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What to do, where to go and what's on in the McLaren Vale region.

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For Members of the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association.

Districts Tasting

Based on geology, topography, elevation and climate, the MVGWTA Districts Working Group have suggested the potential existence of 19 unique districts in McLaren Vale.

D Arenberg Old Vine Bunch Grapes

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) has six Committees and Working Groups established to help coordinate a number of annual events in collaboration with MVGWTA, as well as organising workshops, further education and maintain information resources for MVGWTA Members.

One of these Working Groups is the Districts of McLaren Vale Working Group. The vision and mission of the working group is to:

  • Investigate the different wine growing terrains of McLaren Vale and define those differences
  • Increase knowledge of McLaren Vale's geology, and the different wine growing terrains, by running education programmes and developing materials for use by Members
MVGWTA Districts Tasting2020

Over the past 12 years, there has been considerable effort towards investigating if there are distinct districts within McLaren Vale. Based on geology, topography, elevation and climate, the MVGWTA Districts Working Group have suggested the potential existence of 19 unique districts in McLaren Vale.

Since 2009 the Districts Working Group have conducted annual tastings to investigate if there are any identifiable flavour, tannin and textural characteristics attributable to each district. This investigation is a continual work in progress and a long term project. Annual findings help us gain a better understanding of our complex region and determine if district specific wine differences exist.

This ongoing research can only be carried out with the support of McLaren Vale’s wine producers as it requires as many wines to be submitted as possible to ensure that the tasting demonstrates and showcases relevance and substance.

DISTRICTS OF MCLAREN VALE - 2020 VINTAGE TASTING SUMMARY


The Annual Districts Of McLaren Vale Tasting was held at Wirra Wirra Wines on 5 February 2021. The Tasting seeks to increasing our regional understanding of the differences that potentially exist between the proposed districts.

Producers were asked to submit samples of 2020 vintage McLaren Vale Shiraz wines produced from a single vineyard block (or a couple of blocks in close proximity); matured in older or fairly neutral oak or newer oak if the oak had not dominated the site characteristics. This year McLaren Vale winemakers contributed 57 samples, representing 13 (of 19) districts to the tasting.

Wine samples were blended according to the originating district and tasted on 3 February, under controlled conditions by the Districts of McLaren Vale panel.

On 5 February, the Tutorial Tasting was held, led by Wes Pearson, Drew Noon MW, Duncan Kennedy and Chester Osborn, with 60 MVGWTA members attending. A further 40 members took part in the Unguided Tasting afterwards to sample all wines submitted.

Tasting notes for vintage 2020, compiled by the Districts of McLaren Vale Working Group and the Districts Tasting Panel can be viewed here.