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