But the old saying ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ seems particularly apt for describing McLaren Vale’s response over the last couple of decades to a changing climate. This South Australia region, framed by Adelaide to the north, the Mt Lofty Ranges to the east and south, and the Gulf St Vincent to the west, has developed a well-earned reputation for innovation. According to the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown “perhaps more so than any other GI in Australia, [McLaren Vale] has made huge strides towards clearly defining and differentiating itself in recent years with remarkable results that can be tasted in the wines.” (Australia’s McLaren Vale: Geological Wines by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 28 February 2014)
One of the leaders in a McLaren Vale trend towards specialisation is Yangarra Estate, a single-vineyard estate devoted solely to producing wines from the best grape varieties of the southern Rhone, which lies on the north-west Mediterranean coast. Like many other McLaren Vale wineries Yangarra believes that McLaren Vale has the “the best Mediterranean climate on Earth.”
Purchased by Jackson Family Wines in 2000, an international wine group that also owns the renowned Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard, Yangarra now spans 420 acres with 250 acres of certified biodynamically-farmed vineyards. The rest of the land is preserved as native vegetation, creeks and natural corridors.
Veteran winemaker Peter Fraser, who assisted the Jackson Family with its acquisition of Yangarra, was appointed Head Winemaker in 2001. Last year he received one of Australias most prestigious winemaking awards, the 2016 James Halliday Winemaker of the Year.
Working closely for many years with vineyard manager Michael Lane, the pair have been evaluating the potential of lesser known or rare Rhone red varieties including cinsaut, carignan, graciano, counoise and muscardin, picpoul noir, terret noir and vaccarese, and for the whites, grenache blanc, bourboulenc and picpoul blanc.
Yangarra’s reputation has been firmly built on the classic Rhone red varieties of shiraz and grenache and the white varieties of viognier and roussanne… [Read More]