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
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!
Vintage 2018 is well under way and producing superb fruit. Mike and Tim have been busy in the vineyards picking a small parcel of Tempranillo and a new Shiraz vineyard in Willunga. This week gets even busier as we pick our Home Block Tempranillo in the warmer beachside district of McLaren Vale, and then move toward the cooler sites of McLaren Flat, Blewitt Springs and Clarendon to pick our Single Vineyard Grenache.
Given the even, moderate, and dry growing season with only a few hot spikes across summer, its shaping up to be an excellent year for Grenache and McLaren Vale as a region.
We look forward to sharing these wines with you soon! Stay tuned.
About Sam Kim
Sam has been involved for the past 30 years in New Zealand hospitality, wine retail, importing and distribution, as well as running wine courses and master classes. Wine Orbit is a website featuring reviews of New Zealand wines and wines of the world.
Willunga 100, Grenache Rosé 2017, McLaren Vale - 93 points, 5 stars
It is delicate yet delightfully flavoursome, displaying raspberry, cranberry, rockmelon and lemon zest
characters on the nose, followed by a vibrant palate that is bright and juicy. The wine offers sweet berry
flavours together with refreshing acidity, finishing long and crisp. A fabulous drink. At its best: now to 2019. AU$18.00. www.willunga100.com.
Willunga 100, The Hundred Grenache 2016, McLaren Vale - 95 points, 5 stars
Made from 93-year-old, dry-grown bush vines, this is a stunning grenache; the perfumed bouquet shows raspberry coulis, dark plum, toasted hazelnut, game and floral characters. The palate is equally gratifying with pristine fruit flavours and rounded mouthfeel, wonderfully complemented by velvety texture and fine tannins. Flavoursome, generous and delectable. At its best: now to 2026. AU$35.00. www.willunga100.com.
Willunga 100, The Tithing Grenache 2016, McLaren Vale - 96 points, 5 stars
This is seriously good; the fragrant and complex bouquet shows raspberry, strawberry tart, cedar, floral and warm spice aromas, leading to a concentrated palate that is plush and soothing. The wine displays excellent depth and intensity, together with fabulous fruit purity and spicy complexity, finishing superbly long and silky. At its best: now to 2028. AU$45.00. www.willunga100.com.
Willunga 100, Shiraz Grenache 2016, McLaren Vale - 93 points, 5 stars
Comfort wine at its best, this is fruit-expressive, fragrant and flavoursome. The inviting bouquet shows blackberry, dark plum, hazelnut, game and black olive characters, followed by succulent palate that is juicy and smooth with plenty of attractive fruit flavours, backed by silky tannins. At its best: now to 2024. AU$25.00. www.willunga100.com.
Willunga 100, Tempranillo 2016, McLaren Vale - 93 points, 5 stars
It is immediately appealing on the nose showing dark plum, blackcurrant, thyme, floral and cocoa aromas, leading to a succulent palate that displays rich fruit intensity and silky mouthfeel, wonderfully supported by fine, polished tannins. The wine is plump and fleshy, and offers terrific drinking. At its best: now to 2024. AU$25.00. www.willunga100.com. Jan 2018.
Willunga 100, Shiraz Viognier 2016, McLaren Vale - 94 points, 5 stars
A delicious offering; the beautifully lifted bouquet shows black/blueberry, plum jelly, chocolate tart and cedar characters. The palate is concentrated and beautifully rounded, offering gorgeous fruit purity as well as richness, wonderfully complemented by silky texture and supple tannins. At its best: now to 2026. AU$25.00. www.willunga100.com.