McLaren Vale and organic wine

McLaren Vale and organic wine

South Australia’s viticultural origins began in McLaren Vale. The region’s 30 kilometres of breath-taking coastline and ranges are reason alone to visit but if you are looking for organic and biodynamic vineyards – and cellar doors that allow you taste and buy some seriously good quality organic and biodynamic wine – then you won’t find a better place!

Why so many organic and biodynamic vineyards? We will get to that. Let’s start with a quick introduction to the region officially recognised in 1997.
McLaren Vale is located 40 minutes south of Adelaide. The region’s Mediterranean climate influences its wine style and diverse food culture. Best known for Shiraz, McLaren Vale also excels in the production of ultra-premium Cabernet and Grenache. Spanish and Italian varieties such as Fiano, Vermentino, Tempranillo and Sangiovese are increasingly popular.

McLaren Vale’s extensive natural and cultural heritage spans over thousands of years of traditional ownership by the Kaurna people and recently, has been shaped by European colonisation.

The colony of South Australia was founded in 1836 and McLaren Vale was established two years after following a survey conducted by John McLaren. John Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted grape vines in 1838 and the Seaview and Hardy wineries were in operation as early as 1850.

In the 1970s, over 25 new wineries were established which specialised in the production of distinctive Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache.

McLaren Vale’s leadership in the Australian wine sector is continually enhanced through the Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) program.

Building on a strong history of viticultural innovation and environmental stewardship, McLaren Vale launched the ‘Generational Farming’ project in 2009 – a compilation of the most relevant tools and information available to develop a self-assessment program for growers to improve their sustainability and on-farm practices.
The program assesses sustainability through the triple bottom line approach (environment, economics and social) and focuses on continuous improvement of the grower and results over time.

Due to the project’s success, it is ongoing and is now known as Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW).

Seven assessment areas have been developed:

• Soil Health, Nutrition and Fertiliser Management
• Pest and Disease Management
• Biodiversity Management
• Water Management

SAW accounts for 40% of McLaren Vale’s total vineyard area and more than 65% of the region’s annual crush. McLaren Vale has the highest number of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards in Australia.

The improvements in grape quality, vineyard profitability and environmental stewardship will now extend beyond McLaren Vale as SAW is being trialled in the Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek and Barossa in keeping with the philosophy that true sustainability cannot be achieved in isolation.

Our McLaren Vale wineries are:
– J&J Vineyards
– Paxton
– Agrarian
– Gemtree
– Yangarra
– Battle of Bosworth
– Spring Seed Wine Co
– Brash Higgins
– Grancari Estate

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association 2017, ‘About our wine region’ <>, viewed 10 June 2018.
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