McLaren Vale is often called the 'place where the wine meets the sea'. You’ll find it on the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is a popular tourist destination just 43km south of Adelaide. If the state of South Australia is renowned for its natural beauty, McLaren Vale just might be the cherry on top.
Fleurieu Wine Zone
It's part of the Fleurieu wine zone, which also includes the famous regions of Langhorne Creek, Currency Creek and Kangaroo Island, just off the tip of the peninsula. The region tumbles down from the Adelaide Hills to the Gulf of St Vincent. A pleasant climate, wonderful growing conditions and stunning beaches make it a lifestyle destination.
The Italian influence
Italians are the largest group of non-British immigrants who came to Australia, and post-WWII immigration had a significant influence on McLaren Vale, especially food and wine - an outcome of which is an abundance of restaurants and cafes for visitors to choose from.
A Mediterranean Climate
Unlike some parts of Australia, McLaren Vale has four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and dry, with welcome cooling relief drifting in from the sea in the afternoon and evening. Summer days are long and warm, with short, cool nights. This Mediterranean climate is ideal for making red wine, and McLaren Vale reds are renowned for being complex, elegant and well-structured.
McLaren Vale has many different soil types, which contributes to the region having many different terroir. Most vineyards are found on gently undulating land about 100m above sea level. Vineyards are planted on fertile red-brown earth, terra rosa, soft sands and ironstone soil. Ironstone, in particular, produces rich, supple wines with typical McLaren Vale chocolate and mocha characteristics found in Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends. Inland and higher up in Blewitt Springs, sandy soils produce Grenache, rich in plum and mulberry flavours, showing tobacco and spice.