My first experience in McLaren Vale was in 1962, when as a student winemaker I worked a vintage in the region. It was then that began for me a lifelong attraction for the country side of the Southern Vales, the rolling hills and wide flat valleys along with the proximity to the Southern Ocean combined to give the region a special sense of place. Add to this the wines – the plump luscious Shiraz, the rich robust Cabernet Sauvignon and the powerful yet delicate Grenache and you have an irresistible heady mix which keeps calling you back.
We have a vineyard in McLaren Vale quite near the village, a special place that took half a lifetime to find. Old vines, some more the 80 years of age planted on a South East facing slope, protected from strong winds and facing the gentle moving sun. The vines (Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon) are planted in three distinct soil types at the top middle and bottom sections of the hillside, so we find different characteristics from each of the vineyard sections giving added complexity and interest to the wine we make. We farm in a sustainable manner with passion and care, also on the property we have a small wildlife refuge and large beautiful rose garden – the noble pasture of the grapevine. The vineyard is our special place but McLaren Vale is truly our ‘Home’ vineyard. -Chris Hancock