Nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the white, sandy beaches of the Gulf of St Vincent, McLaren Vale is just 45 minutes south of Adelaide and known as the birthplace of South Australian wine. Today it has over 7,500 hectares under vine, 90% of which are red varieties. The Mediterranean climate in McLaren Vale is a big draw card, and the soils are among the oldest in the world estimated at over 500 million years. The resulting low vigour and old vines combine to produce low yields and stunning, concentrated fruit. Each sub-zone provides a unique diversity in flavour, which we aim to showcase in our various Grenache wines.
Willunga 100 has been a pioneer in unoaked, single vineyard Grenache in McLaren Vale for the last 15 years. Its Blewitt Springs Grenache won the ‘Best Grenache Trophy’ at the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 2015 and 2016. With cooler temperatures and moderating afternoon sea breezes, the grapes grown here enjoy a long and even ripening season. Vintage in Blewitt Springs is often two to three weeks later than the rest of the district, giving the fruit a few extra weeks to ripen with a greater depth of flavour*
The Blind Spot Vineyard
The Blind Spot Vineyard was bought in March of 2019 and is the source of Willunga 100’s Grenache, Grenache Rose’, and occasionally their flagship wine, The Tithing Grenache. The vineyard has a plot of 80-year-old Shiraz vines which go toward a limited release Shiraz.
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 company name.
Willunga 100 had worked with the fruit off the vineyard for several years, so were already familiar with the sites personality and just how good the fruit it produces is.
The dry grown Grenache bush vines for this site were planted in 1952 on ancient sandy soil over a clay and ironstone base. Owned by local viticulturist Sue Trott, the Trott Vineyard is situated 210m above sea level on the moderate to steep hills of Blewitt Springs next to the Onkaparinga Gorge.
The fruit from Willunga 100’s award-winning single vineyard wine The Hundred Grenache, Blewitt Springs, is sourced from this vineyard.
Tucked in the gullies on the Onkaparinga River, Clarendon is a beautiful village rich in heritage. Willunga 100 produces their The Hundred Grenache, Clarendon from this area, which comes off the Smart Vineyard. It won the ‘Best Two-Year-Old or Older Grenache Trophy’ in 2017.
The Smart Vineyard
This vineyard has dry grown Grenache bush vines which were planted in 1923 on ancient loam soil over red-brown clay and bedrock. It’s situated 220m above sea level on the moderate to steep hills of the Clarendon Onkaparinga Gorge.
*Source credits: Wine Australia. McLaren Vale Guide. Sue Trott, Five Geese Wines.
SPRING - 26th of October 2022
The growing season is off to a good start at our vineyard in Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale. Lots of even growth is being pushed on by the rain and recent warm weather which is great to see.
Over the past few weeks, we have planted 300 native plants throughout the vineyard to support the natural biodiversity in the vineyard. 70 Creeping Saltbush were planted along the end of the rows to reduce erosion risk, 100 Nobby Club Rush planted along creek lines, and 40 ‘running postman’ have been planted under vine in the young Grenache vines. We’re testing this novel ground cover under our young Grenache as they should encourage predatory insects and fix nitrogen for the vines.
The spotted ladybirds in the vineyards are also a good sign as the ladybirds are friendly predators that eat pests like aphids and scales, which means we don’t have to use insecticides - this all supports our sustainable farming practices.
Thanks to our Viticulturist, Alex Sas for the images and vineyard update.