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

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

De Lisio Wines Label Art Lunch
Enzo’s Ristorante, 46 Port Road, Hindmarsh
Sunday 23 July, 12.30 pm
Tickets $180 ea, includes six bottles of the new release 2016 Cleanskin Grenache

Our Label Art Lunch is fast approaching and we are excited to be able to reveal the menu specially designed for us by Enzo and Teresa for the event:

De Lisio Wines Sparkling on arrival.

Chef’s Selection of Appetisers

Olive Ascolane
Large green olives filled with veal, chicken mince and Parmesan cheese,crumbed and deep fried with a tomato and roast capsicum salsa

Arancini con zucca e taleggio
Risotto balls filled with pumpkin, taleggio cheese on wilted cos

Carpaccio di pesce del giorno
Fresh fish of the day, with fresh lemon, olive oil and Italian pickled red onion

Bruschettina con ndjua
Spicy Calabrese pork sausage spread on toasted ciabatta bread


Cicatelle con ragu di coniglio
Handmade short pasta with rabbit ragu in a white wine sauce

Main, choice of:

Filetto di Bue ai porcini e tartufo ** Award-winning dish **
Grass fed MSA beef fillet, pan cooked with porcini, local mushrooms, truffle, brandy and a touch of cream, served with potatoes and green beans

Quaglie in pancetta
Deboned quail wrapped in pancetta, oven roasted and served with braised cannellini bean and baby spinach


Crème brulee
A classic vanilla bean crème brulee with a crisp caramel topping and delicate cat’s tongue biscuit

To finish: duo of cheese platters

To drink: full range of De Lisio Wines, selection of premium beers, plus the Cleanskin 2016 Grenache

** Vegetarian and gluten free alternatives available, please advise me of your dietary requirements before the event. **

Doesn’t that sound like a menu that would inspire the artist in all of us!? Secure your tickets NOW.

See you there,
Cheers, Vanessa


McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival, Monday 12 June 2017, 10 am – 3 pm FREE ENTRY
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, 796 Main Road, McLaren Vale

There is nothing quite so relaxing as a long weekend, knowing that even though it’s Monday, you’re completely free to recline on a picnic blanket with a bottle of wine and a cheese board for the afternoon.

If you can already picture yourself on that picnic blanket then mark your diary for Monday 12 June at the McLaren Vale Visitor Centre for our annual Monday Markets Family Day as part of the Sea & Vines Festival. In true celebration of everything we love about McLaren Vale, De Lisio Wines will be serving our full range of wines for sale by the glass or by the bottle.

Then, when lunch time rolls around you’ll have all of Adelaide’s best food vans to choose from, 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!

Partnering with The Vale Market, the expansive lawns of the Visitor Information Centre will be populated with over 50 stalls showcasing local produce, cheeses, pâté, arts, crafts, skincare, jewellery, souvenirs and home wares. And make sure you bring the kids along, because they’ll have a ball on the playground and the bouncy castle, in between having their face painted and visiting the animals in the petting zoo.

Providing the perfect musical backdrop to the Festival will be TurnBack, a dynamic young duo playing all of your favouite rock, pop and acoustic tunes. The Monday of the Sea & Vines Festival always sees us play host to thousands of locals, tourists and food and wine fans stopping in for a relaxing, entertaining and delicious end to the long weekend.

See you soon!
Cheers, Vanessa De Lisio

McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival, Sunday 11 June 2017
McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre, 796 Main Road, McLaren Vale

As Adelaide belts out one last sunny day, it’s hard to believe that the McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival is just around the corner. If you’ve been living under a rock, or have just been out enjoying the sunshine, I’m here to tell you that tickets went ON SALE TODAY!

Sunday Experience tickets are already selling like hotcakes, and speaking of hotcakes, have you seen our brand new menu for this year? You can start with fluffy buttermilk hotcakes, or jump straight into our ‘SEA & BOVINE’ menu featuring a signature seafood dish to celebrate the beach lifestyle of McLaren Vale, as well as delicious locally sourced beef dishes, or just pair a cheese platter with your wine.



Two stack buttermilk pancakes served with fresh Alexandrina Cream, jam and maple syrup $6.50


Spiced salt and pepper squid with steak fries and fresh chive aioli $12 GF

Delicately seasoned Thai beef salad served medium rare $12

Chunky beef and Shiraz pie $6


House made flourless orange and almond cake served with Alexandrina Cream $6.50 GF

Individual cheese platter with Alexandrina Gouda, Adelaide Hills Brie, Brian’s Olives, antipasto and crackers $12

(Vegetarian and vegan alternatives available.)

We’ll also have eight-piece Chesterfield Brass entertaining you from 9 am to 5 pm, and if you’re a regular at the McLaren Vale Visitor Centre you’ll know that Chesterfield will instantly make you want to get up and dance. Chesterfield will even get you involved just like they did with this group at last year’s Festival … very ‘SMOOTH’.

So if you think you can shake it with the band, or you just want to enjoy premium McLaren Vale food and wine amongst the vines, then secure your tickets now.

Can’t wait to see you there!
Cheers, Vanessa De Lisio

At De Lisio Wines we pride ourselves on offering premium wines with personality. Our wines are complex and elegantly made using traditional methods and the individual adjustments you can only find in a truly boutique winery. That’s why we love sharing our story with you personally at tastings and events, and we’re so excited to be doing that in New York City this May!

Thanks to the Beverage Trade Network, over 2,000 importers, distributors, restaurateurs, sommeliers and media will be tasting through the beer, wine and spirits from producers from over 22 countries. On May 16 and 17 we’ll be at the Metropolitan Pavilion showcasing our most popular labels and new releases, and sharing the stories of our wines.

Tickets are now on sale, so we hope to see you there.

This was the second year we’ve been a part of the Cellar Door Fest at the Adelaide Convention Centre and we had a blast once again. The three day festival brought over 10,000 wine lovers from across South Australia and even international visitors, and we loved sharing our story with all of them.

On show across the weekend were the ever-popular ‘Honeypot’ Moscato, and the distinctive ‘Argento’ Pinot Grigio. Our new release of the ‘La Puttanesca’ Sangiovese Merlot was a popular choice as our guests imagined sitting down with a glass next to their favourite pasta dish. After a big order from one of our favourite clients in Denmark, the ‘Quarterback’ wasn’t available at the 2016 festival, but made up for that this year. One of the standouts for most popular wine, the branding draws in even Aussies who are following American Football more and more, while the seamless complexity of the blend keeps them hooked!

The 2010 ‘Coverts’ are drinking beautifully at the moment and were excellent examples of the straight varietals which have made McLaren Vale world-famous. Keep looking over your shoulder as there’s a 2014 release of ‘The Covert’ coming soon.

Grenache is still a very polarising variety, and has such huge variances between price points and winemakers. This is one of the reasons our Shiraz Grenache blend is called ‘Catalyst’ because we want it to ignite the debate around this intriguing and often misunderstood variety, as well as allow you to experience the best of wine blending. From our premium range the 2013 ‘Catalyst’ is an investment that will reward you in just a few years with a highly developed wine.

Speaking of Grenache, Assistant Winemaker Anthony De Lisio also snuck a few bottles of our yet to be released 2016 Grenache out of the winery for the weekend. If you’re a fan of Grenache you’re going to want to know when this one’s released, so make sure you’re part of our Wine Club.

One of the other reasons we visit Cellar Door Fest is to see what everyone else has been up to of course. It’s always a pleasure to be able to meet and share experiences with other producers, and take home just a taste of the best SA has to offer!

Come for the map, stay for the wine!

The McLaren Vale Visitor Centre is a real drawcard, especially in summer. There’s an ever-changing display in the Stump Hill Art Gallery, the always fresh and lovingly prepared meals and cakes from the café, then there are the cinemas, the markets and the vintage car meet-ups. I even took my nephews in for lunch during the school holidays, and they love it not only because of the chicken nuggets and the playground, but also because their mum was married on the lawns.

When I work our pop up cellar door at the Visitor Centre, I’m happy to be part of the steady stream of interesting and friendly locals, tourists, families and industry. Many people are just dropping in for a map, but even more are setting out with the Visitor Centre as their destination, and it’s the perfect base for me to showcase our wines.

Sometimes the first thing people will say to me is, ‘sooo…I’ve never heard of you before…’ and they seem slightly worried they’re going to offend me. That’s really alright, our marketing dollars aren’t going into making us a household name. It’s a conscious choice to stay genuinely boutique, not to sell into bottle shops and create a truly signature style of wines.

So, what is genuinely boutique? That means we really do produce only small amounts of our wines, with around 70 tonnes of fruit coming in, or 5,500 dozen bottles of wine going out of our winery each year.

So, what’s so good about being boutique? It means we can stay true to traditional methods of winemaking, use real French oak barrels, pump over by hand at vintage and bottle our premiums under cork for the journey they’re going to take in your cellar.

So, what does that all mean? Well, since you’re only reading this and I haven’t just poured you a glass of wine, it’s slightly harder to explain than if we were really having this conversation at cellar door. Basically it means that our style of wine is complex, it’s exciting and it’s sometimes controversial, but that’s exactly what the winemaker is going for; an interesting nose, a perfect palate and a structure that can back up your dinner choice, your wine club’s scrutiny, or truly develop after 10 or 15 years of cellaring.

Still have more questions? That’s great, because I’ll be at the Visitor Centre’s pop up cellar door from Monday 6 February where I’ll do my best to answer your questions, and I look forward to your company over the next two weeks!

Cheers, Vanessa De Lisio


De Lisio Wines Pop Up Cellar Door
Monday 6 to Sunday 19 February , 10 am – 5 pm daily (to 4 pm on weekends)
McLaren Vale Visitor Centre, Main Road, McLaren Vale

Cheers to a back to back evening of Tour Down Under Breakaway fun, with The Vale Market and Cinema Among the Vines on TONIGHT at the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre.

The Vale Market features local food vans, arts, crafts, jewellery, homewares PLUS a free bouncy castle for the kids. On from 4 pm to 8 pm tonight.

Once you’ve shopped the best of the local stalls, pull up a patch of lawn for a screening of ‘Daddy’s Home’ starring Will Ferrell from 8.45 pm.

De Lisio Wines is serving throughout the Markets and the Movie so drop by for after work drinks, or a wine to match your movie snacks!

Gold coin entry.