McLaren Vale Wines – Geology of the McLaren Vale Wine Region Map

With geology there is wine – sounds strange but the soils and earth make a difference to the resultant wine.  This has been strengthened by my 2009 McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Project wine tastings.  Some wineries had different wines from neighboring vineyards that were oh so different.  I can hear a lot of people saying – What about the climate and vineyard orientation?  Yes they are very important but from the soil comes flavor.  I cannot remember where I heard this little gem, but – each cubic meter of soil only has so much flavor, so do not push the vines too much. What really happens is that all the factors of soil, climate, irrigation, carbon concentration in the soil, spraying factors, nutritional supplements and so much more make what the wine is today.

So why such an introduction?  Well after many many years of working on a map of the McLaren Vale geology project last year PIRSA (Primary Industry and Resources SA) together with McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association published this geological map.  The map shows the geological variations of the McLaren Vale region with an overlay of wineries and vineyards.

Being a wine nurd I find the information facinating.  The sandy soils of Blewitt Springs that provide a smokey / peaty flavors to the Bay od Biscay soils of the Willungs Plains producing wines of strength – what a joy they provide.

Want to know more – then read what one of the authors, Philip White, think about this wonderful creation by clicking here.

If my information is correct the map is available at member wineries of the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism.


About Lonely Grape

Passionate about wine - particularly McLaren Vale wines. Check out my blog on different winery reviews and my wine sales web site
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2 Responses to McLaren Vale Wines – Geology of the McLaren Vale Wine Region Map

  1. PeterP says:

    Thanks for this Shane. I have long noticed the earth characters in McLaren Vale wines, probably most distinctive of all in Roger Pikes wines. However I did not know about this map and what a great writeup (as usual) by Phillip White. Just rang the wine & tourism info center and ordered an A5 map for $5 and an A1 for $40. Will be interesting to relate the single vineyard wines, as we taste them, to the map. I hear that Dudley Brown is even bottling some wines from the same rows but different geos within the same vineyard .. great stuff!

    BTW, I also agree that some of those Rare Earth wines were more about the oak than the earth … don’t tell the winemakers though : )

    • Lonely Grape says:

      thanks for the feedback. I also enjoy Marius Wines from Roger (I helped pick some of his grapes the last 2 years). I find the geological effects very interesting and glad to hear I was not the only one.


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