Just when we thought Corrina couldn’t possibly fit in anything else to her agenda she notifies us that her prose and wine reviews will be in the Advertiser as a stand in for massive SA advocate and wine writer extraordinaire Tony Love. Well we all like to show Tony some love, cos we love saying love. Here is a piece which left us loving our great region even more.
The sun is shining. The beautiful people are out and about. Childrens laughter rings in the air. The colour of the crystal clear sea cannot possibly be described by any less than twenty shades of blue. Or maybe not even then. Feet sink into the silky golden sand. Eyes gaze up past the ancient ochre cliffs, following the green and golden patchwork of vineyards, barley fields and olive groves, up to the bright, clear sky. Bellies are full of freshly caught fish, fingers leaving salty streaks on the wine glass filled with a delicious local drop. Where am I? Costa del Sol, St. Tropez, Mykonos, Sicily….
Settle down guys, not on a winemaker’s wage! Nope. I am five minutes from my home vineyard on Port Willunga Beach. OK, maybe I lied about the beautiful people bit, but I was trying to paint a picture. The region of McLaren Vale is a part of my DNA and it’s getting hard to keep a lid on it. I often find myself saying a quiet ‘thankyou’ to the first generation of my family for toughing it out in the old days and setting up camp in such a beautiful region. The intense feeling of luckiness comes across me all of a sudden at random moments – often when I am showing a visitor around or watching the light play on the vines and hills at different times of the day.
I mean seriously, how lucky are we? Surrounded by an amazing coastline, brilliant restaurants, farmers markets and sustainable produce, and so many great wines that it is impossible to even begin to list all of them. All of these things comparable with, if not better than, the places we dream of visiting overseas.
And the best part. The McLaren Vale wine region is on the doorstep of the city. The Southern Expressway (finally!) gets your palate into the friendly vineyard cellar door or your toes on the sand in 45 minutes. Sure, a designated driver or a sleepover is recommended if you want to really explore and dine at more than one of the seriously world class restaurants we have in amongst the vines.
Did I mention that there was wine?
Some of my current favourites. Pretty much any McLaren Vale Grenache. Grenache is a red that is all about earthy, sweet spices. It tends to be more medium bodied and is delicious during the warmer months. SC Pannell Grenache ($55 http://www.pannell.com.au ), Wirra Wirra Absconder Grenache ($70 http://www.wirra.com.au), Tim Geddes Seldom Inn Grenache ($22 http://www.geddeswines.com.au ), Yangarra Old Vine Grenache ($32 http://www.yangara.com), Ministry of Clouds Grenache ($38 http://www.ministryofclouds.com.au ) are all crackers. Am also a sucker for the Italian white varietals, and McLaren Vale is leading the pack doing a stellar job with these. Think Vermentino and Fiano. Grab yourself a bottle, head down to the beach for some fresh whiting and soak it up.
Like I said, there are too many great wines to mention- so make sure you get down for a visit, check out the cellar doors and find yourself a new favourite. I guarantee it will get under your skin and make everyone look just a little more beautiful.