a wine region, both by its own folk as well as onlookers, is it can be too easy to say McLaren Vale equals shiraz. Coonawarra and cabernet. Clare and riesling. And so on.
But regions ain’t one-horse towns any more. And if ever there’s a place that applies, it’s McLaren Vale, where an adventurous spirit has underpinned some of our greatest leaps forward in wine styles and alternative varieties.
Small, and, to be fair, some larger winemakers, embedded day in, day out to their patches of dirt, have been crafting tiny batches of wine from minutely and invariably engaged in sustainable winemaking and viticultural practices.
In McLaren Vale, there’s a great bunch of such like-minded souls who have formed the Vale Cru.
Tomorrow they will be holding their annual “show” at The Victory Hotel on the hillside above Sellicks Beach (2pm5pm, $40 pre-purchase ticket or $50 on the day gets you a wineglass, poster, a taste of a great selection of the region’s more fascinating wines).
Typical of the new varieties and gaining a proper foothold in the district is the crisp and refreshing white vermentino, which in the hands of Paolo and Maria Bottin from Vigna Bottin won Wine Show.