McLaren Vale’s climate is Mediterranean and characterised by warm summers, moderate winters, winter-dominated rainfall, low relative humidity and relatively high evaporation.
McLaren Vale is roughly triangular in shape and bordered on three sides. Adelaide to the north, the Mt Lofty Ranges to the east and south, and the Gulf St Vincent to the west.
The proximity of Mt Lofty and the Gulf of St Vincent play a very important role in moderating the climate of our region and are largely responsible for many of the meso and micro climatic differences.
Elevation in our region peaks at 350 metres along the Sellicks foothills and Chandlers Hill, with the majority of vineyards located on gently undulating to flat land between 50–150 metres.
Wind is a significant factor within McLaren Vale. There are two distinct and completely separate wind sources within our region: gully winds which blow east-west down through the foothills, and sea breezes blowing south-north up through Gulf St Vincent.
The climatic diversity of McLaren Vale has helped producers successfully embrace Spanish and Italian varieties such as Barbera, Fiano, Tempranillo, Mouvedre and Moscato and explore re-emerging varieties like Viognier, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Verdelho.
Warm summers and moderate winters
180-200mm growing season rainfall
Relatively high evaporation
Heat degree days