centre of gastronomy.
1970s & 1980s: McLaren Vale’s table wines take their place on the world stage. The number of wineries grows along with the region’s reputation for fine wine.
1999: Australia’s first reclaimed water network is built in McLaren Vale.
2010s: Legislation passed to protect the character of McLaren Vale from urban sprawl.
Today: With so much to offer winemakers, and a propensity for experimentation, McLaren Vale is increasingly known as one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions.
McLaren Vale has the highest number of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards in Australia, and one of the lowest usage rates of sprays and agro-chemicals.
Distance: McLaren Vale is approximately 35 kilometres (22 miles) or a 45-minute drive south of Adelaide.
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