Media Releases

13 October 2017

In recognition of World Tourism Day - September 27 - McLaren Vale producers are toasting to the region’s collective achievements following a recent suite of tourism awards.

Chapel Hill and Coriole were named winners in the 2018 South Australian Best of Wine Tourism Awards. The awards program is a part of Adelaide’s membership in the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, recognising leadership, innovation and excellence in wine tourism.

From more than 30 submissions across South Australia’s 18 wine regions, Chapel Hill won in the architecture and landscape category while Coriole won arts and culture.

The winners of the South Australian awards program may now be selected for inclusion in the International Best of Wine Tourism Awards, held in Chile in November.

CEO and Chief Winemaker, Michael Fragos, credits the united efforts of the Chapel Hill team in continuing the dream and vision of Chapel Hill Founder, Tom Nelson.

“The team from Chapel Hill have all contributed to continuing our founder Tom Nelson’s dream and vision for the little derelict Chapel on top of the hill. We are proud to be one of the regions premier tourism destinations and will continue to improve and innovate to ensure we continue to contribute to the success of the McLaren Vale wine region,” said Mr Fragos.

Locally, Doc Adams’ new cellar door was hailed ‘Cellar Door of the Year’ as part of the 2017 Kaleidoscopic Travel McLaren Vale Cellar Door of the Year Awards, recognising that exceptional wine and regional knowledge and service is a result of teamwork.

Doc Adams Managing Director, Adam Jacobs is honoured to be recognised by his peers.

"It is a magnificent honour and privilege to be awarded ‘Cellar Door of the Year’ and we will continue to passionately promote the region as we host our valued domestic and international customers,” said Mr Adams.

McLaren Vale Cellar Door Committee Co-Chair, David Graham believes the annual awards reflect the true nature of exceptional cellar door service to the many thousands of wine tourism visitors to McLaren Vale.

“The 2017 Kaleidoscopic Travel Cellar Door of the Year Awards is McLaren Vale’s way of recognising the enormous effort and commitment our Cellar Door staff showcase on a daily basis -  not only to promote their wines, but the region as a whole,” said Mr Graham

“Congratulations to Doc Adams on taking out the 2017 Cellar Door of the Year it certainly was very close competition and very well deserved.”

Along with Doc Adams, four individual cellar door staff were awarded ‘Stars of the Region’ titles, including Dani Gaggl and Jon Overcash from Coriole, Anna Mangan from Kangarilla Road and Lin Fischer from Doc Adams.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch notes the importance in recognising businesses and individuals that support the enhancement of McLaren Vale’s tourism offering.

“McLaren Vale’s reputation in producing premium wine and providing exceptional wine tourism experiences continues to grow and develop – it’s an exciting time,” said Ms Lynch.

“The wine tourism industry is crucial for our economic growth and creating jobs in our region as well as enhancing the state’s premium wine reputation in international markets and amongst key industry stakeholders, across the globe.”

Media Enquiries:

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

10 October 2017

Sam Watkins, winemaker at Fleurieu Vintners has been announced as the 2018 Wayne Thomas Scholarship recipient.

Named after prominent McLaren Vale wine identity, the late Wayne Thomas, annual scholarship recipients receive 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 long-time local winemaker – Sam is grateful for the opportunity to progress his wine sensory and analysis capabilities.

“For the community to offer me this opportunity is overwhelming, I will do my best to give back to McLaren Vale many times over for all that it has given me in my career so far,” said Mr Watkins.

“I am hugely thankful to McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association to be given the chance to push myself further into the judging field. My ultimate goal is to continue to be involved in the production of award winning wines from this great region, whilst also promoting the style of wines that we love here in McLaren Vale.”

In completing the AWAC course, Sam 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 showcased in late 2018 whilst judging at 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.

“Sam joins the ranks of several esteemed 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, MVGWTA

P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

14 August 2017

McLaren Vale is set to host the inaugural James Halliday Grenache Challenge on October 15.

Coordinated in conjunction with the 2017 McLaren Vale Wine Show, Grenache samples are sought from producers Australia-wide with entries officially opening Monday, August 21 and closing on Friday, September 15.

Judging will take place on Sunday, October 15 with Mr Halliday attending a community dinner celebration in McLaren Vale to mark the occasion. The official trophy winner will be announced via a video release Friday, November 3.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch recognises great synergy in hosting the inaugural event.

“As the home of some of the oldest bush vine Grenache in Australia, McLaren Vale produces some of the world’s best Grenache wines so it is entirely fitting for our region to host the Challenge and to continue to foster national and international recognition of this deserving varietal,” said Ms Lynch.

2017 McLaren Vale Wine Show Co-Chair and Faux Pas Wines winemaker, Liam Van Pelt is eager to showcase the diversity of Grenache winemaking styles from all over Australia.

“The James Halliday Grenache Challenge gathers varietal Grenache wines from around Australia for a competitive tasting to celebrate the variety and provides an honest gauge of Australia’s winemaking form, catching the styles and movements developing across our landscape,” said Mr Van Pelt.

Mr Halliday has long-praised Australian Grenache. and the recently released 2018 Halliday Wine Companion is no exception with more than 150 Grenache wines rated 90 points or above.

“Grenache is undergoing a resurgence, driven by two recent trends: provenance and a shift towards lighter wine styles. There’s no greater way to tell the Grenache story than in wines from vines that have been producing grapes for 50 to 100 or 150 years in the Barossa and McLaren Vale. Its past is now defining its present. Where power and intensity are the hallmarks in these regions, Grenache’s soft tannins and perfume provide an elegant counterpoint,” Halliday Wine Companion, May 2017 - issue 34.

For more information and for entry terms and conditions, please visit

Media Enquiries:

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

29 June 2017

Wine Origins group expands to 23 with addition of British Columbia, McLaren Vale and Texas

BORDEAUX, France — Leadership from the world’s premier wine regions hosted a tasting event today at Vinexpo 2017 to welcome three new members to the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin. The British Columbia Wine Institute of Canada, which represents five wine regions in the province; the South Australian wine region of McLaren Vale; and the Texas Wine Growers of the United States join the global movement to ensure wine place names are protected and not abused or miscommunicated to consumers.

“The continued expansion of our global alliance underscores the growing movement to protect wine region names, and the demand for accurate and fair labeling,” said Jean-Marie Barillère, co-president of the Comité Champagne. “Consumers have a right to know that the information printed on a label accurately reflects the origin of the wine they are purchasing. While we are competitors in the market place, we agree that name protection is essential to ensuring the authenticity of the product we share with consumers.”

Maxime Toubart, co-president of the Comité Champagne, added: “As a winegrower, I understand first-hand how the place impacts the wine I create. That is why, I am proud that Champagne is part of a growing global alliance of renowned wine regions committed to educating consumers about the importance of location.”

Leadership from Champagne joined Barossa, Chianti Classico, McLaren Vale, Napa Valley, Porto and Texas to pour their wines for journalists and wine industry professionals at the 19th Vinexpo in Bordeaux. This foremost wine festival provided an opportunity for the wine origins group to highlight the importance a specific location plays in wine, and how the misuse of a wine region name is harmful to consumers.

“McLaren Vale is honored to have the opportunity to join this remarkable group of leading world wine regions dedicated to protecting place names,” said Jennifer Lynch, General Manager of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association. “Wines from McLaren Vale, like all those represented in this coalition, have a unique sense of place and can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world.”

Since it was first signed in 2005, the Declaration efforts have led to increasing attention around the protection of wine place names both on labels and online. For example, in January 2016, American-based Internet name registry Donuts launched the new .wine and .vin domain extensions. Prior to the launch, members of the Declaration worked with Donuts on an agreement that put safeguards in place to ensure the extensions could not be falsely used to mislead consumers.

“We are thrilled to join this esteemed group of the world’s leading wine regions and welcome the opportunity to elevate this issue within the United States and around the world,” said Carl Money, Founding Member of the Texas Wine Growers. “Our members look forward to building upon these efforts to ensure that a wine’s true origin be clearly identified on its label in order for consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing and drinking wine.”

By becoming signatories of the Declaration, members agree that geographic names are fundamental tools for consumers to identify the special wines associated with specific winegrowing regions. They commit to working together to bring necessary awareness and advocacy to ensure these names are protected and respected.

“The wine regions of British Columbia are excited to be the first in Canada to join with wine regions from Europe, Australia and the United States to recognize that nothing shapes a wine’s character like its location.” said Miles Prodan, President and CEO of the British Columbia Wine Institute. “From great winegrowing regions to consumer rights groups to everyday consumers, more and more are making their voices heard in the campaign to protect wine place names and we are proud to join this chorus.”


About the Declaration

The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names & Origin was signed in Napa Valley, California, on July 26, 2005. The signatories of the Declaration include: Barossa, Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis, British Columbia, Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Long Island, McLaren Vale, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Rioja, Santa Barbara County, Sonoma County, Texas, Tokaj, Victoria, Walla Walla Valley, Washington state, Willamette Valley and Western Australia. For more information, or follow the coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

CONTACT: Liz McBain, +1 202-777-3511,

Media Enquiries:

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

15 June 2017

McLaren Vale played host to record numbers as the annual McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival celebrated a 25-year birthday over the June long weekend.

Toasting to regional produce and premium wine, the celebration included more than 50 unique events held at 25 venues across McLaren Vale.

Diversity of event offering showcased the very best of the region’s immersive experiences with

Saturday’s events perfectly suited to culinary appetites that favoured long lunches, wine flights, gourmet food truck fare and cooking demonstrations, Sunday is touted as the ‘ultimate wine tour’ with Sunday Experience ticket-holders enjoying three sessions at three different winery destinations and Monday’s public holiday event line-up was especially suited to families with children.

With a mild 17 degrees, minimal wind and no rainfall across the weekend – visitors to the region enjoyed festivities outdoors.

Working in collaboration with SAPOL and Liquor licensing to ensure community and patron safety, McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is pleased with the attendance and behavior of patrons that travelled to join in the celebrations.

“Feedback from participating wineries, local business and Festival-goers has been positive, with many events sold out across the program and crowds well behaved,” said Ms Lynch.

“The Festival has been a perfect showcase of regional collaboration, with cellar door operators, chefs, transport and accommodation businesses banding together to ensure an exceptional storytelling experience for visitors. Adelaide’s inclusion in the Great Wine Capitals of the World Network has reinforced the importance of wine tourism and the Sea & Vines Festival is a great vehicle to strengthen our region and also our State’s global reputation for premium food and wine.”

For further details and event information, please visit

Media Enquiries:

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

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