It's a real melting pot of a region with many nationalities having been involved in its settlement ever since Colonel Light founded the region in 1837.
The region is situated 30km south of Adelaide and lies within two triangular basins which have had layers of sediment deposited there over the last 45 million years by the rise and fall of the sea.
Latterly, residential development has encroached on the region but nothing can take away from the beautiful, rolling countryside, the views to the sea, the bustling villages and the well tended vineyards and the stunning old vine resources.
More than any other region in Australia, the winemakers of McLaren Vale have banded together to profile what makes the region so unique. Decades of research have led to the publication of a geology map that charts all of the significant soil types of the region.
The results, for the soil geeks amongst us, are stimulating. The soils of the McLaren Vale are some of the oldest of any winemaking region with most dating back 10s of millions of years, if not hundreds. Considering that wine has only been made here for less than 200 years, we reckon there is still a whole lot to learn.
McLaren Vale's proximity to the sea always seems to give the wines a breezy, well defined fruit profile with lots of lifted aromatics and bright fruit.
The cooling sea breezes which dominate the ripening season, combined with higher altitude sites, allows for the later ripening of varieties such as Grenache and it is there, amongst the low, ancient sandy hills of Blewitt Springs and Clarendon, that we find some of the most exciting Grenache fruit in all of Australia.
For us, McLaren is less about power and more about fruit purity, balance and perfume. We think it is world class for Grenache and, along with a few other hardy souls, we continue to champion this variety in this region.