Profile of a Winner! McLaren Vale’s Willunga 100

Meet Kate Day, Tim James and Director Denise Hill.

Boutique Wine Awards double trophy winner Willunga 100.  Huon Hooke’s judges said of the Tithing Grenache 2010 “Beautiful blue/red colour with spicy, juby aromas, lots of oak and fine sweet fruit with strong mineral elements.  The sweet and savoury elements of the variety show through”  and of the Shiraz Viognier 2010 winner “Absolutely vibrant red crimson colour! Aromas of clove, spice and mulberry fruit, rich sweet fruit palate with subtle smooth tannin, rich, soft and juicy”.

James Halliday calls this a “5 Star Winery”.  Jancis Robinson MW says “Seriously well made Australian Red”.

Senior winemaker Tim James is an Australian wine industry icon, well known on the winemaking and wine-judging circuit. He was the MD of Wirra Wirra Wine Company for seven years until 2007, and before that was Production Director at Hardys Wine Company.

Kate Day has worked with Willunga since 2007 and is a winemaker and commercial manager.  Having trained at Roseworthy in South Australia, Kate helps Tim with the winemaking as well as looking after the export markets.

The Willunga vineyards are situated in the GI region of McLaren Vale, located 45 minutes south of Adelaide in South Australia.  The climate is not unlike the Mediterranean with warm sunny days moderated by the influence of sea breezes from the nearby Gulf of St. Vincent.  Dramatic changes in altitude create substantial variation in vineyard sites throughout the Vale.  There is also a wide variety of soil types reflecting the varied terrain.  In the Willunga 100 vineyards, sandy soils provide lifted aromatics, and darker soils, including ”terra rossa” types, contribute to rich, bold tannins.  All the vineyards are carefully managed to produce the highest quality possible with only the best parcels selected for Willunga 100.

Grenache is Willunga 100′s flagship grape.  It works so well in McLaren Vale.  We source our fruit from 50 year old vines, located on sandy soils which give the wine a great depth of flavour and a supple yet grainy tannin structure

Willunga 100 has 3 very different vineyard sites for Shiraz which each ripen at different times and lend different characteristics to our Shiraz blend.  The challenge is always to hold onto the Shiraz (usually harvested early March) to be ready for the Viognier component which ripens slightly later (usually late March). It is important to ensure that Viognier is fully ripened to ensure quality integration with the Shiraz.

Willunga 100