McLaren Vale Wine Region is a wine and food tourism destination like no other.
Our region's proximity to pristine beaches and our stunning natural landscape influences everything from the type of wine we produce to the relaxed convivial lifestyle we lead.
McLaren Vale's extensive natural and cultural heritage spans over thousands of years of traditional ownership by the Kaurna people.
Only 45 minutes south of Adelaide in South Australia, McLaren Vale is home to sustainable winegrowing, world-class wines and culinary experiences, as well as pristine natural attractions and unparalleled tourism offerings including unique and beautiful accommodation options.
McLaren Vale is the birth place of wine in South Australia and our region's Mediterranean climate continues to drive our region's wine style and diverse food culture. McLaren Vale excels in the production of ultra-premium Shiraz and Grenache. Spanish and Italian varieties such as Fiano, Vermentino, Tempranillo and Sangiovese are also very well suited climatically and provide wine lovers with yet another layer of discovery.
From high-end, starred restaurants to casual platters - there is a wine and food combination to suit any taste.
Our region's 30 kilometres of breathtaking coastline and ranges define McLaren Vale's boundaries, and the distinct landscapes and environment within.
McLaren Vale's collaborative and generous nature, unique combination of world class wines and produce - both on the farm and on the plate - with a beach lifestyle, ensures that our region truly offers a unique, welcoming experience.
McLaren Vale has produced wine since 1838. With more than 180 years of experience, our region's reputation is strongly established in South Australia's and Australia's winemaking origins.
Today, our region remains phylloxera free and is known for innovative viticultural and winemaking techniques and an international reputation for producing the 'trilogy' of Australian reds: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.
Of our region's 7,308 hectares of area under vine, 54% of our plantings are dedicated to Shiraz, however our region also excels in producing exceptional Mediterranean alternative red and white varieties including Fiano, Vermentino, Barbera, Montepulciano, Nero d'Avola and Tempranillo
McLaren Vale is also home to a significant number of boutique brewers and passionate distillers and our region's reputation continues to grow steadily.
Key VarietiesShiraz Mediterranean varieties
McLaren Vale is located 45 minutes south of Adelaide - the capital of South Australia, Australia.
The official McLaren Vale Geographical Indication (GI) declaration was made in 1997. It captures an area from Hallett Cove, across to Clarendon, and then roughly south then south-west along the ridge of the foothills until it meets the coast at Sellicks Beach.
The Australian Geographical Indication "McLaren Vale" was entered in the Register of Protected Names on 2 September 1997 in response to a direction received by the Registrar from the Presiding Member of the Geographical Indications Committee acting under Section 40Z of the WAC Act 1980.
The official textual description of the McLaren Vale GI can be found on the Wine Australia website.
McLaren Vale’s climate is Mediterranean and characterised by warm summers, moderate winters, winter-dominated rainfall, low relative humidity and relatively high evaporation.
McLaren Vale is roughly triangular in shape and bordered on three sides. Adelaide to the north, the Mt Lofty Ranges to the east and south, and the Gulf St Vincent to the west.
The proximity of Mt Lofty and the Gulf of St Vincent play a very important role in moderating the climate of our region and are largely responsible for many of the meso and micro climatic differences.
Elevation in our region peaks at 350 metres along the Sellicks foothills and Chandlers Hill, with the majority of vineyards located on gently undulating to flat land between 50–150 metres.
Wind is a significant factor within McLaren Vale. There are two distinct and completely separate wind sources within our region: gully winds which blow east-west down through the foothills, and sea breezes blowing south-north up through Gulf St Vincent.
The climatic diversity of McLaren Vale has helped producers successfully embrace Spanish and Italian varieties such as Barbera, Fiano, Tempranillo, Mouvedre and Moscato and explore re-emerging varieties like Viognier, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Verdelho.
Warm summers and moderate winters
180-200mmm growing season rainfall
Low relative humidity
Relatively high evaporation
Heat degree days: 1910 °C
Latitude: 35° 14's
Mean temperature: 21.7 ° C
McLaren Vale is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world. More than 40 unique geological units are present in our region and vary in age from 15,000 years to over 550 million years.
The Geology of the McLaren Vale Wine Region map was developed as a result of decades of diligent investigation by curious geological scholars and provides a key to the complex, constantly unfolding links between geology and modern wine flavours.
First published in 2010, the map was initially prepared by Geologists Bill Fairburn, Jeff Olliver and Wolfgang Preiss of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA), together with wine writer Philip White. Following continued research and investigation, the map was updated in 2019.
Ongoing study of our region's geology provides a key to the complex, constantly unfolding links between geology and regional wine varietals and flavours, whilst the map continues to assists viticulturists in appropriate planting.
There is a wide variety of soil types, a reflection of the varied terrain; red brown sandy loams, grey brown loamy sands with yellow clay subsoils interspersed with lime, distinctly sandy soils and patches of red or black friable loams are all to be found. As the long-standing and intensive viticulture of our region attests, the soils and geography of McLaren Vale are well suited to grape growing.
McLaren Vale is at the forefront of best practice in terms of soil surveying and this diversity is well respected, with a dedicated group of our region's growers, wine makers and geologists forming a committee to explore these differences. This ongoing study has resulted in a series of geology pits excavated throughout the region to highlight the relationship between geology and the region’s fine wine. You can find information on the sites here.
McLaren Vale is the most environmentally sustainable wine grape growing region in Australia, leading the way in organic practices, water management and climate-appropriate plantings*. (*Source Wine Australia)
McLaren Vale was the first region in Australia to declare and manage its underground water resource so that it is self-replenishing.
McLaren Vale built the first and largest reclaimed water network in Australia so that 100% of all irrigation used in our region is now from a sustainable resource other than river water.
Many of McLaren Vale's grape growers and wineries are certified organic, certified biodynamic or certified under the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program.