McLaren Vale releases 2015 Vintage Scarce Earth Wines

A true expression of site

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Wirra Wirra Winery at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia

Wirra Wirra Winery at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia [©South Australian Tourism Commission]

Coriole Winery at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia
McLaren Vale Geology Map Presentation
Serafino Wines - McLaren Vale
Wine Tasting at the Meet Your Maker event in McLaren Vale


The McLaren Vale Scarce Earth program first launched in 2011 and in 2017 celebrates its seventh release, with 14 wines from 11 McLaren Vale producers releasing their 2015 Scarce Earth wines.

McLaren Vale continues to study the relationship of ‘site’ – geology and climate – and its influence over wine style. The initial wine maker and grape grower collective to first launch the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth program endeavoured to explore, celebrate and create discussion about this influence with a single key variety – Shiraz.

The Scarce Earth program focuses on the effects of geology of the single site - its soil, the climate and topography on the wine style; it is not defined by districts or areas of the region, but by geologies.

A highly qualified and experienced panel consisting of three local winemakers and three independent industry experts assess each wine entry at an Annual Selection Tasting to ensure the wines meet specific criteria for the program.

The 2015 vintage panel consisted of wine writer Nick Stock; Kate McIntyre MW (Moorooduc Estate); Margot Muir (Edinburgh Cellars) and local winemakers Peter Fraser (Yangarra), Andrew Jericho (Maxwell Wines) and Steve Pannell (S.C. Pannell Wines).

The panel assessment ensures each wine is free from overt winemaking influences including:

  • over and under ripe characters,
  • oak is to be a background component and not a feature
  • minimal winemaking intervention

All wines are produced from a ‘single site’ – a small plot of land with a unique flavour profile and personality. The McLaren Vale Scarce Earth approved wines are easily identified through the exclusive neck label produced by partner, Multicolour Labels.

Award-winning Yangarra winemaker and Scarce Earth panellist, Peter Fraser, believes the narrative of single site wines has steadily gained prominence throughout the region.

“As a third-year judging panellist for Scarce Earth, the 2015 collection has shown lovely brightness and purity of fruit in general,” said Mr Fraser.
“There was a high success rate amongst producer submissions, with distinctive and unique expression from single vineyards across a great diversity of sites in the region.

“Since the beginning of the Scarce Earth program we have seen a proliferation and confidence from producers making more single vineyard wines of excellent quality.”

With some producers bottling as little as 33 dozen, wine lovers are encouraged to visit the region to taste and purchase the wines to avoid missing out.

Chapel Hill CEO, Chief Winemaker and proud Scarce Earth participant, Michael Fragos, greatly respects McLaren Vale’s Scarce Earth wines and their expression of place.

“If you want to explore the diversity of McLaren Vale and experience our Geology map, there is no better place to start than with Scarce Earth,” said Mr Fragos.

“All of the wines have been crafted with the upmost winemaking respect to preserve the site characters and to ensure that the wines speak clearly of where the grapes are grown.

“It is also through these single site wines that we can celebrate how the different vineyard influences come together to make each site unique and different from all others.”

Participating wineries in the 2015 Scarce Earth vintage include:

  • Battle of Bosworth
  • Coriole
  • Chapel Hill
  • d’Arenberg
  • Hugh Hamilton
  • Haselgrove
  • Mr Riggs
  • Serafino
  • Shingleback
  • Shottesbrooke
  • Wirra Wirra

See links below for more information on these wineries.


  • McLaren Vale (SA)

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May 03rd, 2017
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