Media Releases

09 November 2018

McLaren Vale took centre stage at the 2019 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards, with an impressive four out of seven South Australian winners from the wine region.

Announced last night at a black tie gala dinner held at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens as part of the Great Wine Capitals Annual General Meeting, McLaren Vale's Inkwell Winesd'ArenbergCoriole Vineyards and Gemtree Wines were announced as winners of the state awards, with d'Arenberg's Cube also awarded the 2019 International Best of Wine Tourism Award for Architecture and Landscape, recognised for its bespoke structure and design.

The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in wine tourism in the regions of ten great wine capitals and provides an opportunity for wineries to gain exposure and recognition for their commitment to providing leading wine tourism experiences.

Prior to the awards gala, McLaren Vale played host to 100 visiting delegates of the 2019 Great Wine Capitals AGM on Wednesday. Visitors enjoyed immersive regional experiences including a wetlands and eco tour at Gemtree, structured seated tastings at Mitolo and Wirra Wirra as well as lunch at Pizzateca, Star of Greece and Beresford.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is thrilled the region is recognised among renowned international wine regions.

“In conjunction with McLaren Vale's recent nomination as a top five finalist for Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2018 International Wine Region of the Year, the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards reaffirms our region’s position as a premier wine region on the global stage,” said Ms Lynch.

“We are incredibly humbled to be awarded alongside other global wine regions such as Bordeaux and Napa Valley – we are elated for our region's winners and finalists, Adelaide and our State."

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone congratulated d’Arenberg on receiving their international award.

“McLaren Vale’s d’Arenberg Cube is an iconic wine tourism experience that continues to gain worldwide traction for being so unique, easily eclipsing visitation expectations,” said Minister Whetstone.

“The Cube’s design creates a venue that is remarkable and has been deservingly recognised on a global stage through these awards.

“Congratulations to the South Australian winners and nominees of the Best of Wine Tourism Awards and the finalists – this is wonderful recognition for the outstanding wine tourism experiences on offer in our state.”


The winners for the 2019 awards are:

Accommodation - Inkwell Wines (McLaren Vale)

Architecture and Landscape - d’Arenberg (McLaren Vale)

Art and Culture - Coriole Vineyards (McLaren Vale)

Innovative Wine Tourism Experience - Penfolds Magill Estate (Adelaide Hills)

Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices - Gemtree Wines (McLaren Vale)

Wine Tourism Restaurant - The Lane Vineyard (Adelaide Hills)

Wine Tourism Services - Elderton Wines (Barossa)

For further information about the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards, click here.

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications Manager, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

02 November 2018

The second annual James Halliday Grenache Challenge (JHGC) gathered varietal Grenache wines from around Australia for a competitive tasting to celebrate and elevate the variety. 

The Challenge invited producers from all Australian wine regions to participate, encouraging an honest gauge of Australia’s winemaking form and to catch the styles and movements developing across the landscape.

Cellarmasters 2017 Blood Brother Republic McLaren Vale Grenache emerged victorious, with Z Wine 2017 Rustica just a single point behind.

2018 James Halliday Grenache Challenge Panel Judges included Julian Langworthy - Deep Woods, Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines and Fiona Donald - Seppeltsfield.

2018 McLaren Vale Wine Show Chair Liam Van Pelt, was thrilled to receive quality Grenache submissions from all over Australia.

"Once again, the JHGC was supported by many great wine regions around Australia. Entries were scrutinised by some of Australia’s top show judges with the top eight wines creating a lot of conversation around style, winemaking and Grenache’s overall position in Australia," said Mr Van Pelt.

"Judges were impressed with the strength of the entries with eventual winner chosen for showing brightness, balance, varietal definition and complexity.” 

James Halliday also noted the standout quality of the final entries.

"The eight grenache that were in contention for the best overall and best regional awards are a brilliant testimony to all that modern day grenache has to offer," said Mr Halliday.

"Lifted, perfumed red fruits and hints of spice of the bouquets were mirrored by vibrant, supple palates with a seamless flow of varietal fruits ranging through red cherry, strawberry and raspberry. The wines achieved these wonderful flavours at moderate alcohol levels, making them a sheer pleasure to drink."

Mark 'Jamo' Jamieson, the winemaker behind the winning wine, is honoured to receive the accolade.

“To get recognition from Australia’s most respected wine critic is a tremendous honour,” Jamieson said.

“Creating a beautiful wine is a team effort, and this win is a true testament to all the hard work the grower, cellar hands and winemaker do together. At the end of the day, it’s all about the vines, the soil, and ability to pick the fruit at optimum ripeness – not to mention a large dash of luck.”

Full results here.

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications Manager, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

26 October 2018

*Embargoed until 4pm, 26 October 2018

McLaren Vale’s Best Wine of Show and prestigious ‘Bushing King’ title was awarded at the 54th annual MGA Insurance McLaren Vale Winemakers Bushing Luncheon held at Serafino Wines.

Stephen Pannell and Fiona Lindquist were crowned 2018 Bushing Monarchs - an incredible fourth title for the winemaking team behind S.C. Pannell Wines.

The 2016 S.C. Pannell Cabernet Malbec was the highest scoring wine of the 2018 Wine Show as judged by an impressive panel of international and Australian judges. 

Chair of Judges, David LeMire MW has praised the quality of wines entered into this year’s Show, with "classic" varietals proving a difficult decision to determine front runners.

"With one hundred metres to go, you could have thrown a blanket over the contenders for the Best Wine of Show. The Grenache, the Cabernet, and a delicious blend of Cabernet and Malbec that is becoming recognised as classic, and uniquely an Australian style, were hard to separate, but the Cabernet Malbec just got over the line, by a (fragrant) nose,” said Mr LeMire.

This year’s McLaren Vale Wine Show received 799 entries from 113 exhibitors, with 50 gold medals awarded.

Building on the excitement of McLaren Vale's nomination as 'International Wine Region of the Year' in Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2018 Wine Star Awards, McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch considers the annual Wine Show and associated Bushing Luncheon a significant indicator of changing winemaking and culinary trends.

“Food and wine has long been the culinary language of many countries in the world – a reflection of place, people and produce," said Ms Lynch.

"How food and wine is enjoyed in Australia and internationally is evolving, and McLaren Vale wines are extremely well-placed to evolve with growing and changing tastes of discerning palates. We are a dynamic and multi-dimensional wine region – it is no wonder that McLaren Vale’s international recognition continues to grow."

The ‘McLaren Vale meets Leigh Street’ medal and trophy tasting event will be held on Friday, November 9 in Adelaide, tickets can be purchased here.

List of trophy winners here. Full results book posted at 4pm on the MVGWTA website.

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications Manager, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

24 September 2018

Oliver Budack, cellar door manager at McLaren Vale’s Gemtree Wines has been awarded the 2019 Wayne Thomas Scholarship.

Named after prominent McLaren Vale wine identity, the late Wayne Thomas, the annual scholarship recipient receives a fully funded place at the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course and the opportunity to judge as an Associate Judge at the McLaren Vale Wine Show – one of Australia’s most significant wine shows.

As a newer resident to the region, hailing from Germany and a qualified Sommelier – Oliver is grateful for the opportunity to progress his wine sensory and analysis capabilities.

“Being new to the area I wanted to find an opportunity to be more engaged with my industry and to contribute to it in a meaningful way. I also want to build on my existing wine knowledge and education, and to become a qualified wine judge. Wherever I am, I always want to learn more and deepen my journey into wine,” said Mr Budack.

“It will be a great pleasure to support a wide range of wine events, meet lots of people, form relationships and to be a strong advocate for the local industry.”

In completing the AWAC course, Oliver will experience different wine styles from around the world and develop his sensory vocabulary and palate calibration alongside esteemed industry peers during the intensive four-day workshop.

These newly acquired skills will be put into practice in October 2019 when Oliver will be an associate judge in the McLaren Vale Wine Show.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch, reaffirms the region’s reputation as a home of talented and passionate wine industry ambassadors.

“The scholarship enables recipients to advance their judging profile whilst also developing knowledge and experience to benefit our region and industry,” said Ms Lynch.

The Wayne Thomas Scholarship is funded by proceeds raised through the annual McLaren Vale Wine Show awards luncheon, the Winemakers Bushing Lunch.

“Oliver joins an esteemed collective of McLaren Vale leaders that have completed the same sensory course over the last ten years, and who have since received many accolades for their businesses, thereby enhancing our region’s reputation as a haven for fostering leadership in the wine industry.”

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications Manager, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

10 September 2018

McLaren Vale has been nominated by Wine Enthusiast Magazine (US) for International Wine Region of the Year at the 2018 Wine Star Awards.

McLaren Vale is the only Australian wine region to be nominated, alongside some of the world’s greatest wine regions such as Champagne (France) and Sonoma (California).

McLaren Vale’s nomination was supported by Wine Enthusiast’s Contributing Editor, Christina Pickard, who was directly hosted in our region by MVGWTA and our Members in February this year through Wine Australia's visitation program.

In addition to our region’s nomination, MVGWTA is equally thrilled to note McLaren Vale’s very own Peter Fraser (Yangarra Estate Vineyard) has also been nominated for 2018 International Winemaker of the Year.

Pete is the only Australian nominee amongst a very impressive calibre of international winemaking colleagues.

With a print readership of 940,000 per annum, 2.1 million page views per month and a combined social following of more than 600,000 – Wine Enthusiast’s nomination of our region and Peter Fraser will continue to build McLaren Vale’s international recognition as a truly global and exciting wine tourism region in one of our key international markets for wine exports and visitation.

Please click here for full Nominee details. Winners will be announced on Thursday, November 8, 2018 and Wine Star Award trophies will be presented and celebrated at Wine Enthusiast’s black-tie gala on Monday, January 28, 2019 at Nobu Eden Roc in Miami, Florida, USA.

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications Manager, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

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