McLaren Vale is home to some of the oldest vines in the country, dating as far back as 1850.
The Mediterranean climate, huge array of soil types and proximity to the ocean with the resultant cooling sea breezes make it an idyllic location for wine grape growing.
Best known for Shiraz, McLaren Vale also excels in the production of ultra-premium Grenache and Cabernet. Mediterranean red varieties such as Vermentino, Tempranillo, Sangiovese are also very well suited climatically, along wtih the white varieites of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. These interesting varieites provide wine lovers with yet another layer of discovery.
Over one third of the cellar doors offer local produce as part of the tasting experience. From high-end, starred restaurants to casual platters, there is a wine and food combination to suit any taste.
Climate and soil.
McLaren Vale’s climate is Mediterranean and characterised by warm summers, moderate winters, winter-dominated rainfall, low relative humidity and relatively high evaporation. It is one of the most geologically diverse regions in the world, with more thatn 40 unique geologies, varying in age from 15,000 years to over 550 million years. 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 subsoils interspersed with lime, distinctly sandy soils and patches of red or black friable loams are all to be found. As the long-standing and intensive viticulture of the region attests, the soils and geography of McLaren Vale are well suited to grapegrowing.
Due to our proximity to the ocean and the cooling sea breezes, the risk of rainfall or frost during the harvest period is rare, making the region an ideal location to grow grapes and make premium wines.
Visiting McLaren Vale.
It’s an easy drive from Adelaide if you’re planning to hire a car, or many operators offer day tours. If you’re planning an extended stay, there are a wide range of accommodation options available.
Adelaide Airport is serviced by eight international, four domestic and seven regional airline carriers. Our capital city has one of the fastest airport to CBD transfers in the world with just a short 10 minute drive! If you’d like to keep an eye in the sky, d’Arenberg offers chartered flights over McLaren Vale and the greater Fleurieu in a helicopter or biplane, more details here.
The train service to Seaford has recently undergone an upgrade, with trains departing Adelaide Railway Station in North Terrace for Seaford every 25 mins (Mon-Sat), and every half hour on Sundays. It’s a 45 minute journey to Seaford from Adelaide Station.
Buses leave regularly from Seaford, with Route 751 bringing you right to the region’s door step at the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor’s Information Centre. View timetables here.
Premier Coachlines offer a direct bus service from the Adelaide Bus Terminal travelling via McLaren Vale and Willunga to Victor Harbor. View more information here. For the active individuals who want to tour the region on two wheels – Adelaide has excellent dedicated bike paths.
A direct bike trail to McLaren Vale runs parallel to the Southern Expressway from the Bedford Park entrance to the Old Noarlunga exit and onto McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Centre. Cyclists can pick up the trail again to Willunga via the ‘former railway line’.