Whilst there are 16 distinct wine-producing regions within South Australia, McLaren Vale is one of the oldest with John Reynell planting grapes at Reynella in 1838. McLaren Vale became the model of the small winery and it remains one of the most richly varied and highly developed areas in Australia, producing intensely flavored and colored red wines and similarly powerful whites.
The region is bordered to the north by the city of Adelaide with the Adelaide Hills to the east, Sellicks Hill Range to the south and the Gulf of St Vincent to the west. The landscape though ever changing is nonetheless invariably beautiful, with rivers — notably the Onkaparinga and its Tributaries — hills, olive groves and forests all co-existing and confirming yet again the need for the all-important correct site selection.
Due to varying exposure, the cooling influence of the nearby ocean (or conversely, to protection from it) and also to significant changes in altitude as the region merges with the hills, there is substantial mesoclimatic variation throughout McLaren Vale. Summer rainfall is low and irrigation is considered essential. Site selection and the marriage of site to variety are all important.
There is a wide variety of soil types, a reflection of the varied terrain; red brown sandy loams, grey brown loamy sands with yellow clay subsoil’s interspersed with lime, distinctly sandy soils (around Blewitt Springs) and patches of red or black friable loams are all to be found. As the long-standing and intensive viticulture attests, most soils in the region are well suited to grape growing.
Map Coordinates: 35° 14'S, 138º 33'E
Altitude: 50 – 200 m
Heat degree days: 1767 (cut off at 19ºC)
Sunshine hours: 1765 Oct-Apr
Annual rainfall: 513 mm
Growing season rainfall: 168 mm
Mean January temperature: 23.4°C
Relative humidity: Average 46%
Harvest: Feb - Late April
Winemaker Coriole Vineyards