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Coriole Vineyards

Coriole Vineyards

Coriole Vineyards was founded by Hugh and Molly Lloyd in 1967. It is still owned by the Lloyd family and it is now managed by Mark and Paul Lloyd.

The estate sits in the undulating hills of the densely planted McLaren Vale region, within sight of the sea and less than an hour from Adelaide. The first farmhouses were built in 1860 and these are now the epicentre of the garden and cellar door at the winery. The soils are predominantly (over 80%) terra rossa and these are shallow, with red-brown earth over hard capped limestone. They tend to produce deeply coloured red wines with good structure and backbone that show great capacity for ageing.

For the last 150 years, Shiraz has been the signature grape variety of McLaren Vale and it accounts for the majority (65%) of the estate’s vineyard area. The original vineyards were planted in 1919, immediately after the First World War. The other substantial plantings at Coriole are Sangiovese (10%), Chenin Blanc (5%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%). Fiano, Grenache, Barbera, Montepulciano, Merlot and Sémillon are also grown to great effect. In total there are 25 different vineyards cultivated, ranging in age from 3 to 90 years.

It is an old maxim that good wine is made in the vineyard. Fortunately for Coriole, it owns or manages most of the vineyards from where its grapes are sourced. One of the features of the winemaking methodology employed is that each block or part block is processed separately to maximise the potential of the fruit. This also allows the wine quality to be linked directly to the vineyard management of each block. As well as those in McLaren Vale, Coriole also has vineyards in the sub-regions of Blewitt Springs and Willunga.

The winemaking team is led by Senior Winemaker Alex Sherrah and by General Manager and past winemaker Mark Lloyd. Winemaking at Coriole is a very traditional process. Red wines are mainly open fermented in stainless steel or old, wax lined concrete tanks. A proportion of new oak is used, but wines such as the Sangiovese and the Redstone Shiraz are specifically matured in older oak to gain maturity with the minimum contribution of oak flavour and tannin.

This year the first moves have been made to organic viticulture, a programme set to expand in following years, tying in with the Coriole team’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. For many years, they have been working to regenerate native vegetation areas on the property. They do not use mains water - all water on the property is recycled, rain and bore - and they operate a minimal intervention policy for all of their viticulture and wine-making processes.

Their organic vegetable garden grows produce for the winery’s restaurant and they are increasingly interested in the bio-management of the soil using compost teas and green manures. As stewards of their land, they also take a keen interest in broader sustainability issues, such as the state of their unique region and the impact of urban sprawl, infrastructure for the expanding population and town planning in and around McLaren Vale and neighbouring townships.