Heart of South Australian Wine, McLaren Vale 남 호주 와인의 심장, 맥라렌 베일

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Photos by Bae Doo Hwan

At McLaren Vale  information center (1)

At McLaren Vale information center

They call the winery area in Adelaide simply ‘South Australia’. And one of the famous winery area in South Australia is called McLaren Vale. In reality, South Australia is the foundation of Australian wine and labels that are famous in Korea like Hardy’s, Penfolds, Pere Lehman and other makers are all gathered here.

At McLaren Vale information center (2)

At McLaren Vale information center

South Australia is also known to have the one of the world’s famous winery called Barossa. Barossa is divided into two areas: Eden Valley and Barossa Valley, which every wine enthusiast seems to know very well. These two places are where the top notch Shiraz is produced. Another winery is Clare Valley.

At McLaren Vale  information center (3)

At McLaren Vale information center

Clare Valley has the oldest vineyard and its Riesling wine is known to be the best. Its continental climate, which has hot days and cold nights, is ideal for grapes to grow. Because grapes are grown best at altitude between 400 and 500m, the climate perfect for the white wine grapes can be quite amazing to enjoy under such a cool climate. Other than Limestone Coast, which is well known in Korea, there aren’t that many known places.

At McLaren Vale  information center (4)

At McLaren Vale information center

The place where we stayed is called Old Reynella, which is located an hour bus ride down to south from Adelaide city center. We chose this place because we could get to McLaren Vale by public transportation. It’s a quite retirement town with a lot of elderlies.

At McLaren Vale  information center (5)

At McLaren Vale information center

McLaren Vale is about 35km due south from Adelaide and in Australia, that’s considered quite close. It has Mediterranean climate with distinctive 4 seasons and its hot dry summer and rainy winter that are heavenly for grapes farming. Vines like Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, and for whites like Chardonnay, Sovinjon, Sauvignon, Blanc, Riesling are grown but more risky vines like Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Barbera, Cinsault are grown with no fear of anything if possible as well. It shows the free and experimental spirits of Australians.

At McLaren Vale  information center (6)

At McLaren Vale information center

We visited McLaren Vale 3 times with public transportation. Their transportation system isn’t as well established as Korea, so it took quite sometime to get there. Still the experience is unforgettable.

At McLaren Vale  information center (7)

At McLaren Vale information center

When we went there for the first time, we had to walk about 2 hours from the bus stop to get to McLaren. It wasn’t as exhausting as it sounds since we were simply too excited to see wine vineyard for the first time. In reality the road was quite rough to walk so we have seen many people on a bike. We saw a couple with a baby on a stroller and we must say that they have earned our deepest respect.

At McLaren Vale  information center (8)

At McLaren Vale information center

We tried some wrinkly grapes on the way. Grapes for brewing are usually a lot smaller than what we know of. However as the saying smaller pepper the spicier, these grapes are extremely sweet. Edible grapes in the market has about 16 to 18 bricks of sugar where the grapes from here where the sun is a lot stronger contains more than 28 bricks of sugar easily.

At McLaren Vale  information center (9)

At McLaren Vale information center

Basically the half of the bricks number is considered the alcohol volume but it doesn’t necessarily mean the higher bricks can be an advantage. The most important aspect of wine is a balance between acid and sugar. That’s why hot and dry days and cold night is so important for growing perfect grapes. With this climate the grapes can ripe slowly and contains perfect balance of acid and sugar.

At McLaren Vale  information center (10)

At McLaren Vale information center

There is McLaren Vale information center at the end of the road. They have a place for people to take a break and have some wine. We had already spent 2 hours on the transportation then walked 2 hours so we were completely out of energy and the most of wineries were closing at the time so we had decided to take a break at the information center.

The way to the McLaren Vale (1)

The way to the McLaren Vale

We could taste Quarterback, the high quality wine of the area and Argento rather more popularized wine of De Lisio. We tried Shiraz and Pinot Grigio, the quality was quite good considering the 15 dollar we had spent. http://www.delisiowines.com.au/

The way to the McLaren Vale (2)

The way to the McLaren Vale

De Lisio winery was established in 2002 and as you can guess from its name, the family is from Italy. We ended up getting a bottle of Pinot Grigio for a picnic. Australia’s sky is simply high and clear which makes the sun that much stronger. Nevertheless we enjoyed our pinot with the small lunch we brought ourselves and resumed our journey after. As you follow McLaren Vale mountain lines, you will be able to see Shiraz trail signs. If you continue following these signs, you will be able to meet different wineries and vineyards.

The way to the McLaren Vale (3)

The way to the McLaren Vale

There is a train restaurant where they rent bicycles, we promised ourselves to rent bicycles and do a tour of winery next time.

The way to the McLaren Vale (4)

The way to the McLaren Vale

 

 

4235431452435Contributor, Bae Doo Hwan

He was a cultural journalist who worked at the best Korean wine magazine, ‘Wine Review’. After the wine journey, he manages a small wine bar ‘Vino Anotonio’ in Seoul as a freelancer wine columnist. http://blog.naver.com/baedoobaedoo

배두환 기자는 대한민국 최고의 와인매거진에서 와인, 다이닝 등 다양한 문화 이야기를 조명해왔다.  와인산지로 떠난 1년간의 여행 후 현재 아담한 규모의 와인바, ‘비노 안토니오’를 운영하며 프리랜서로 활동하고 있다. http://blog.naver.com/baedoobaedoo

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