With over 178 years of wine growing experience, McLaren Vale is home to some of Australia’s oldest vineyards – which have left a legacy of around 65 high class wineries that are particularly renowned for producing exceptional red wines.
Pioneering Australian wine makers such as Thomas Hardy and John Reynella are credited with realising McLaren Vale’s potential for producing quality wines in the early 19th century – and their dedicated faith has been reflected by award-winning success of the region’s many boutique estates specialising in hand-crafted, premium wines.
McLaren Vale wineries are scattered across a picturesque countryside of rolling hills and sun kissed slopes that can be easily reached from the state capital of Adelaide in South Australia, where the vast majority of the country’s most iconic wines hail from.Along with the more renowned region of the Barossa Valley, the best wineries in McLaren Vale are battling for the title of Australia’s finest red wine producer – although the largely Mediterranean climate and a variety of terroirs and altitudes encourage a diverse array of alternative styles that can be sampled as part of a wine tour.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise a range of exclusive tours of McLaren Vale wineries, including elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique activities.All of our private tours can be tailor made to meet your exact specifications, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand – sampling world class wines surrounded by the natural beauty of Australia’s countryside.
Our purely bespoke tour of McLaren Vale wineries will take you to a range of revered wineries accompanied by a professional guide to explain the region and wine’s characteristics before sampling some premium vintages paired with local cuisine over a two-course lunch.By far the most influential region in the so-called ‘Fleurieu Zone’, wineries in McLaren Vale are internationally acclaimed for producing some of Australia’s finest signature Shiraz (known elsewhere as Syrah). However, there are many more notable styles coming from the region – here is an overview of the main grape varieties:
McLaren Vale winery wines: Shiraz
Undoubtedly the most widely planted grape in the region, McLaren Vale Shiraz is a densely coloured, richly flavoured red wine with a distinctive velvety texture that has been praised all over the world for its seductive style. There are many opportunities to sample world class Shiraz by plotting a course through the Shiraz Wine Trail, which follows an old railway line from the town to Willunga.
McLaren Vale winery wines: Cabernet Sauvignon
McLaren Vale wineries typically produce full-bodied and rich Cabernet Sauvignon with hints of dark chocolate and forest berries that can be aged gracefully over decades.
McLaren Vale winery wines: Grenache
Over the last decade, Grenache has enjoyed a renaissance in McLaren Vale – with old vine plantings creating incredibly rich flavoured wines with enviable juiciness. The variety can also be united with Shiraz and Mouvedre to create the classic Australian GSM blend.
McLaren Vale winery wines: Chardonnay
Chardonnay has established a dominance among white wines produced from McLaren Vale wineries, with virtually every producer contributing towards it – although the grape’s fading popularity has led to experimentation with different Spanish and Italian white varieties.
McLaren Vale’s collaborative and generous nature, beach lifestyle and glorious natural produce that includes artisan cheeses, bread and cured meats have made the region a must travel destination for wine enthusiasts Down Under.
If you are interested in experiencing a winery in McLaren Vale or beyond, visit our Australia destination page for more information and inspirational ideas before planning a bespoke trip.