Dinner in the Dark by Can Do 4 Kids
Friday 15 June
National Wine Centre

We are lucky enough to be involved in our third Dinner in the Dark event tonight, where over 400 guests will sit down to a four-course meal they know nothing about! If our previous years’ experiences are anything to go by we are sure to be in for a gourmet meal from the talented team at the National Wine Centre, which Winemaker Anthony De Lisio has paired with four of his favourite wines on our hosted table.



It’s amazing each year to hear about the inspiring work Can Do 4 Kids does for families and the brave children who aren’t going to let anything stand in their way.

Yes – we eat with the blindfolds on, and yes – it’s exactly as difficult as it sounds! But that’s just part of the fun of the night, which will also include musical entertainment, live and silent auctions, not to mention the Wall of Wine – where we choose a number at random and are awarded with a bottle from one of the generous sponsors of the night.


If you already have your tickets to this great event then we’ll ‘see’ you there. If not, consider joining us next year for a wonderful cause.

Vanessa De Lisio


Monday 2 – Sunday 15 April 2018
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

The Vale Market
Monday 2 April 2018
10 am – 3 pm
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

Welcome to the longest of long weekends – you now have four glorious days to eat, drink, see friends and family and hopefully you don’t have to think about work at all. At De Lisio Wines, we’re doing what we do most Easter long weekends, popping in to see the grapes as they ferment, doing pumpovers twice a day, watching the Baumé levels to tell us the sugar content of the wines, and raising our own sugar content with chocolate and hot cross buns when we can.

We would like to wish you a very happy and safe Easter from the whole De Lisio family, whether you headed off on a mini-holiday, you’re baking up a storm or you’ve decided to tackle that painting project. If you’re looking for something fun and relaxing to do on your holiday Monday, you can join us at our pop-up cellar door at the Visitor Information Centre which will also include over 50 stalls from The Vale Market on the lawns.

The Vale Market on a holiday Monday is always popular with delicious offerings from food trucks, local produce and handmade jewellery, gifts and homewares. There’s also free entertainment, music and buskers, plus a free bouncy castle for the kids. And if you haven’t had a chance to discover it, now’s the time to explore the new adventure play which was unveiled at the Visitor Centre at the end of 2017 – great tactile and energetic fun for the kids.

Our pop-up cellar door will then continue until 15 April, which takes us right up to the last day of Term 2. April also heralds that leisurely run into the cooler months, so whatever the reason you need to re-stock your wine cellar, we’ll be there for you with light relaxing reds like the ‘Puttanesca’ Sangiovese Merlot, warming blends like the NEW 2014 ‘Quarterback’ or the Premium ‘Catalyst’ Shiraz Grenache, and our ever-popular NV Sparkling, which you may want to have on hand to celebrate when the kids go back to school at the end of the month.

As always, the Stump Hill Café will be tempting us with wonderful, fresh housemade treats, and their cheese and antipasto platter is always on the menu if you want to sit on the deck or sprawl on the lawns to enjoy the view, a glass (or bottle) of wine, and escape with some of the best local produce.

**UPDATE** Tickets are on sale now, here.

10 June 2018
Sunday Experience
9 am – 5 pm

11 June 2018
Monday Markets
10 am – 3 pm
FREE entertainment, family activities, over 50 market stalls

It’s that time of year again – time to start planning your Queen’s Birthday long weekend in McLaren Vale. Pre-release Sea & Vines tickets go on sale MONDAY 26 MARCH, and to be on that list you will have bought tickets before or you will be signed up to the mailing list (which you can do right now to go to the head of the line), and tickets are on sale to the general public Tuesday 27 March.

We love seeing familiar faces at the Festival each year and want to thank you so much for your support, especially those of you who choose us for all three Sunday Experience sessions – we don’t want to go out there into that traffic and get stuck behind a bus, and why should you! Of course, we’re always happy to help new fans discover De Lisio too, and this year we have so much more to offer, so it’s a good time to jump on the bandwagon.



What’s there to do?

Still divided into three sessions, you can join us for Sea & Vines Sunday Experience from:
9.00 am – 11.15am
11.30 am – 2.15 pm
2.30 pm – 5.00 pm

Or choose De Lisio for more than one session, there’s plenty to do here. For example, we’re honouring the beach lifestyle of McLaren Vale with our seafood menu options which will pair perfectly with the new releases of our 2017 Sangiovese Rose, 2017 ‘Argento’ Pinot Grigio or 2017 ‘Honeypot’ Moscato.

Is Sea & Vines weekend your annual wine tour weekend, or a traditional birthday celebration? Pull up a chair and have a leisurely breakfast of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, paired with our dry sparkling, or a sparkling and orange juice if you want to ease into the celebrations.

If you’ve come to party hard then you’ll be on the dancefloor where the biggest Sea & Vines band, eight-piece Chesterfield Brass will be blowing you away with their 80s, 90s and noughties covers of your favourite rock, jazz and chart hits.

Or just soak up the atmosphere, as we have a lawn with a view waiting for you to recline in the winter sunshine surrounded by friends, food, wine and music, and rolling hills of photogenic vines in the background.


What’s new?

New release wines – check. New menu items – check. Bigger marquee – check.

What else…If you’ve come to Sea & Vines looking for a frosty refreshment, then we’ve partnered with Vale Brewing this year!


What’s there to eat?

Our brand-new Sea & Vines inspired menu this year includes:

Two-stack buttermilk pancakes served with fresh Alexandrina Cream, jam and maple syrup $7.00
Beer Battered Garfish served with steak fries and fresh chive aioli $12.00
House-made spicy roasted pumpkin soup, croutons and a dollop of Alexandrina Cream $7.00 GF
Chunky beef and Shiraz pie $7.00
Tray of steak fries $7.00
House-made flourless orange and almond cake served with Alexandrina Cream $7.00 GF

**UPDATE** Tickets are on sale now, here.


The holiday Monday is the more sedate, family friendly Festival day, so in honour of our Queen bring your most dignified self to the Visitor Information Centre to discover the best The Vale has to offer. The Vale Markets on Sea & Vines Monday are bigger and better every year, and if you’re in doubt just follow the crowds who know where to go to experience the full range of boutique De Lisio wines, an assortment of food vans, delicious handmade delicacies and those one-off market finds.


What’s there to do?

At De Lisio Wines we’re not going to take away our top shelf wines because it’s Festival weekend, we want you to experience everything McLaren Vale has to offer this Sea & Vines, so we have our full range available by the glass or by the bottle to accompany your relaxing holiday Monday.

You can pair a bottle of De Lisio wine with local cheeses, handmade pâté or your favourite Festival foods for lunch. Chill out under the marquee or stake out your place on the lawns to enjoy the entertainment from the dynamic young duo TURNBACK, playing your old school favourites and hits. There’s also a free bouncy castle, petting zoo and face painting for the kids.


What’s new?

The Vale Market is always welcoming new stallholders, so in addition to local produce, arts, crafts, skincare, jewellery, souvenirs and homewares you’re sure to see something that wasn’t here last year.

The Visitor Centre’s adventure play was also unveiled at the end of 2017 and is a great place for your kids to climb, explore and let their imagination run wild across bridges, over rocks and through sand.


What’s there to eat?

Choose your favourites from Adelaide’s best food vans, including wood oven pizzas, gourmet burgers and hot dogs, or rich soups. If you’re just feeling a little peckish, or you want to indulge your sweet tooth, you’ll also find fudge in every flavour, delicate crêpes, and of course that festival-favourite – fairy floss!

The De Lisio family loves the energy and excitement that comes from showing off our region to the more than 20,000 visitors who join us for the Sea & Vines weekend. So however you like to enjoy food and wine in South Australia, we have a Sea & Vines event for you, see you soon in The Vale!

Vanessa De Lisio

Monday 5 – Sunday 18 March 2018
10 am – 5 pm daily (4 pm on weekends)
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

The Vale Market
Monday 12 March 2018
10 am – 3 pm
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

Well it’s been a busy first week at our pop-up cellar door, but it is Mad March after all. It’s been wonderful to chat with our visitors from around the world, from the UK, Canada, the US and Hong Kong, and of course those lucky locals or those holidaying from interstate, just popping over to South Australia for our Fringe, our car racing or our Ed Sheeran show.

Our second week at the Visitor Centre will start with The Vale Market on Monday 12 March where the beautiful lawns will host stalls of homewares, gifts, jewellery, souvenirs and a delicious selection of food trucks offering both savoury and sweet treats.

We’ll also be selling the last of our 2010 Covert Shiraz this week – I have just six bottles here for you to snap up before we release the 2014 vintage. The 2010 Covert Shiraz is a bottle of everything that makes McLaren Vale Shiraz so special and so sought after. With its lengthy time in barrel and its age The Covert is not a fruit-bomb of a Shiraz, it’s now truly displaying the terroir of the region with its earthiness, ground coffee and black pepper spice. The Covert is an example of our traditional winemaking style at its best, melding new world technologies with old world flavours.

The new release Sangiovese Rosé has also come flying out of the blocks and is the biggest seller so far this week. People are loving the bright ruby-red colour and the interesting savoury flavours of the Sangiovese grape shown off in a light, textural way.

As always I’m asked a few questions I haven’t heard before, which I love, and just in case you have the same questions, here are some of my answers:

What’s your style?

People often remark that they enjoy each of the wines in our range, even though they are different varieties and different fruit weights. I have found that if you like one wine in a range, you will like almost all of them, because it is the winemaker’s style that you are enjoying. So what does it mean when you talk about a winemaker’s style? It’s not always about the shirt he wears to work, in this case it’s about those decisions, big and small, that go into creating the wine you take home.

The age of the vines determines a certain flavour profile and De Lisio Wines is lucky enough that some of the fruit we use is from vines which are 80 to more than 100 years old. There is a unique depth of flavour that comes from old-growth vines that our winemakers love to work with, and is a wonderful way to tap into the history of one of Australia’s oldest winemaking regions.

Extracting the juice from the grapes determines the colour and the tannin of the wine and the more you extract from the grapes at pressing, the more juice you end up with. De Lisio carefully balances the extraction for maximum flavour, without overpowering with tannin which can lead your mouth to feel very dry – like when you’ve left your tea bag in too long.

The use of oak is a good predictor of winemaking style, as it influences so many other parts of the process. We almost 100% French Oak barrels which means you can find the hints of clove and allspice across a lot of our range, with a small amount of American Oak being used, but we don’t want the wines overpowered by the coconut flavours. We’ll also use predominantly second use barrels in our standard range and almost all new oak in our premiums – but never 100% of each. The neutral oak of the second use barrels allow the tannins in the wine to soften and integrate making our wines smooth and easy to drink. The new oak in the premiums offer velvety tannins, and enough structure to age for more than 20 years. 

If I bought a hobby property with 10 acres of vines, how many bottles could I make?

One visitor had recently considered the purchase of a property that included a 10 acre vineyard, which is a tricky size to know what to do with. Ten acres is often not cost effective to have managed by contractors, and is often the more manageable size you could DIY. Depending on the variety you could harvest anywhere from one to three tonnes per acre on average…so we worked that out while we were tasting!

One tonne of grapes will yield around 700 litres, and there’s nine litres in one dozen wines. That works out to just under 200 bottles, which would be enough to keep you in a bottle of wine for dinner most days, or to share with friends. Which leads me to my next question…

How many bottles of wine do I need to retire?

Most of us are foolishly focused on how much we need in our financial portfolios to retire, yet one visitor to the winery recently shared an insight from a friend of his who had worked out that he needed to stock 2,000 bottles of wine to prepare for his retirement.

Now that someone else has done the math for you – would 2,000 really be enough? If you’re drinking a bottle every day, 2,000 bottles is only going to last five years into your retirement. If you’re drinking a bottle a week, your wine collection will see you through 38 years of retirement. Not bad.

I hope to see you soon at our pop-up cellar door, or for a tasting at the winery. Happy long weekend!

Vanessa De Lisio

Monday 5 – Sunday 18 March 2018
10 am – 5 pm daily (4 pm on weekends)
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

The Vale Market
Monday 12 March 2018
10 am – 3 pm
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

We’re bursting to get into our first pop-up cellar door of 2018 because we have so much to share with you! Since we’ve just melted our way through the last month of Summer, I’ll start with the chilled wines. We have our first ever Rosé, made from Adelaide Hills Sangiovese. The Rosé spent just 18 minutes on skins, which has imparted a bright ruby-red colour. It’s not a sweet wine and it’s not a light wine (not at 14% alcohol), it’s a wine made to show the different paths the Sangiovese grape can take, and how each one has a place at your table.

Still in the fridge we have our new 2017 ‘Argento’ Pinot Grigio which this year is also from the cooler Adelaide Hills climate, giving it greater viscosity and length, with a beautiful floral nose and soft passionfruit and melon flavours. And we have the 2017 ‘Honeypot’ Moscato fresh off the bottling line for you with perfect little refreshing bubbles, and balanced acidity for great complexity. Anthony’s just checking for you that it still mixes well with gin to create a Bombay Kitten cocktail. He’ll let you know tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon.

We are also running out the last few dozen of our Covert Shiraz and Covert Cabernet Sauvignon to make way for the new 2014 releases, or you could take another peek at the ‘Puttanesca’ Sangiovese Merlot to see whether you prefer the variety as a red or a rosé.

In the middle of our pop-up weeks, the Vale Market is also popping in on the holiday Monday 12 March. All your favourite stallholders and food trucks will be there, plus free children’s entertainment and bouncy castle, and live music.

I’ll also be happy to update you on Vintage 2018, come in and ask me anything!

Vanessa De Lisio

Here we are at Valentine’s Day again, and before you scoff at it as just a day invented to sell greeting cards and chocolate, remember that the history of the day is founded in the legend of someone who was willing to fight, and die, for love.

Between the second and eighth century, Valentine was a popular name, as the Latin word Valentinus means worthy, strong and powerful. Therefore, there is some debate about who the real Saint Valentine, really was. One of the most popular accounts is of a Roman priest in the time of Emperor Claudius. During the time Valentine was a priest, marriage between young people was forbidden. The Emperor believed unmarried men were better soldiers as they were unaffected by the thought of dying as they had no wife or children waiting for them at home. It was Valentine who married young couples in secret, until he was discovered and imprisoned then tortured, before being sentenced to death.

During his incarceration, Valentine met a man named Asterius, whose daughter was blind. Valentine prayed with Asterius’ daughter, and her blindness was cured. The last note Valentine wrote before his death sentence was carried out was to Asterius’ daughter, and it was signed ‘from your Valentine’. Valentine was then executed on 14 February, late in the third century.

Valentine is now the patron saint of lovers, and it is in his name that we take a much-needed pause to appreciate the love of our life, and all those we love in our lives. While we are reflecting on the people we love, Valentine’s Day also marks the beginning of Lent this year, a time to reflect on our lives as a whole and make a change to something we could improve about ourselves, even if only for 40 days.


What are you giving up for Lent this year? Is it chocolate? Caffeine? Or dare I suggest…alcohol?? If you are making the ‘ultimate’ sacrifice, order up now so you have something to look forward to on Easter Sunday. Or perhaps with its fortuitous timing, you’ll use Lent as an opportunity to reflect on something about yourself, or something about your relationship that you want to change for a better year ahead. Think of it as a second chance at those New Year’s resolutions!

Happy Valentine’s Day. Love,
Vanessa De Lisio

Our first long weekend of 2018 is coming up, and as we’ve all made the trip back to work and are preparing for back to school, our summer holidays seem so long ago. That’s why you want to make the Australia Day long weekend really count, whether that’s at the beach, in front of the BBQ, following the cricket or beside the radio.

Australia Day at the winery is the unofficial beginning of vintage, when the grapes start to show their first signs of colour. However, 2018 saw veraison in the first week of January for most blocks, hinting at another early vintage, and showing that the late arrival of vintage in 2017 was an exception, rather than the new norm. Which means that the Australia Day weekend is one of our last chances to get out and see our family and friends, before we’re tucked away at the winery (or tucked up in bed after those late nights and early mornings).

Since being bottled just before Christmas, our Sangiovese Rose has been anything but tucked away. We’ve taken it wherever we go, matching it to seafood and pork, a birthday celebration at the pub, a delicious Webber-cooked chicken and wonderful homemade pizzas. It’s performed outstandingly each time, and we’re very happy with this first foray into the Rose market.

Our Sangiovese Rose is made in the French style with a ruby-red sparkle in colour and a complex astringency in the mouth, taking you from green melon to tart cherry to pink grapefruit. It’s not a sweet wine and it’s not a light wine (not at 14% alcohol), it’s a wine made to show the different paths the Sangiovese grape can take, and how each one has a place at your table.

So, as you make your plans for the Australia Day long weekend don’t forget to restock your wines:

Start Long Weekend Wine Shopping Now
Order the NEW Sangiovese Rose Now

Vanessa De Lisio

Saturday 20 January 2018
The Twilight Vale Market, 4 – 8 pm
Cinema Among the Vines, ‘Night at the Museum 3’, Gold Coin Entry from 6 pm
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, 796 Main Road, McLaren Vale

Happy 2018 De Lisio Wines fans! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing and safe Christmas and New Year. We enjoyed all the usual things, a Christmas tree that took up our entire living room, more seafood than you can poke a stick at – that was until we went down to Wirrina Cove to catch our own and there wasn’t a squid in sight! – and meal after meal with family and friends.

As we all know, we’re officially allowed to continue the holiday vibe until Australia Day, so in the spirit of relaxation and exploration, put your picnic rug back in the car and head over to the Cinema Among the Vines to see ‘Night at the Museum 3’ on Saturday 20 January. Follow Larry Daley and his team of exhibits through the night again, and across the pond as they uncover the secrets of the British Museum.

If you want to do some exploring of your own, head down before the movie for a twilight edition of The Vale Market, where you’ll find all your favourite local stallholders offering homewares, gifts, jewellery and local produce. There will also be free live entertainment, free bouncy castle, and of course the Information Centre’s playground and new adventure play.

De Lisio Wines is once again sponsoring the Cinema Among the Vines, so some of our most popular drops will be available for purchase by the glass or by the bottle to enjoy on what is forecast to be a balmy summer’s night. Food and movie snacks can also be purchased from the café, or you can bring your own picnic (just no BYO alcohol). Hope to see you there.

And if you wanted to make a start on your long weekend wine purchasing, head over to our online cellar door and start shopping now.

Vanessa De Lisio

Monday 16 – Sunday 29 October 2017
10 am – 5 pm daily (4 pm on weekends)
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, Main Road

When I work at our pop up cellar door, there are the questions I always expect to answer, and then there are ALWAYS ones I’ve never heard before! Like…

“How many bunches of grapes does it take to make a bottle of wine?”

Now, I knew he was asking because he wanted to know how many bunches he’d need to make a bottle of his own wine in his backyard…but in case you’re curious, if we’re talking about Shiraz for example (since it is the most widely planted variety in South Australia, and McLaren Vale), it would take about 10 bunches of grapes to make one bottle.

That’s also if we’re talking about making the wine in the De Lisio style of winemaking, as the extraction methods used by different winemakers will affect the amount of juice each bunch will produce.

“How is the health of the bees in McLaren Vale?”


Shamefully I’d never really thought much about the role of the bees in McLaren Vale, but that is the plight of bees all over the world – working hard to help our food, our flowers and our entire planet flourish, yet being taken for granted.
I’d also never thought of a grapevine as a flowering plant in the same way you think about an almond blossom giving way to the almonds, or the flowers on a lemon tree becoming lemons. However, grapevines have flowers just like all other fruiting plants, and you’ll see those delicate flowers just before they turn into grapes. Budburst will occur around the time you’ll see me back at the Pop Up Cellar Door at the Visitor Information Centre, then towards the end of the year you’ll see (if you look closely enough) the flowers on the vine, which will then become fruit.

“Do you put the honey in there?”

Still on the theme of bees, people often ask about the name of our ‘Honeypot’ Moscato. No, there’s not actually honey in there, honey is just one of the flavour characteristics which comes from the fermentation of the Frontignac grape.

The same goes for all of our wines, while you may be able to pick out the red berry, the anise, the leather or the chocolate flavours, we haven’t added any of these things. The flavours in the wines are all there naturally, all we do is allow for the natural fermentation of the grapes and their natural concentration in barrel, where they can pick up flavours from the oak.

“What’s Shiraz?”

Yes, people ask me this at cellar door all the time, and no, they’re not from another planet. Often they’re from Europe, where because of our Aussie accent and the different spelling, they don’t recognise their Syrah grape in its Australian incarnation.

Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape varietal, but they result in a different style of wine because of the differences in old world and new world winemaking techniques, and of course weather and soil differences.

“What does the A.D. stand for?”
Actually another one I’m asked all the time, but it’s an important answer to show the De Lisio style and philosophy. A.D. are the winemaker’s initials, Anthony De Lisio, and it comes from this quote:

‘For a winemaker to lend his name to a wine it becomes personal. Share my taste.’

“Why are the vines planted in that direction?”

One savvy visitor to our region noticed that the direction of the vineyard rows differed from block to block. Having been involved with the De Lisio family after they planted their vines, and only in the years of picking, pruning and vineyard management, I assumed the rows were planted in the direction which gave the easiest access for the tractors and harvesters. This is true, but it’s not the only factor.

It is rare to see terraced vineyards in McLaren Vale, because the undulations make for too tight turns between the terraced rows. The other factor in the direction of the rows is of course the sun. Traditionally, and where possible, vines are planted east to west (or west to east, ha, ha) to maximise the amount of sun the vines see each day.

“What are those big chocolate balls?”

Those, dear tourist, are Fruchocs, which are only the greatest South Australian treat around. Not only are Fruchocs a ball of milky chocolate, they’re filled with a soft, tart apricot and peach filling, making this delicious treat practically a health food.

Plus, in the main street of McLaren Vale is the Fruchocs factory, where you can see all of the old production line machinery used to create these sweet treats. And if you pick up the McLaren Vale Visitor Guide from the Visitor Information Centre, you’ll find a Fruchocs voucher inside!

I always recommend Fruchocs as the perfect South Aussie souvenir for visitors to take home…after the wine of course.

And yes, those BIG chocolate balls are the GIANT Fruchocs!

“Why is it called the Fleurieu?”


While the Barossa has a strong German influence and McLaren Vale is rife with Italian immigrants (yes, that’s us), our region was actually named in honour of a French navigator.

In 1802 Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin met in Encounter Bay, now known as Victor Harbor, Flinders on the Investigator and Baudin on La Géographe. While Flinders charted the coastline, and named Cape Jervois and other points, Baudin named the Peninsula in honour of the French navigator and Minister of Marine, Charles, Count of Fleurieu. However, the name Fleurieu Peninsula was not formally adopted until 1913.

This is one of the reasons I love spending time behind the bar at cellar door, because I do know the answers to most of your questions, and when I don’t, we both learn something!

See you in October when I’m sure you’ll have all new questions ready for me. Cheers,
Vanessa De Lisio

Clark Island, Sydney Harbour
Friday 10 – Sunday 12 November, 2017

Anthony and I love to visit Sydney, in fact, when we were there in September 2016 we enjoyed a night climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The climb was an amazing tour with an even more amazing view. However, little did we know that if we’d looked far off into the distance, just outside of Double Bay, we would have gotten a bird’s eye view of the venue for Wine Island – Clark Island.


Also getting a bird’s eye view is Percy the Pelican, the Fesitval’s mascot, who has welcomed De Lisio Wines to Wine Island in 2017. The Wine Island Festival runs from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November, where guests enjoy a ferry ride (complete with a glass of sparkling for the journey) to Clark Island where they can relax and enjoy the best of island life – food, wine, music, sun and beach chairs!


Local and international wineries will be on show and we’re looking forward to meeting some sun-kissed Sydney-siders and sharing some of our new release wines perfect for an island weekend.

To keep informed of ticket release dates go to www.wineisland.com.au.

Cheers, and see you on the island…
Vanessa De Lisio