TOURISM website

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

MEMBERS website

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

Key Varieties

McLaren Vale might be best known for the trilogy of reds but producers are embracing 'alternative varieties' more suited to the region's Mediterranean climate.

MVGWTA Photo Credit SERIO Isaac Forman SERIO 20190222 0396
© Copyright McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association

Top 5 Varieties in the region

#1 Shiraz56.82%
4,207 ha
#2 Cabernet Sauvignon18.25%
1,351 ha
#3 Grenache6.38%
472 ha
#4 Chardonnay3.66%
271 ha
#5 Merlot2.50%
185 ha

Shiraz

The crown jewel of McLaren Vale is Shiraz - producing a densely coloured, richly flavoured wine that quickly develops a velvety texture. McLaren Vale Shiraz is known the world over for its quality and its seductive style.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon wines from McLaren Vale are full bodied and rich, often with a touch of dark chocolate intermixed with blackcurrant. The tannins are plentiful but soft, and the wines have structure for aging.

Grenache

Grenache has enjoyed a spirited renaissance during the last decade. The older plantings produce incredibly richly flavoured wines with juiciness. One would be hard pressed to find a variety more ideally suited to McLaren Vale and many old-vine vineyards still exist and are revered.

Olivers Taranga Vineyard
© Copyright Oliver's Taranga

Chardonnay

Chardonnay established a dominance in white grape plantings with virtually every producer having a Chardonnay however in more recent years winemakers have shifted their focus to Spanish and Italian varieties better suited to the maritime climate.

Merlot

Merlot is a prominent grape variety for wine-making and it the third largest grape variety grown in Australia for wines. Traditionally, McLaren Vale is one of the main regions where this variety is grown. It’s typically less powerful than bold reds such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and has flavours of berries and plum

Mediterranean varieties

The diversity of so called ‘Mediterranean varieties’ continues to grow with considerable excitement around varieties such as Vermentino, Barbera, Montepulciano, Fiano, Nero d’Avola, Tempranillo and Zinfandel.

McLaren Vale inherently produces wines of ample concentration and flavour; however greater restraint and terroir translucency are good terms to describe the current winemaking trend.