Few wine regions around the world can hold a candle to McLaren Vale. It really is up there with the all-time greats, thanks not only to its incredible range of microclimates, complex soils, and striking panoramic views, but also to the pioneering and forward-thinking vintners who call it home. Ulithorne is a McLaren winery which has been making waves on the scene for a few years now, and which continues to impress with their gorgeous array of Rhone Valley-inspired releases, a surprising range of cool-climate wines, and visionary approach to modern Aussie winemaking. The vineyards that Ulithorne makes use of were planted back in the early 70s, and even then, it was regarded as home to some of the best grapes, which found their way around the region as they were sold to leading McLaren winemakers. In 1997, it was snapped up by Sam Harrison and Rose Kentish - a couple whose passion for the local wine scene has led them to be heavily lauded with awards over the years - and they set about expanding the vineyards to include some of the best spots in the valley.
From the beginning, Sam and Rose wanted Ulithorne to pay homage to their favourite French wine regions, while also maintaining their innovative Aussie credentials. They knew that the strong breezes kicked up by the bay would grant them plenty of scope to plant Rhone Valley varietals, while also allowing them to check out the potential of the Shiraz grapes which flourish there. With their eyes set firmly on producing small batch, traditionally made quality wines, they put in the hard work and investment needed to take Ulithorne further - they made connections with neighbouring wineries, spent time working in Chateauneuf du Pape, and got the finest minds on board to scope out the best places for new plantings and projects. Today, they’re at the peak of their powers, and are releasing bottle after bottle of prime McLaren vino… and long may they continue!
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