Let the Davey brothers introduce you to McLaren Vale, one of Australia’s most renowned wine growing areas. During the 1990’s, Kym & John Davey brought their combined expertise in winemaking, farming & business to continue & develop the estate first farmed by their Grandfather in 1957. Their goal was, and remains, to produce affordable, quality wines that express the true character of McLaren Vale.
The sustainably managed family estate has a predominantly Shiraz & then Cabernet Sauvignon focus. The smaller plantings of Chardonnay & Semillon also benefit from John’s fastidious winemaking skills, instilled during his early days as a specialist white winemaker.
A modern, but minimalist, approach to crafting the wines is taken. Respecting the fruit is crucial. Small batch open fermentation, gentle handling, pressing and maturation result in balanced, food friendly wines, expressive of their terroir and variety.
From it’s genesis in 1998, when the first wine (Shingleback Shiraz) was released under the Shingleback label, the Shingleback portfolio has grown into a collection of fine wines that include Shingleback, Haycutters, Red Knot and The Gate. Each made in its distinct style, these wines showcase the best the McLaren Vale region has to offer. They also represent a family committed to producing outstanding wines from the land they love.
Tell me your story – what got you involved in wine making?
I was 25 years old, sitting on the balcony of a run-down hotel in Athens with a group of North Americans with whom I was travelling. We were drinking cheap Greek white wine and discussing what we were going to do when we were back in the “real world”. When my turn came I surprised myself by announcing to the group that I was going to be a winemaker. I was good at science and had Hospitality Industry experience and training as a Hotel Manager. The revelation survived the following morning’s hangover and I was soon accepted into the 1987 intake at Roseworthy Agricultural College to study a Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology.
In our post show visitor survey from 2017’s shows, McLaren Vale was identified as one of the visitor’s favourite wine regions. What do you think makes McLaren Vale so special?
Positioned between hills and sea McLaren Vale’s warm climate is tempered, resulting in focussed but elegant wines with intense varietal flavours
What’s your favourite wine from your own range that you’d recommend our visitors trying at the Good Food & Wine Show?
I am loving our 2016 Kitchen Garden Mataro, its earthy, meaty and savoury notes are a contrast to our great Shiraz wines and perfect as we head into cooler weather.
Tell us 1 thing that makes your own wines so special?
Simply the care taken by our people in everything they do.
If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, (hard one, we know!) what would that be and what food would you pair it with?
1994 Fonseca Vintage Port. Made by a good friend and should continue to improve, like I would like to, for the next 50 years.
What wine from another McLaren Vale Winery other than your own would you recommend visitors trying? Any hidden gems this year?
Serafino Reserve Chardonnay – shows just how good McLaren Vale Chardonnay can be.
For visitors planning a trip to the McLaren Vale, what would you recommend them including in their itinerary of what not to miss?
A walk along Port Willunga beach anytime, but I recommend staying to sip some wine and watching the sun set over St. Vincent Gulf.