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Yangarra Estate, McLaren Vale Michael Lane

Top Vineyards
  • Yangarra Estate, McLaren Vale

    Viticulturist Michael Lane and winemaker Peter Fraser have worked hand in glove at McLaren Vale’s Yangarra Estate for 20 years, steering the wines to ever-greater heights through a program that puts vineyard front and centre. Fraser is one of this country’s most skilled makers – no argument – but the long-term quality goals the pair had for the estate were always built on reinvigorating their soil and returning a natural harmony to the site. Today, Lane meticulously manages nearly 90 hectares of vines to A-grade biodynamic standards, working across a suite of Southern Rhône varieties, with grenache taking the lead.

  • Wirra Wirra, McLaren Vale

    Reborn from 19th century ruins by Greg Trott, Wirra Wirra is one of McLaren Vale’s most treasured wineries. The home vineyard has grown from a humble plot of shiraz to occupy over 20 hectares, with cabernet sauvignon, grenache, tempranillo and touriga nacional joining the roster, and all carefully planted across geological nuances that are best suited to each variety. Anton Groffen runs the viticultural operations under biodynamic certification, with the vines supplying the fruit for the flagship shiraz bottlings, the ‘Chook Block’ and ‘RSW’, as well as their iconic ‘Church Block’ red blend, amongst other key lines.

  • Hither & Yon – Sand Road, McLaren Vale

    Brothers Malcolm and Richard Leask were born in the Hunter Valley, but grew up in McLaren Vale, with their parents buying a vineyard there in 1980. Those holdings expanded across many sites over the years, with the brothers taking the step from growers to vignerons with their Hither & Yon label in 2012. Their project works out of their Sand Road Vineyard – supplying 80 per cent of their needs – with nearly 20 hectares of vines that have been tweaked over the years to favour Mediterranean and Iberian varieties that perform well in warm conditions, producing mid-weight wines with food in mind. The site is managed with a focus on regenerative agriculture.

  • Rayner Vineyard, McLaren Vale

    Situated on McLaren Vale’s Chalk Hill Road and straddling the Blewitt Springs and Seaview subregions, Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly’s Rayner Vineyard is a significant site, suppling fruit to many great makers over the years. With the chance to buy the vineyard in 2014, the couple dived in and have been focused on evolving the viticulture towards their ideal best-practice methods. The 14-hectare site produces the key Bondar label wines, from shiraz and grenache bearing the ‘Rayner Vineyard’ designate, to the ‘Violet Hour’, which was Bondar’s first cuvée, to the continuation of supplying fruit to Brokenwood’s established Rayner single-vineyard shiraz bottling. The viticulture is managed by Bondar and Ben Lacey.

  • Gemtree, McLaren Vale

    With the vineyard situated in McLaren Flat, the Gemtree mission is very much an ongoing quest to improve wine quality, but their ethos is inseparable from a desire to have a positive environmental impact both locally and globally. With an eye to the future, viticulturist Melissa Brown has planted varieties suited to an ever-warming Mediterranean climate – like nero d’avola and fiano – alongside the Vale classics of shiraz and grenache. The 125-hectare vineyard has been managed using biodynamic methods since 2007 – with it certified for almost a decade – to encourage a ‘living soil’ and build resilience in the vines, while an eco-reserve has been established to restore native flora and fauna, as well as to educate visitors.

  • Angove – Warboys, McLaren Vale

    With just over 12 hectares of vines, the Warboys Vineyard has become the centrepiece of Angove Family Winemakers. Founded in 1886, the family’s historic vineyards were swallowed up by Adelaide’s urban sprawl in the 1970s, with the rundown Warboys Vineyard (named after a site that Dr Angove started to source from in the 19th century) acquired in 2008. Managed since then with strict organic and biodynamic methods, viticulturist Nick Bakkum has resurrected the old shiraz and grenache vines, as well as extending those plantings along with the inclusion of fiano to insulate against a warming climate.

  • Smart, McLaren Vale

    Bernard Smart and his son Wayne are the current custodians of a bush vine grenache vineyard first planted by Bernard’s father in 1922. The site is one of the highest and coolest in McLaren Vale, returning fruit that produces wines of distinctive fragrance and detail. Bernard still works the land, tending the vines in the low-impact way he has evolved over his more than 70 years there. Today, that fruit goes to the likes of S.C. Pannell, Thistledown and Willunga 100, making expressions that are helping to redefine the possibilities for Australian grenache.