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Taste of Your Region: McLaren Vale, SA

The fourth-largest state or territory in Australia, South Australia just about has it all. From its picturesque coastline, rolling green hills and vineyards galore, to its city of churches, opal mines and dry outback sands.

Just 42 kilometres from Adelaide, the McLaren Vale region is home to some of Australia’s best-loved food, wine and scenery. Internationally renowned for its award-winning wineries for over a century, McLaren Vale vineyards line the landscape, across the flats and rolling hills, providing the perfect backdrop to some of the world’s finest certified organic drops.

This Australian Organic Awareness Month, Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is encouraging Aussies to ‘swap’ in one certified organic product this month.

Living in or visiting South Australia? Learn more about the local organic producers found in your backyard, and plan yourself a trip to McLaren Vale to taste the best certified organic produce the region has to offer.

While most organic farms do not allow visitors, some businesses have an onsite farm shop, cafe or wine cellar allowing you to try fresh organic produce first hand. Always check on the company’s website before you plan your visit.

Angove Family Winemakers

Established 135 years ago by Dr William Angove in the heart of the McLaren Vale, and now under the guidance of the 5th generation of the family, Angove Family Winemakers have been certified organic for 15 years. Angove is Australia’s leading certified organic grape grower and winemaker, with a deep commitment to sustainability at all levels. Angove’s desire to protect and improve our finite natural resources is driving the development of the Angove brand, which continues to innovate in the organic wine space. Visit the Angove McLaren Vale Cellar Door or find their range of organic wines in your local stockiest.

Battle of Bosworth Wines

Named after the bloodcurdling battle between the houses of Lancaster and York in 1485 in Leicestershire, England, the Battle of Bosworth’s roots were firmly planted in the early 1840s in McLaren Vale, conducting its own battle to convert the vineyards to certified organic in 1995. Owner and instigator Joch Bosworth’s passion for organic principles nods towards traditional farming techniques and use of minimal inputs, with Joch has being described as one of the ‘most important organic winemakers in Australia’ and named McLaren Vale’s grape grower of the year in 2008 for his commitment to sustainability and viticultural management. Taste award-winning certified organic drops at their converted 1850s cellar door with elevated views overlooking McLaren Vale.

Brash Higgins Wine Co.*

Brash Higgins Wine Co produces wines that draw on natural and traditional techniques while seeking to capture the essence of McLaren Vale’s sun and soil, the elusive characters of the grapes and the whims of their winemaker’s own restless muse. The team’s commitment to looking after their vines and their land led them to pursue Australian Certified Organic certification for their product which has minimal intervention. At Brash Higgins, they believe in pushing boundaries, exploring every winemaking technique available and sharing the final product with family and friends. That’s something we can get around.

Chapel Hill Winery

Named after the 1865 ironstone Seaview Chapel school house that it was built upon, Chapel Hill Winery benefits from the rocky soils, sea breezes and spectacular views of the Onkaparinga Gorge. The Chapel now houses the winery’s tasting room, where wine lovers can taste drops of Chapel Hill’s certified organic wines. Not only do they produce delicious tasting wine, Chapel Hill was also one of the first wineries to implement the McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program, working with the land and natural resources without the use of synthetic chemicals. The winery is currently working on regenerating and revitalising its vintage vines in partnership with like-minded growers. Stop by the iconic 150 year old Chapel in McLaren Vale for the full tasting room experience.

Gemtree Wines

When Melissa Brown told her parents she wanted to work on the family Gemtree property in 1994, her father Paul told her she’d last just three weeks. Now, over 2 decades later, Melissa is a well-regarded viticulturist and expert in biodynamic and organic farming. Her husband and chief winemaker, Mike Brown, brought with him a wealth of viticulture and marketing knowledge, and together the couple converted the property into a fully certified organic winery. Gemtree Wines is dedicated to growing better wine, naturally. Book your very own Gemtree Wines tasting experience and enjoy the Gemtree Eco Trail to explore the native landscape.

Grancari Estate Wines

At Grancari Estate Wines, the team is committed to your enjoyment of their beautiful wines, while also firmly looking towards the future. They believe natural methods of growing and managing their small organic vineyard, and their winemaking processes, will benefit wine drinkers now, but also maintain viable soils for future generations. As such, the Grancari team has chosen not to use synthetic chemicals or pesticides on their property. At the heart of winemaking is a deep history, passed on from family in Italy, to ensure every bottle is full of heart, flavour and a wonderful organic experience. Visit the Grancari Wines Cellar door on weekends and public holidays to taste their full-bodied certified organic wines in the afternoon sun.

J&J Wines

J&J Wines is named after founders Jeff and Joan Mason who planted their first organic vineyard in the late 1990s, converting to full certified organic in 2012. The pristine growing conditions of the internationally renowned McLaren Vale is equalled by the couple’s dedication to organic viticulture and sustainable farming practices. This passion is reflected in their quality, James Halliday award-winning organic wines with their deep flavours and colours. Visit the Cellar Door Tasting Room and sip on premium McLaren Vale organic wines on the outdoor deck overlooking views of the vineyard.

View more Taste of Your Region maps here.

*Locations not open to visitors. Check individual company websites for more information.