Media Releases

29 October 2019

McLaren Vale’s Best Wine of Show and prestigious ‘Bushing King’ title was awarded at the 55th annual MGA Insurance McLaren Vale Winemakers Bushing Luncheon held at S.C. Pannell Wines.

Brothers, Malcolm and Richard Leask of Hither & Yon were crowned the 2019 Bushing Monarchs.

From over 788 exhibits, the 2018 Hither & Yon Nero D'Avola was the highest scoring wine of the 2019 McLaren Vale Wine Show as judged by an impressive panel of international and Australian judges including Sarah Ahmed - The Wine Detective, Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines, Julian Langworthy - Deep Woods and Kate Laurie - Deviation Road.

Chair of Judges, David LeMire MW notes the evolution of McLaren Vale's diverse winemaking style and credits good grape growing as a hallmark indication of the stand out entries.

“There were some really strong candidates for the Bushing King or Queen, in very diverse styles. What the wines had in common was plenty of character, fruit intensity, and great purity, and the winning wine had all those qualities. Good grape growing shone through in the best wines," said Mr LeMire.

"Throughout the judging, we tasted some terrific wines, and we saw a snapshot of the way the region is evolving.  Innovative blends, emerging varieties, and more balance and freshness in tradition McLaren Vale varieties – these are trends that are standing the test of time. Grenache continues to show how well it performs in the region.”

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is thrilled the Best Wine in Show highlights the region's varietal diversity.

"McLaren Vale's climatic and geological diversity has encouraged our region's producers to successfully embrace Mediterranean varieties. This keenness to challenge the status quo using viticulture and winemaking techniques that are authentic to the region has become one of our most interesting stories to share," said Ms Lynch.

"It's an incredible result for Hither & Yon and in turn, a great result for our region." 

The ‘McLaren Vale meets Leigh Street’ medal and trophy tasting event will be held on Friday, November 8 in Adelaide, tickets can be purchased here.

Full results here.

Photograph available here, please credit John Kruger.

Media Enquiries:

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

23 September 2019

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) has partnered with South Australian industrial automation design, delivery and support business, SAGE Automation to deliver a technology solution that captures tourism visitation numbers to McLaren Vale in real-time.

McLaren Vale is recognised within the greater Fleurieu region in the context of visitation data. As a result, accurately measuring and reporting tourism metrics has previously not been possible. 

In an effort to better understand tourism visitation to the region and to provide services and experiences that appropriately cater to visitors year-round, MVGWTA engaged SAGE Automation to identify a safe, secure and effective technology solution to collect insights via Bluetooth and WiFi detection. 

Utilising technology originally developed to monitor Adelaide's traffic network for the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure, SAGE Automation developed a dashboard system to report metrics collected by fifteen solar-powered beacon units installed across the McLaren Vale Geographical Indication (GI).

The SAGE Bluetooth detection units work by sensing the unique MAC address of smart devices. A MAC address is assigned to every Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip produced in the world.

The solar powered beacons can correlate detections of uniquely identified visitors carrying a smart device within a 50-70m radius. The unit does not capture personably identifiable information, nor requires any input or action from the visitor or business.

Data collected by the beacons is reported in real-time to a dashboard displaying an estimate of visitors to a location at a particular time, as well as an estimate of the number of visits per site over time and peak times.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch recognises the importance of understanding visitation data to provide exceptional tourism experiences and inform business decision-making.

"This is the first time that SAGE’s technology will be used in a tourism context; the application of this data insight will enable a greater understanding of McLaren Vale's tourism landscape and visitor economy," said Ms Lynch.

"The collected tourism data is critical in informing business decision-making, grant applications, biosecurity regulations as well as infra, soft and superstructure developments and long-term planning – both at a regional and individual business level."

General Manager of Transport at SAGE Automation, Damian Hewitt believes the collaboration between the two businesses will provide many benefits to the region.

“McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association has shown real leadership in adapting the use of the technology to maximise the economic benefit to their members. This type of technology is the foundation for using artificial intelligence that will lead to significant community benefit," said Mr Hewitt.

“These benefits could include efficient rostering of staffing, coordinating transit between locations and encouraging the promotion of tourism events.”

The Geolocation Project will run as a pilot for 12 months.


Media Enquiries:

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

09 August 2019

McLaren Vale's reputation for producing premium and ultra-premium Grenache continues to strengthen following the announcement of the 2020 Halliday Wine of the Year - awarded to Yangarra Estate Vineyard 2016 High Sands Grenache!

No stranger to prestigious wine accolades, Yangarra Estate winemaker Peter Fraser has always sung the praises of the region's most notable varietal. In 2016, Halliday named Fraser “Winemaker of the Year” and last year, the 2015 High Sands Grenache was awarded Halliday’s top wine in the “Other Red” category. Additionally, Fraser was a finalist for Gourmet Traveller Wine’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year and was the only Australian winemaker nominated for “Winemaker of the Year” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s annual Wine Star Awards in 2018.

Fraser notes the subtleties of winemaking that reveal the varietals true sense of place in McLaren Vale.

“Since my first vintage at Yangarra, the Grenache from this block has always shown remarkable character,” Fraser explains. “We released the first vintage of High Sands in 2005 and I’ve always felt it was an exceptional wine. Grenache is grabbing the attention of the wine community for its ability to show a true sense of place and its subtleties in the winemaking,” said Fraser. 

The High Sands Grenache is the pinnacle wine in Yangarra’s southern Rhône-inspired portfolio and is sourced from a 1.7-hectare block that sits at the highest elevation on the 90-hectare organically and biodynamically farmed estate vineyard. These gnarly bush vines were planted in 1946 and are dry-grown in North Maslin White Sands that date back over 50 million years.

With just 6.15% of area under vine planted to Grenache, McLaren Vale's premium and ultra premium examples come from small pockets of well-tended vineyards spread throughout the region.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is thrilled the award celebrates and fosters national and international recognition of the deserving varietal.

"Our region’s Grenache history dates back to the 1800s so it is incredibly exciting to note Halliday's Wine of the Year has been awarded to a Grenache wine and to one of our region’s most passionate Grenache stalwarts – Yangarra Estate and winemaker Peter Fraser are deserving recipients,” said Lynch.

McLaren Vale will host the third annual James Halliday Grenache Challenge in September with entries open Australia wide on Monday, August 12 via

Media Enquiries:

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

05 April 2019

The 2019 McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival program has officially launched!

Held across three days of the Queen's birthday June long weekend (8-10 June), the 2019 Sea & Vines Festival will celebrate 27 years of operation with 44 events held across 27 McLaren Vale venues.

With a diverse selection of events to suit all ages, palates and experiences, there’s something for everyone - including intimate degustation dinners, live music performances, food truck fare and fun activities especially for families!

Choose from Relish Events - a selection of ticketed bespoke events held across the full three days of the Festival; Sunday Experience – a 'create your own' winery tour adventure at two locations; and Family Friendly Monday – free events offering entertainment and food options for both the kids and adults!

More than 20,000 visitors enjoyed the festivities in 2018 and event organisers are expecting a similar number this year.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is looking forward to showcasing the region's generous hospitality once again.

"The Festival has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors for nearly three decades and we look forward to welcoming new and returning guests to our region - there is always something new to discover in McLaren Vale," said Ms Lynch.

"The fireplaces are lit, there's live entertainment across the region and the atmosphere is vibrant and fun - the 2019 program has a diverse offering of events so the best way to enjoy the Festival is to book some accommodation and choose a different event for each day - make a weekend of it!"

General release tickets on sale 9am Monday, April 8 at

Media Enquiries:

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

23 January 2019

The rise of premier South Australian wine region McLaren Vale continues with Wine Australia's release of the end of December 2018 Wine Export Report.

Annual bottled export totals for McLaren Vale surpassed $100M in late 2018 - a first in the region's export history and an increase of 20% from 2017 figures year to date.

McLaren Vale can lay claim to average export prices of $11.04 per litre - more than three times the national average of $3.32 and an increase of 6% over the past 12 months.

Higher price points have also increased, in addition to an incredible 64% growth in exports to China - reaffirming McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association's (MVGWTA) strategic commitment to this growing market.

MVGWTA General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is thrilled with the region's continued international growth in key export markets, and remarks upon the region's trajectory.

"The export figures detailed in the Wine Australia report demonstrate year on year continued international demand for premium McLaren Vale wines," said Ms Lynch.

"I recall reviewing our export performance in 2015 when our exports totalled $64M - to be a part of our region's near $40M growth in three years is rewarding.

"The strong growth in higher price segments, particularly in the China market, reaffirms MVGWTA's strategic commitment and focus in activating an international consumer marketing campaign in the China market in late 2019."

d'Arenberg Regional Export Manager, Swenson Su credits export commitment to China for the continued success and growth for both d'Arenberg and McLaren Vale brands.

"Led by substantial growth in China, McLaren Vale is 46% above the national average growth rate - it's pleasing to read," said Mr Su.

"The region is blessed with some of the most dynamic exporters in Australia and China has proven to be an excellent market for d'Arenberg - our Chinese customers love the d'Arenberg Dead Arm in particular.

"We are seeing strong and continued demand from this market and we are committed to continued investment, building the brand name and the region's prominence."

Australia is the fifth largest exporter of wine in the world and exports approximately 60 per cent of its total production, with McLaren Vale contributing 9.4 million litres to international markets. 

Media Enquiries:

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

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