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.

  • Hayes Family – Stone Well, Barossa Valley

    Brett Hayes bought his Stone Well Vineyard to form the basis of Hayes Family Wines, launching the label in 2014. The Stone Well Vineyard is a modest site of 4.5 hectares populated mostly by vines planted over 70 years ago, with the farming now certified organic, along with the onsite winery. The Stone Well Vineyard is the lone source of the organic Hayes Family Wines Estate Range, with varietal shiraz, grenache and mataro bottlings, as well as a blend of the three. Hayes oversees the management of the site, with the grapes now all going to his wines, though the shiraz was previously sold to Grant Burge to make Meshach, their flagship wine.

  • Shaw & Smith – Lenswood, Lenswood

    Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw are Adelaide Hills pioneers, championing the vinous virtues of the hills long before many of the region’s celebrated makers were of drinking age. With two sites in the region, their loftiest and coolest is the Lenswood Vineyard, a 20-hectare site planted to chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. Currently in organic conversion, the site is managed by Murray Leake, who is also overseeing an ambitious project to double the vine density without removing any of the mature vines.

  • 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.

  • Ricca Terra – Caravel, Riverland

    Ashley and Holly’s Ratcliff’s Ricca Terra Farms set out to shake up perceptions of the Riverland as a region that only grew grapes for generic bulk wine. They believed that by implementing quality-minded practices and focusing on climate-apt varieties, they would be able to unlock the region’s potential. By any measure, they have succeeded, elevating the profiles of grapes like nero d’avola, fiano, aglianico and arinto in the process. But that wasn’t all, with the Caravel Vineyard planted relatively recently to largely celebrate Portuguese varieties, like touriga nacional, tinta cão and tinta barroca, along with some more Italians. The fruit goes to their own Ricca Terra and Terra do Rio labels, as well as being sold to top makers, such as Bellwether, Unico Zelo, Shaw + Smith, Alpha Box & Dice, Jumpin’ Juice and Gatch Wine.

  • 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.

  • Garden & Field – Gnadenberg Road, Eden Valley

    Peter and Mel Raymond’s Garden & Field is a young vineyard planted to an old site, once the home to venerable vines that were cruelly plucked from the ground some 40 years ago. In the relative cool of the Barossa’s Eden Valley, the 4-hectare vineyard is a near neighbour to Henschke’s iconic Hill of Grace, with the focus on shiraz, across eight clones. The vines are dry grown and farmed in a sympathetic and regenerative manner, with soil health and biodiversity at the fore. With a little over a decade in vine age, the fruit has already contributed to a string of top Penfolds reds, as well as wines for the Raymonds own label.