This time I want to invite you to the Southern part of McLaren Vale wine region to take a closer look at cellar doors that are located between the city of McLaren Vale and Willunga. In my last article I focused on McMurtrie Mile and today I’d like to write about other cellar doors that are located in the South of the region, between McLaren Vale and Willunga.
The town of Willunga First of all the town itself is amazing – very small with many beautiful historical buildings. I’ve visited Willunga a few times, I’ve been to The Green Room Organic Café where I’ve tasted one of the bests coffees in my life (in general the Australian coffee is my top one if it comes to the quality and the taste of the coffee), I’ve been to a few wine shops (more about Fall From Grace here) and I’ve seen a few famous markets – the Farmers Market (I wrote about it in the article Saturday with my girls), Quarry Market and Eco Market.
I was very surprised when I realized that the beautiful buildings with the “hotel” name on it are not the hotels but pubs; now I know why M. was so happy when I proposed to visit one of these hotels as they are everywhere in the town ;)
One day I’ve visited Willunga to enjoy the town and its main road and high street where all the most famous restaurants, cafes and wine shops are located. Unfortunately everything was closed! I’m not kidding! At 10 in the morning the town was still asleep! ;)
The only one open place was Minko Wines. I read a lot about them as there were recommendations to visit Minko Wines in every single tourist booklet I had. It’s a nice shop with wines, cheese and other regional products and I had pleasure to meet the owner. The winery and vineyards are located in the Southern Fleurieu but the shop is located in the middle of Willunga town.
I’ve tasted seven Minko wines:
Minko Sparkling Trio 2011 (tasting note here)
Minko Merlot Estate Grown 2012 (tasting note here)
Minko Pinot Noir 2012 (13,9%vol., 27$) delicate, well-balanced and fruity wine with smooth tannins and violets on the finish.
Minko Pinot Grigio 2014 – (13% vol., 19$) fresh and light wine with flavours of tropical fruits and a note of lemon peel.
Minko Chardonnay 2012 – (12,5% vol., 20$) balanced and fresh wine with lemon melon and acacia flowers aromas.
Minko Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – (14,2% vol., 24$) ruby wine with black fruits aroma and blueberries and blackberries flavours with a hint of oak.
Minko Sparkling Merlot NV – (13,5% vol.) the bouquet is full of strawberries, black fruits and flowers; wine is fresh and fruity on the palate with raspberry acidity.
Fox Creek Wines
Going North towards McLaren Vale on the left side of the Main Road there is Fox Creek Wines which I visited during my Wine & Cheese Trail. M. and myself came in while the nice lady was just about to close the cellar door, but she let us visit the place and sit down in the garden to taste the Fox Creek Chardonnay 2013 that matches perfectly with Alexandrina Jersey Gouda!
The cellar door looks very pretty and the garden – wow! This is how I want my garden at home to looks like ;)))
Fox Creek Chardonnay 2013 – read the tasting note here
Going North, about 2 minutes by car, there is a Penny’s Hill cellar door where together with M. we went for a private visit and barrel tasting. After visiting the winery, cellar and the cellar door with Alexa, the Chief Winemaker, we spend some lovely time with Tony, the owner of Penny’s Hill Wines.
The visit started with a small introduction of the history of the winery and few minutes later we find ourselves in the winery tasting wines from the barrels – Shiraz from different blocks to see how the aroma and the taste changes because of different soil and slightly different climate, Cabernet Sauvignons (different vintages) and great Grenache, which M. was interested in the most.
In the cellar door I’ve tasted eight wines:
The Experiment Grenache 2012 – (14,5% vol., 35$) wine with lots of black fruit aromas, round big tannins and long finish full of blueberries with a hint of black pepper;
Merlot Maplas Road 2012 – (14,5% vol., 25$) a sweet aroma of blueberries and blackberries with a hint of spices; the palate is balanced and full with fruits and oak flavours.
The Specialized Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 – (14,5% vol., 25$) red fruits aroma with sweet blueberry and balanced, full palate with lots of fruits and a hint of oaky tannins;
Edwards Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – (14,5% vol., 25$) a beautiful bouquet of black cherry, mocha and oak; palate is full, harmonious and fruity with white pepper and round tannins.
Penny’s Hill Cracking Black 2013 – (coming soon; check out other wines in Tasting Room)
Skeleton Key Shiraz 2012 – (15% vol., 35$) this wine has a medium intense aroma of black fruits with oak and complex palate full of sweet-alike black fruits, oak and spices;
Footprint Shiraz 2012 – (coming soon; check out other wines in Tasting Room)
The Veteran Very Old Fortified NV – (18,5% vol., 35$ for 500ml) a fortified wine with very intense aromas of caramel, honey, hazelnuts and chocolate; the palate is sweet with coffee and nuts on the long finish.
After the visit we’ve been invited by Tony to Penny’s Hill restaurant for lunch; I had a great broccolini with feta and nuts for starter and amazing lentils with mashrooms, beetroots and cauliflower sauce as a main course. The wines were also great and considering the beautiful views (we had a VIP table at the huge window) and interesting paintings on the walls (I love Art!!) we spend there really great time and I’ve been more than relaxed even if we have been walking and tasting for half of a day! A huge THANKS to Penny’s Hill for the invitation and your time.
Another two minutes by car to the North there’s a Leconfield Wines winery. I haven’t visited the winery but I was lucky enough to get the tickets for a concert of Billy Idol and I’ve seen him live at Leconfield – I had an unbelievably great time during the concert!
The last cellar door I’ve visited at this part of McLaren Vale wine region is located North from Primo Estate (East corner of the McLaren Vale town); I’ve visited Serafino Wines as the first one during McLaren Vale Wine and Cheese Trail. The place is huge and very commercial, but the tasting room was very pretty.
I’ve tasted there four Serafino wines:
Serafino Fiano 2014 (20$) – a fresh and light, easy to drink wine that goes well with the goat cheese that we had in our Blessed Cheese tasting hamper!
Serafino Reserve Grenache 2012 – (tasting note here)
Serafino GSM 2012 – (tasting note here)
Serafino Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – (tasting note here)
Have you visited any of these places? Did you enjoy it? Which wines you think are the best from those producers? Share your comments below!