In the past 3-4 years, we have planted a 4 new varieties and as vintage is happening, it seems like the perfect time to share which ones and why with you now. We chose 4 Italian varieties, better-suited to our climate as well as to McLaren Vale’s complex geology. We also considered the different ripening stages of these varieties when choosing them, so that we did not end up with all grapes ready to pick at the same time.


  • Montepulciano – Sand Road ‘Home’ Vineyard

Planted on: Spring 2018
Picking Time: March / April

Why: We felt like this was the next stage in our Italian varieties focus, and at the time there was not many of it in the Vale. We were attracted to its fuller/fruitier profile and thought it would be a refreshing change for our customers. It is also a variety better suited to our Mediterranean climate, and quite adaptable to drastic temperature changes.

Note to self: Montepulciano takes quite a while to produce fruit! We are now 3 years after planting and this vintage will be the first time we can pick it. It will be a very limited edition, so we recommend you sign up to our newsletter if you want first dibs!


  • Fiano – Oakley Road ‘Stradz’ Vineyard

Planted on: Spring 2020
Picking Time: February / March

Why: Our decision was driver by popularity feedback from other winemakers – the white wine market is smaller than the red one, and we felt like Fiano was the right pick to introduce to McLaren Vale wine drinkers.

Comments: We actually have 2 different clones on this block; One comes from Langhorne Creek and provides a round and riper style. The other is from Mildura and is more aromatic, towards the citrus and mineral side of the variety. Having 2 different clones gives us more flexibility for style.


  • Vermentino – Oakley Road ‘Stradz’ vineyard

Planted on: Spring 2020
Picking Time: February

Why: Vermentino is the most ‘blanco’ of the Italian white varieties – and one of Mal’s favourite white wine. Our aim there was to make a white in the same style as we make our Carignan: light & fruity.
What we love about it: This variety captures the diversity of Australian food, matching beautifully with spicy Asian cuisine, as well as seafood. It has this clean & fresh ‘sea-spray’ feel that is so typical of the Vale, adding some salinity to the palate.


  • Greco (Di Tufo) – Sand Road ‘Home’ vineyard

Planted on: Spring 2018 & 2019
Picking Time: March

Why: We find that Greco really captures the heritage of Campania, just like our Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains carries on its French roots here. However, Greco is a variety with more texture & richness, perfect for fuller-bodied whites and giving us the opportunity to add complexity to the wine with some barrel or on-lees ageing.

A touch of history: It's one of the lesser known of the noble varieties of Campania DOCG, in Italy. Being quite a late ripening variety, its red equivalent would be the Aglianico.

The sustainable tweak: when planting new varieties, we started using new stainless steel vineyards posts. They are made in SA out & 100% recyclable. That’s what we call a bonus!

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