McLaren Vale – Significant Wine Producing Location
Other blends such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc tend to dominate the white grape variety of McLaren Vale with excess of other international and regional specialities like the Merlot, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, and Sangiovese together with Viognier.
McLaren Vale Wine Region known as Boutique Village
McLaren Vale is said to be a town as well as a wine region where the locals call it a boutique village. Though the town is small, it is crowded with restaurants, boutiques, galleries and cafes. The main street which tends to be 8 km towards the village of Willunga is edged with ironstone buildings dating to the 19thcentury with several wineries which are heritage listed.
Being one of the oldest wine regions of Australia, McLaren Vale has numerous vineyards most of which have amazing views over St. Vincent’s Gulf together with magnificent Mount Lofty Ranges. McLaren Vale has been named after David McLaren who was the colonial manager of the South Australian company.
The first vines planted in this region were in 1838 by Englishman John Reynell. Since 1840, viticulture and farming dominated McLaren Vale. Presently, almonds, olives, quinces, pears together with a good supply of fruits and vegetables are also grown in this region. In 1850, sea-view winery was established and thereafter Thomas Hardy the patriarch of the famouswine making dynasty bought Tintara winery in 1873 which is operational till date.
McLaren Vale: Interesting Legends
Hardys Tintara and Rosemount Estate are said to have some interesting legends. Chapel Hill Winery is considered to be one of the old-fashioned cellar doors in the region comprising of an 1865 ironstone chapel.
Its initial rise to fame was due to its reds particularly `The Vicar Shriaz’. The big sellers presently are the unwooded chardonnay together with the pinot grigio and bush vine Grenache.
Interesting Sites to Explore in McLaren Vale
Tourists visiting this destination have many parks of interest to explore. Beaches beckoning the swimmers and surfers are other attractions to indulge in.
The Onkaparinga River National Park placed towards the north of McLaren Vale town comprises of 50 metre cliffs, with gorges scattered with rock pools.
The river is an apt spot for kayaking and canoeing. 12 km towards the south of McLaren Vale near the Aldinga Beach is the Aldinga Scrub which is 300 hectares of sand dunes heathland and red-gum forests.
Another amazing site of interest is a 19th century town, Strathalbyn which is a 30 minute drive south-east of McLaren Vale comprising of 30 historic structures together with antique and curio shops for interested tourists.
Another place of interest is the Goolwa, a little less than an hour down the road, which is said to be the first town in Australia that had been classified as a `Cittaslow town’ or slow food.
Goolwa takes pride in a variety of galleries, wineries together with the Steam Exchange Brewery which is also the gateway to Coorong National Park. It is considered to be one of the best eco-experience locations of the state.
Geographical Indication Status – 1997
In 1997, McLaren Vale is said to have attained its Geographical Indication status though the wine growing tradition is considered to be the oldest in this region.
Credits go to iconic names in the Australian wine industry like Thomas Hardy and John Reynells for this achievement who had realized the prospective of this region early in the 19th century when the first vines had been planted.
Ecological Wine Growing in McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale is considered as a home to ecological wine growing, untouched natural attractions, together with world class wine and amazing cooking experience. It takes the tourist to a place of beauty and awe with its unspoiled surroundings in its natural form mingled with era of traditions and customs, its breath-taking coastline, intriguing landscapes and soothing environment.
It provides the tourist with the much needed relaxation while exploring the various sites of interesting at this amazing destination known as McLaren Vale. Visitors curious to know more about this amazing region could make a trip and gain the experience of this beautiful destination.