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.

valentinelent

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

Cheers,
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?”

grapeflowers

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?”
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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?”

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.

bridgeclimb

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!

island

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


We’re now past the midpoint of winter! In honour of now being on the fun side of the winter solstice we’re giving away a special July Celebration Dozen containing…

1 x Honeypot Moscato
1 x Classic McLaren Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay
2 x 2016 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
2 x 2016 Grenache
2 x 2015 Puttanesca Sangiovese Merlot
2 x 2013 Argento Cabernet Merlot
1 x 2013 Quarterback Red Blend
1 x 2010 Covert Cabernet Sauvignon

Now for the good news: on Monday 31 July we’re going to pull a name out of the hat at random and one lucky email subscriber will have this special dozen delivered to his or her doorstep with our compliments! (Sensible terms and conditions apply, of course.)

To be in with a chance to win just sign up to our Wine Club. If you’re already a member (thanks!) your name is already in the draw. Good luck!


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
BOOK NOW

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

Entree

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

Dessert

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

arancinisteak


Yesterday was Anthony’s birthday and so we made the familiar trip to The Barn in McLaren Vale for a family dinner. A spectacular meal, atmosphere and service as always, and it was also the debut of our 2014 Quarterback Red Blend.

The 2014 is a Cabernet lead blend (whereas the 2013 is 32% Shiraz), with leathery black fruits up front and interesting hints of mint and Eucalyptus.

The Quarterback paired beautifully with all of our choices, especially Anthony’s kangaroo, which he almost always orders when we go to The Barn, and which he won’t order anywhere else because it doesn’t compare!


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.

DE LISIO WINES ‘SEA & BOVINE’ MENU

Breakfast

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

Main

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

Dessert

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