Vale Cru

High Quality Small Batch McLaren Vale Winemakers

The Cru invites you...

 Inviting you to our degustation lunch at the Victory Hotel on November 20

Four course menu, 16 wines, great company - $100 pp


Q&A with Vale Cru winemakers presenting at the Victory Hotel


 Waywood Wines: introducing Andrew Wood, Lisa Robertson and Holly


What is one of the wines you will present on the day?
2014 Waywood McLaren Vale Monastrell

What can we expectin the bottle?
It’s a fresh elegant variety; Mataro or Mourvedre in this country.
Monastrell is a Spanish name, and I find the Spanish version more perfumed, floral, a bit more feminine, with earthiness as well.
I’ve been using the variety for blending but there was one single puncheon that I really liked so decided to bottle it.
It’s an interesting variety.
Sometimes in barrel it shows a feminine side, other times a masculine side, but this had a mix of both; the florals, the spices, the perfume, but also the dirt, grunge, the tannin, the dark fruits of Monastrell.
Every time I looked at it I found it more interesting.


Vale Cru luncheon: what are you looking forward to?
Mainly the opportunity to see the influence of different varieties, across different vintages, from different small batch winemakers; and show the diversity of McLaren Vale. It gives us an opportunity to discuss that, show that.

Vale Cru is a collective of small batch winemakers, which means?
Small batch winemaking is a very personal, hands-on approach. Most of the winemakers in the group are the grower and the winemaker – not all – but even as a winemaker you’re still very active in the vineyard. We’re individual winemakers but we really influence the fruit we started with; sourcing it, handling it ourselves, looking after it. The fruit has to be high quality to start with which shows through to the wine. 
It’s a personal touch the whole way through which is expressed in the end product.

James and Miriam with Emmaline. Lazy Ballerina. 

James and Miriam with Emmaline. Lazy Ballerina. 


Lazy Ballerina: Introducing James Hook, Miriam Bourne and daughter Emmaline

What is one of the wines you will you present?
The 2010 Lazy Ballerina Shiraz

What can we expect?
This is a very good example of a mature Shiraz that’s had five years of bottle age. It’s half way through its ageing; you could open it in another five years and it will still be very drinkable.
I chose this wine because it’s a typical McLaren Vale Shiraz with blackcurrant, red and dark fruit characters. And 2010 was an uncomplicated growing season, it wasn’t too harsh on the vines. No heat waves and no serious rain events. It was an enjoyable wine to make and it’s an enjoyable wine to drink.

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing all the different years and different styles – and an opportunity to be part of the tasting experience.
Other years we’ve held exhibitions but this year, with the format being a long lunch, we can taste each other’s wine and share that experience with guests.
Many of the wines were made in tiny qualities, so they’re just not around much, so I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to seeing what they’re like.

Why does McLaren Vale Shiraz taste like chocolate?
All the flavours in wine come from either the grapes themselves, the barrel or the yeast.

Soil influences everything, but it’s not like the soil tastes like chocolate; it’s not a direct flavour that gets dug out of the ground. It’s a complicated flavour that isn’t attributed to one source. And neither is chocolate. That’sa combination of dairy and beans.
Fruit, oak and yeast: when you see that chocolate flavour in our wines you’re getting a combination of these elements.



Wistmosa Wines: introducing Sadie and Steve Gomer


What is one of the wines you will present?

Our 2011 Wistmosa Wines Shiraz

What can we expect?

It is McLaren Vale Shiraz; a style very typical of this variety and made from fruit grown in our previous vineyard (Boots Hill, near Simon Hackett wines).

The colour is deep brick red, the nose has violets, spice and a hint of chocolate. The palate is soft but structured, the fruit is blueberry interlaced with spice, liquorice and a subtle hint of chocolate.

The wine has been in bottle for four years now; it is currently drinking beautifully and will continue to do so over the next five years.

Vale Cru luncheon: what are you looking forward to?

Meeting the people who follow Vale Cru and having the opportunity to sit down with them and share what we are passionate about. These are the people who we make the wines for and it is great to be able to relax and share our wines with them.

And it’s going to be great this year. Rather than a just a tasting we are going to be able to sit at a table with them, enjoy food and wine and actually spend a decent amount of time with them.

Why don’t we get headaches drinking Vale Cru wines?

When better quality fruit comes out of the vineyard you have to do less to the wine during the winemaking process, therefore, what you are consuming is a more natural product. You tend to not get side effects from a more natural wine.

However, there’s still a point where the actual volume consumed will determine that you still get a headache!

Vale Cru invites at the Victory Hotel, November 20, 2016

Join the Cru!

Looking forward.  

Looking forward.  

This year Vale Cru will celebrate eight McLaren Vale vintages and eight members - all of whom are motivated by, and grateful for, the patronage of our followers.

It shows that you connect with our philosophy and enjoy consuming the style of wines we like to make.

We’re not commercial producers. Some of us don’t have cellar doors but what we do have is a resolve to respect and nurture every aspect of the grape growing and winemaking process.

And that includes our customers.

So it’s with you in mind that we decided to do something different for our annual event at the Victory Hotel, Sellicks Beach.

Sparked by our adage that Vale Cru wines are best enjoyed with good food and great company we’d like to invite you to share an afternoon with us on November 20.

If the weather is warm the umbrellas will be up and tables spread across the lawn. If inclement, long tables will be set up in the alfresco dining area providing shelter and panoramic views of the coast.

We’ll present you with 16 of our finest small batch wines and a four-course menu designed by the Victory chefs to pair beautifully with our wines. 

On arrival you'll be welcomed with a glass of sparkling, white, or rose; all poured by the winemaker.

This will be followed by a degustation lunch served with flights of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro. After the meal we'll relax with a cheese board and a pair of wines blended from Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro.


Like our wines, each of the dishes will be a celebration of McLaren Vale with selected regional and seasonal ingredients, and with winemakers seated at each table we're looking forward to an interactive afternoon shared with lovers of artisan food and wine. So we invite you to ask questions.

As land stewards, grapegrowers, winemakers, and floor sweepers, we have a lot of stories to share that we hope will enhance your understanding of our products and small batch philosophy.

Tickets are $100 per person and we are limited to 80 guests.

To avoid disappointment please book early.

Rusty Mutt Members Day @ the Confessional.


Rusty Mutt Member Day.

Try my current wines, some back vintages and barrel samples. Also taste my new high end Shiraz - the Vermilion Bird. I will have great pricing for you on the day and some excellent mixed packs on offer as well.

There will be some nibbles provided by the Confessional, designed by Nigel Rich of the Elbow Room.

It's open from 11am - 3pm. Just call in any time, there are no formalitites, just eating, tasting and chin wagging!

You can bring the kids if you like, however they're not specifically catered for and obviously can't taste wine.


Sun 16 October 2016

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM