Situated about 35 kilometres South of Adelaide and 10 minutes East of the beaches, McLaren Vale is not only a convivial place to visit, it is also one of the oldest winemaking regions in Australia. It is bordered by Adelaide to the North, the Mount Lofty Ranges in the Southeast, and the Gulf of St Vincent to the West. Its six sub-regions, though not officially declared, are Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, Seaview, McLaren Flat, Willunga and Sellicks Foothills.
Woodstock lies between McLaren Flat and Blewitt Springs, east of the town of McLaren Vale. These sub-regions benefit from cool nightly gully breezes and are home to some of the best Chardonnays in the region. Coupled with long warm days, the reds from McLaren Flat tend to show opulence yet elegance and a structure more refined than many in the region.
McLaren Vale wine region has been described as one of Australia’s most consistent premium grape growing region. Its Mediterranean climate with warm sunny days and cool nights is ideal for growing grapes. Good winter and spring rains prepare the soil for the ripening months, reducing the need for irrigation – which is ideal as it preserves good berry flavour. As summer approaches, the days get gradually longer, with clear blue skies on bright sunny days.
Low humidity combined with good afternoon sea and gully breezes lessen the midday heat and helps the grapes ripen evenly. Cool nights ensure that the natural acidity in the berries is retained. Vintage in McLaren Vale usually starts in late February or early March depending on the growing season. Summer rains and frosts are a rare occurrence in the temperate climate of McLaren Vale. This adds to its appeal as a safe and consistent grape growing region for producing excellent quality fruit year after year.
The soils in Woodstock’s vineyards have varying depths of sandy loam over clay and then ironstone. The white sand reflects sunlight up under the vines, which enhances ripening. These sandy soils have little fertility or structure but are ideal for small yields of excellent quality grapes. They also hold little moisture, which results in smaller and more flavoursome berries.