2021 Vintage Update
Vintage 2021 is shaping up superbly, we had some really good rain over winter which set us up for some beautiful early growth and healthy canopies. Our dry grown bushvine grenache at Blewitt Springs has just started to go through veraison (which is where the berries begin their ripening process and start to change colour).
The team has been working hard in the Willunga 100 ‘Blindspot Vineyard’ this year with a few upgrades and changes. Most excitingly, late last year we planted a new section of Grenache – cuttings of nearly 100 year old bushvine Grenache were taken from the much loved ‘Smart Vineyard’ in Clarendon where we make our single vineyard Clarendon Grenache. They were planted into the sandy soils of the Blindspot Vineyard and we’ve been keeping a close eye on their growth.
The Smart vineyard has been looked after by the same family for 3 generations and has been the source for many well regarded McLaren Vale Grenache vineyards – we were really grateful to get cuttings from a vineyard with such amazing pedigree. We hope that once it is established we can line it up side by side with the Clarendon Grenache to highlight the impact location has on the wine.
Stay tuned for more vintage updates!
Willunga 100 Winemaker
Grenache resurgence continues
Among some wine consumers, Grenache may not be as well-known as Australia’s major red varieties of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. However, Grenache has a distinguished history in world and Australian wine production, and the latest sales data suggest the recent resurgence in its popularity continues.
Grenache is performing well in the Australian on-trade market. According to Wine Business Solutions, Grenache is the fourth most listed red wine in the on-trade behind Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2019, there was a 21 percent increase in Grenache listings, from a 5.4 percent share of red wine listings to 6.6 percent.
Demand for Australian Grenache is growing internationally. Over the past five years, the value of single-variety Grenache exports has more than doubled, from $2.4 million in 2014 to $5.5 million in 2019. In 2019, bottled Grenache exports averaged $13.14 per litre, more than double the bottled red wine average value of $5.43.
Wine Australia has released an interesting article about the rise of this mighty grape. To read more CLICK HERE.
Willunga 100 and Boutique Wines Asia partner in China
Boutique Wines Asia (BWA) is broadening their portfolio by forging a partnership with top McLaren Vale producer and Grenache-enthusiast Willunga 100.
The addition will strengthen BWA’s New World offering, which includes a handful of other carefully selected brands such as Carmen from Chile and Doña Paula from Argentina, alongside their very strong French, Spanish and Italian selections.
“We are very excited about the addition of Willunga 100 to our portfolio,” said Bruno Butragueno Managing Director of BWA. “We’ve been looking at high quality Australian wineries for a while and are thrilled to announce that Willunga 100 will join our portfolio. We plan to promote into Mainland China the modern McLaren Vale wines and premium cultural legacy of the winery. This new experience focused on high-quality Grenache represents a fantastic opportunity in this tantalising market.”
Willunga 100 is the brain child of founders David Gleave and John Ratcliffe, industry veterans and Australian wine devotees, passionate about the potential for outstanding wines from McLaren Vale. Their aim with Willunga 100 is to make modern expressions from this exceptionally diverse region with a focus on premium Grenache, the star grape of McLaren Vale.
Situated about 45 minute drive south of Adelaide in South Australia, McLaren Vale’s Mediterranean climate, with warm sunny days and cooling breezes from the nearby Gulf of St. Vincent, makes it perfect for grape growing. The 500 million year old soils are abundant and diverse giving a huge amount of depth and complexity to the wines.
Winemakers Mike Farmilo and Tim James have worked a combined sixty years in McLaren Vale and have established long and fruitful partnerships with local growers particularly in the superior sub-regions of Willunga, Clarendon and Blewitt Springs where fruit for the top wines is sourced.
“It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that we add China to our list of export markets,” said Willunga 100 Co-founder David Gleave. “As we embark on this new chapter for Willunga 100 I have no doubt that with BWA’s commitment to delivering top quality wine within China, we will finally be able to showcase the best that McLaren Vale can offer through our passion for Grenache.”
Importantly for penetrating the China market, impressive accolades abound for Willunga 100’s Grenache wines, which were all rated 93+ points by Australia’s most renowned wine critic James Halliday in his Australian Wine Companion 2018.
“Grenache’s natural sweet spice, fragrant perfume and soft tannin makes these wines the perfect accompaniment to an infinite array of Chinese dishes,” says Nimbility Founding Partner Polly Aylwin-Foster, “a very important factor for positioning these wines within the China on-trade where BWA excel. We are confident that the BWA team, led by Bruno, will deliver fantastic visibility and sommelier-advocacy which will be crucial to building the Willunga 100 brand in China.”
The opening selection that will be landing with BWA in mid-June will include:
McLaren Vale Shiraz Viognier 2016
McLaren Vale Grenache 2016
The Tithing Grenache 2016
For more information about Willunga 100 in Asia please contact email@example.com
Media Release: The Hundred of Willunga for Willunga 100
The people behind Grenache specialist Willunga 100 have bought its first vineyard in McLaren Vale for an undisclosed price. The 19 hectare site, situated on Moritz Road in the heart of Blewitt Springs, has close to eight hectares of old, bush trained Grenache. The vineyard is situated within the ‘Hundred of Willunga’, the area which was the inspiration for the name given to the new venture by founders David Gleave and John Ratcliffe when they first started producing wines in McLaren Vale in 2005.
“We’ve taken fruit off the vineyard for several years, so we know just how good it is,” says winemaker Mike Farmilo. “In fact our 2016 ‘Tithing’ Grenache, one of the best wines we’ve made in the past 15 vintages, came off this site.”
Willunga 100 has pioneered unoaked, single vineyard Grenache in McLaren Vale. Its Blewitt Springs Grenache, made with fruit from Sue Trott’s vineyard, won ‘Best Grenache Trophy’ at the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 2015 and 2016, while the Clarendon Grenache, which comes off the Smart vineyard, won the ‘Best Two Year Old or Older Grenache Trophy’ in 2017.
David Gleave said of the purchase: “The success enjoyed by Willunga 100 has been built on the quality of fruit we source from our growers, the best of whom we will continue working with. As our business has grown, we’ve been looking for our own vineyard for a couple of years, and knew exactly where we wanted to be. When this site came up, its location on Blewitt Springs sands made for a quick decision.
“Our aim is simple,” continues Gleave. “We plan to invest in the vineyard to see if we can improve upon the quality of the already outstanding fruit it has been producing,” continued Gleave. “After 15 vintages, it is nice to be able to give Willunga 100 a home.”
For further information, please contact Zoe Mallen:
+61 406 532206
Willunga 100 Grenache Rosé - Diana Thompson declares it ultra-premium without the ultra price tag
Our 2018 Grenache Rosé received a delightful UK write up by Diana Thompson in her 'Top Picks' for Foodies Magazine.
"Another region renowned for Shiraz, McLaren Vale is starting to spoil us with interesting new varieties as well as some ultra-premium Grenache. Whilst this rosé doesn’t have the price tag of the ultra-premium wines, it’s certainly up there with those that do and well worth trying. Deliciously fresh and packed with ripe raspberries and crushed strawberries.” - Diana Thompson, Foodies Magazine, April 2019.
To try this wine for yourself, click here.
Click here to read the full article.
Mediterranean Month: Recipe - Spaghetti with pancetta and chilli tomato
When it comes to a balanced lifestyle, Mediterranean’s know how it should be done! And, they know how to best enjoy a good glass of wine. It is not just what Mediterranean’s drink, it’s how they drink. It’s about taking time out to sit down for a meal with others to catch up and socialise. They eat and drink together having lively conversations instead of constantly checking their mobile phones. It’s all about connecting with family and friends.
So, Willunga 100 is going Mediterranean this January and therefore, it's Tempranillo time! Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word, “temprana” which means early, referring to the fact that it’s an early-ripening red variety.
Try a bottle of our 2016 Tempranillo with this delicious pasta recipe, and make a point of enjoying it with good company.
Spaghetti with pancetta and chilli tomato
130g pancetta, roughly chopped into small pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 hot dried red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp dry white wine
500g small cherry plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
400g spaghetti pasta
80g, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the sauce, put the pancetta and onion in a pan with the oil and chilli, and fry gently for about 4-5 minutes. Add the white wine and tomatoes and cook for a further 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and mix with the sauce.
Serve sprinkled generously with the freshly grated Parmesan and WILLUNGA 100 Tempranillo, or any of our Grenache wines.
New Staff Announcement
We are excited to announce that we have welcomed two new staff members to the WILLUNGA 100 team.
Meet Karen, who is based in the heart of the McLaren Vale Wine Region close to the home of WILLUNGA 100. Karen has over 19 years of experience within the Australian Wine Industry and is tasked with keeping our brand moving right from grape through to bottle.
Meet Zoe, she recently joined the team having moved across from the UK 6 years ago where she clocked up 20+ years in the wine industry. Zoe is responsible for making you love the WILLUNGA 100 portfolio of wines as much as we do and will be working closely with all Distribution Channels to spread the love far and wide.
Renowned Winemakers Mike Farmilo and Tim James remain at the forefront of our winemaking team in McLaren Vale and they continue to work their magic both in our vineyards and in the winery. When Mike surfaces from the demands of the forthcoming 2019 Vintage, we will be coaxing him out and about in a series of ‘Meet your Winemaker’ events - Stay tuned!
Willunga 100 in the 100 Best, again
Renowned UK critic and Grenache enthusiast Matthew Jukes has been a long-time fan of the Willunga 100 range. This year marks the second in a row that our Cabernet Shiraz has been included in his 100 Best Australian Wines report.
In addition, he has just included Willunga 100 McLaren Vale Grenache as one of his Top 100 Red Wines for Summer in The Daily Mail Weekend Magazine. He commented:
"One of the juiciest, most enthralling wines of the moment, this has an explosion of pipe smoke, rhubarb and mulberry pie scents on the nose (I’m not joking!) and a creamy, succulent palate. It could charm even the most hard-to-please wine lovers.”