Media Releases

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:

20 August 2018

The James Halliday Grenache Challenge (JHGC) returns for its second running following the success of the inaugural wine competition first hosted by McLaren Vale in 2017.

Coordinated in conjunction with the 2018 McLaren Vale Wine Show, Grenache samples are sought from producers Australia-wide with entries officially opening Monday, August 20 and closing on Friday, September 14.

Judging will take place on Sunday, October 14 and the official trophy winner will be announced via video release on Friday, November 2.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch recognises great synergy in continuing the event following it's inaugural unveiling in 2017.

“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.

2018 McLaren Vale Wine Show Chair, Liam Van Pelt is eager to see the continued progression of diverse 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.

“On the back of the 2017 event, we can now taste, compare and discuss the continued evolution of one of our most underestimated varietals.”

James Halliday has long-praised Australian Grenache and the recently released 2019 Halliday Wine Companion is no exception.

“I am hugely excited by the changing approach to Grenache, particularly by appropriate vineyard management and a clear vision of the winemaking style,” Halliday Wine Companion, 2019.

For more information, entry terms and conditions and submissions, please visit here:

Media Enquiries:

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

14 June 2018

Wintry weather over the June long weekend didn't keep the crowds from enjoying the annual McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival, with more than fifteen thousand visitors to the region over three days.

With a maximum of 15 degrees across the weekend, Festival-goers rugged up to enjoy McLaren Vale's renowned hospitality with 55 events hosted across 26 participating venues.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch notes the culinary and winemaking traditions of the coastal wine region remains at the heart of the Festival's celebration.

"Now in its 26th year, the Sea & Vines Festival event offering has evolved from its early years centred around the region's abundance of local seafood - however the spirit of regional collaboration remains unrivalled," said Ms Lynch.

"Our participating Producers showcase the very best of the region's immersive food and wine experiences across the weekend, demonstrating what is on offer in McLaren Vale year-round."

All discerning tastes were catered to with Saturday’s events perfectly suited to culinary appetites that favoured long lunches, structured wine flights, live music and cooking demonstrations. Sunday was dubbed the ‘ultimate wine tour’ with Sunday Experience ticket-holders enjoying the hospitality of three different winery venues and Monday’s public holiday showcased family-fun with food truck fare and activities for little kids and big kids alike.

Working closely with SAPOL and the Liquor Licensing branch in the lead up to and during the Festival ensured community and patron safety remained a priority.

For further event information, please visit

Media Enquiries:

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

28 March 2018

In early February, industry-leading sustainability professionals from around the world met in Verona, Italy for the Sustainable Winegrowing Summit (SWS).

Believed to be the first of its kind, the Summit attracted an international audience of more than 100 attendees eager to learn about state-of-the-art sustainable winegrowing programs and low environmental impact grape production.

James Hook - McLaren Vale vigneron and agronomist, was a guest speaker representing McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association in a moderated discussion about the region's Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) program, which is now operating throughout major wine grape growing region’s in Australia, including the Barossa.

Speakers joining James on the panel included Olga Bussinello (Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella), Beth Vukmanic Lopez (SIP certified), Willi Klinger (Austrian Wine Marketing Board), Steve Lohr (California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance) and Stephanie L. Bolton (Lodi Sustainable Winegrowing Commission).

The McLaren Vale-born SAW Program provided an exceptional case study as the leading sustainability program for grapegrowing in Australia.

The Program was initially developed by local McLaren Vale growers in 2010 with funding support from the South Australian State Government and aims to assist grape growers to continually improve their operations by becoming more sustainable and reducing environmental impacts. 

The Program is based on triple bottom-line methods of sustainability: environment, social and economic.  It encourages grapegrowing practices that are sensitive to the environment and the
community, and that are economically feasible to implement and maintain.

In the 2016/17 growing season, the SAW program was implemented across 206 distinct sites in McLaren Vale, representing 65% of McLaren Vale’s total crush (worth $45.5m of the $70m total).

James commended key organiser, the International Sustainable Winegrowing Network for providing an international platform for important and timely information sharing.

"There is a great need to share our knowledge. Some of our own local issues and solutions, especially regarding heatwaves - made more common by climate change and irrigation issues - are extremely useful to regions like Valpolicella, which are now facing heatwaves and water shortages for the first time,” said James.

“The level we need to think about sustainability is global, because we are all part of the same global system.”  

Olga Bussinello, Director of the Valpolicella Wine Board was grateful for the case studies.

“Today, 114 companies cover a total of 915 hectares (in Valpolicella), but our goal is to obtain the certification of 60% of the entire area through our RRR sustainability program. We will therefore be continuing to work with other regions to see if common approaches can be found,” said Olga.

The Summit will become an annual event, hosted in a different international location each year.

Media Enquiries:

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

30 October 2017

McLaren Vale’s Best Wine of Show and prestigious ‘Bushing King’ title was awarded at the 53rd annual MGA Insurance McLaren Vale Winemakers Bushing Lunch held at Serafino Wines.

The 2016 Kay Brothers Griffon’s Key Grenache was the highest scoring wine of the 2017 Wine Show as judged by an impressive panel of international and Australian judges including Emma Symington MW – Wine Australia UK, Fiona Donald – Seppeltsfield, Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines and Virginia Willcock - Vasse Felix.

Chair of Judges, David LeMire MW has praised the quality of wines entered into this year’s Show, particularly the Grenache classes.

"The Grenache classes were exciting to judge. The brilliant resource of mature vines seems to be more valued by growers, makers, and drinkers than ever before,” said Mr LeMire.

This year’s McLaren Vale Wine Show received 757 entries from 101 producers, with 47 gold medals awarded to 27 different producers.

Building on the excitement of hosting the inaugural James Halliday Grenache Challenge, McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is thrilled the annual Wine Show continues to gain momentum and recognition in the Australian judging circuit.

“The McLaren Vale Wine Show showcases our premium wines, our unique place and our producer’s multi-generational stories,” said Ms Lynch.

“Our region’s Grenache history dates back to the 1800s so it is incredibly exciting to note the 2017 Best Wine of Show has been awarded to a Grenache wine and to one of our region’s oldest family-owned producers – Kay Brothers and winemaker Duncan Kennedy are very deserving recipients.”

All gold medal-winning wines will be available for public tasting in both Adelaide and Melbourne.

The ‘McLaren Vale meets Leigh Street’ pop-up event will be held on Friday November 10 in Adelaide, followed by an additional pop-up tasting event at Federation Square in Melbourne on Friday December 1.

Media Enquiries:

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

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