The rolling hills and vast vineyard view of the McLaren Vale Wine Region hold more than meets the eye. Look carefully and you'll see a growing number of distilleries that call McLaren Vale home.
After all, there are advantages to being nestled within the region's winemaking community including the opportunity to source some quality aged Shiraz wine barrels — the perfect vessel for a Shiraz Cask Aged Whisky — or even snag a parcel of fine McLaren Vale Grenache to make the perfect blend of Gin and Grenache!
What better way to warm the soul this winter than with a Gin or Whisky with friends. We've put together some must-try spirits to enjoy either in the comfort of your home or on your next visit to the McLaren Vale Wine Region:
Angove Family Winemakers
A respected winemaking family of the McLaren Vale Wine Region, the Angove Family also own and operate the St Agnes Distillery which is one of Australia’s oldest continuously operating distilleries.
Since 1886, Angove Family Winemakers and St Agnes Distillery’s reputation has been built on producing high quality apera, grand and rare tawny, wine and brandy. This heritage has resulted in an extensive and diverse oak reserve that is unrivalled across Australia.
You can enjoy their range of St. Agnes spirits in the comfort of their contemporary Angove Family Winemakers McLaren Vale Cellar Door. Here you can take a seat over looking their vineyard and delve into an Australian exploration of the craft of VS, VSOP and XO with their top-tier St Agnes Brandy, sample their limited edition Camborne Whiskey Shiraz Cask or sip their Blind Tiger Organic Shiraz Gin.
Stay for a while to enjoy delicious seasonal dishes from chef Georgie Rogers.
Book your experience: angove.com.au
Down South Distillery
Passionate about their love for everything Australiana and for everything ‘Down South', the team at Down South Distillery strive to create just that, in a 'bloody good bottle of Spirit'.
Snapshots of the relaxed lifestyle of the McLaren Vale Wine Region adorn the bottles, creating a range of labels as vibrant as the Gin themselves.
To purchase or to find out more head to down-south.com.au
McLaren Vale Distillery
"One person can make a whisky, but it takes an entire community to build a legacy."
McLaren Vale Distillery's vision was to do more than make a great Australia Whisky, they wanted to create a new, collaborative concept and add another rich layer to the heritage and tradition of one of the nation's best and most loved wine regions.
The McLaren Vale Distillery has realised their vision, teaming up with local wineries including Oliver's Taranga and Maxwell Wines to obtain wine barrels, once used to mature fine wines, to now create Single Cask Single Malt Whisky showing provenance of the McLaren Vale Wine Region.
The McLaren Vale Distillery Tasting Room is open every Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm.
725 Chapel Hill Road, Blewitt Springs.
Book your visit: mvdistillery.com.au
Never Never Distilling Co. is the story of three mates with a shared passion for flavour and the lofty ambition to create Australia’s most exciting and innovative gin brand. It’s the culmination of our separate journeys, three paths walked that intertwine here in South Australia.
One of their signature innovations, Grenache Gin, sees premium McLaren Vale Grenache grapes picked and crushed within hours, then added to their award-winning Triple Juniper Gin. It’s then left on the skins for up to a month to develop rich flavour and colour before being pressed, filtered and bottled. The end result is a bright, vibrant and delicious Gin that speaks of McLaren Vale!
Never Never is located within the Chalk Hill Collective alongside McLaren Vale staples Chalk Hill and Alpha Crucis Wines and Cucina Di Strada.
Open 7 Days. Book your visit at: neverneverdistilling.com.au
A respect and understanding of provenance, aroma and flavour sees each botanical, used in Settlers' spirits, individually hung and steamed to preserve and highlight each distinctive character. This is not a practice that harks back into the history of gin, but a modern twist on technique that produces a distinctly brighter, crisper and more defined palate profile that it synonymous with Settlers Spirits'.
Visit the Settlers Spirits Distillery Door to enjoy a gin flight, with the option to pair local cheeses, or become a distiller for the day where you can create your own gin recipes then bottle your favourite blend to take home.
Open Thursday–Monday 11am–5pm
197 Foggo Rd, McLaren Vale SA
Born from the Thursday night pub gathering tradition of a group of McLaren Vale based winemakers hailing from South America and wider Australia, came the idea to distil a wine to make a spirit. Inspired by Chilean Pisco, wine made from Muscat Gordo Blanco is distilled to create an aromatic Australian Pisco known as ‘Gordito’.
A must-try is the Tiny Friday Gordito signature cocktails, the Gouri Sour and the Dirty Gordini.
Keep an eye on their Instagram for their latest pop-up location,
or head to their website to find your local Tiny Friday stockist: