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McLaren Vale Wine Region

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South Australia’s Most Exciting Wine Region!

The McLaren Vale wine region, which is located at about 35 kilometres south of Adelaide of South Australia, can be called as the most exciting wine region in the Southern Australia due to many reasons.

Dandelion Vineyards - Lions Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling

Firstly, the wines that are being produced in this region are internationally popular.

Next, when we take a look at the winemaking history of this region, we can understand that some of the current-day wineries were in operations right from the 1850s itself.

Wine grape varieties

Here, the vine grapes were said to be first planted in the year 1838.

This means that some of the grape varieties in McLaren Vale are more than 100 years old.

Rich Diversity makes it Important!

The McLaren Vale is the most important wine region of the Fleurieu zone.

Although this region got its GI status during the year 1997 the vine-growing traditions in this region are among the oldest in Australia.

I would say the reputation of the McLaren Vale as the country’s consistent wine region is mainly due to its rich diversity.

Here, we can some interactions between the following contributing factors:

  • Geology
  • Soil
  • Elevation
  • Slope
  • Aspect
  • Rainfall
  • Distance from the coast
  • Macroclimate

This diversity makes the grape-growing conditions vary from one place to another.

And, we can find the climatic and geographical diversity getting reflected in the broader range of wine grape varieties that are cultivated here.

The soil types here again are found to be varying from place to place thus contributing to the wines from McLaren Vale with varying terroir.

Some of the most common soil types where the vineyards are planted here are:

  • Red-brown earths
  • Terra Rossa
  • Rendzina
  • Soft sands
  • Dark cracking clays

Although the soil types differ all of them are found to have one common characteristic – ‘free-draining’.

This characteristic of the McLaren Vale soils gives the winegrowers the advantage of controlling the moisture levels by making use of the drip irrigation method.

Read more about Wines from McLaren Vale

Alcohol and Distilleries

Wines from McLaren Vale

The region is particularly famous for the dry red wine range. Amongst all others, the Shiraz grape variety can be called as the crown jewel of this region.

By producing a deep-coloured, rich-flavoured wine with a velvety texture the McLaren Vale’s Shiraz stands out in its quality and style.

Chapel Hill – McLaren Vale Shiraz

Chapel Hill
McLaren Vale Shiraz

The Shiraz grape variety is found to be accounting for almost 50% of the total wine production in this region and it occupies around 3218 hectares of McLaren Vale’s agricultural land.

The main reasons for the Shiraz’s natural vigour and intense flavours are the region’s thin soils, warmer summers, and limited irrigation.

It has found that most of the McLaren Vale’s winemakers are producing at least one wine using Shiraz. Such is the importance of Shiraz in this wine region.

Apart from Shiraz, the region’s Grenache and Mourvedre wines are also famous.

The Grenache variety is important for producing incredibly rich flavours along with the much-needed juiciness in the wines.

And, the Mourvedre is important for its ability to resist drier and warmer conditions.

The other important red varieties of McLaren Vale are:

Although this region is famous for its red wine varieties the white varieties are also grown here.

White wine varieties of McLaren Vale include the following:

Besides the above-mentioned major varieties some of the McLaren Vale’s wineries have started using the following less common grape varieties in their wines:

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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Vineyards in McLaren Vale, Australia

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More McLaren Vale wines on page 2

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