Most vineyards in this region are planted along gentle, undulating hills ranging from 330 to 985 feet above sea level near the foothills of the Mt. Lofty Ranges. These variations in elevation have a significant impact on the terroir and fruit produced in this area.
The region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny days cooled by fresh sea breezes off the Gulf of St. Vincent. Close proximity to the Mt. Lofty Ranges ensures late evening and early morning winds chilling the grapes to retain crisp acidity and structure.
The region has a diverse range of soil types including terra rossa, light loam over clay, rendzina, soldolic, and Bay of Biscay soils. Each of these soil types contributes to the rich diversity of wine produced in this region. The soil is naturally free draining, which means it holds very little water. This allows more accurate control of the moisture in the vines through the use of state-of-the-art drip irrigation. Approximately 20% of the total crop in this region is dry-grown. These dry-grown vines are renowned for their small fruit and intense flavors.
McLaren Vale is most notable for producing Shiraz accounting for almost 50% of the total crush. The area’s thin soils, limited water, and warm summers harness Shiraz’s natural vitality and produce wines with a deep, purple color, and pronounced berry-and-spice characters with hints of dark chocolate and licorice. McLaren Vale Shiraz is renowned for its great softness and rolling palate.