The Vintage Journal - McLaren Vale Guide 2022

Around Adelaide, including the Barossa and McLaren Vale, most wine produced was red, based prominently on Grenache, Mataro, and Carignan. Typically, the blend would be around 50% Grenache, 25% or more Mataro and the remainder Carignan. “Scyras” was an additional variety mostly used for colour and tannin. Cabernet Sauvignon was often grown too, but its performance was variable. In 1866 Thomas Hardy entered an agreement to purchase Manning’s wines on an annual basis, probably saving his enterprise. This arrangement which lasted until 1891, when Hope Farm was sold, was highly valuable. According to vigneron Ronald Martin at a Federal Viticultural Congress held in Sydney in 1923, “Mr Hardy told my father (HM Martin) that Manning never made and could not make bad wine, whereas everybody else could. And often did. I account this by the fact that the old cellar had a thatched roof a foot thick, wooden slabs lining the walls and was protected from the north wind by a hill and gum trees.” After George Manning died in 1872, the family continued to make wine, but the second generation were not good managers and were forced to sell in 1892. The property changed hands a few times and became known as Seaview during the 1950s after the land was purchased by William Benjamin Chaffey. Although almost forgotten, George Manning should be remembered for being a founding vigneron of the McLaren Vale wine region. Over-cropping became a significant problem during the 1870s and 1880s because it led to a decline in soil quality, fertility and yields. Many farmers in the area looked towards alternative crops, especially currants, wine grapes and orchard fruits. Wheat and barley fields were sold or converted into vineyards. McLaren Vale’s landscape changed markedly during the 1880s as new capital investment flowed in. Even during the depression years of the 1890s, wine businesses flourished with the development of export markets. New innovations and technologies were also introduced. Almost every aspect of viticulture and winemaking was improved during this period, including winery design and machinery. By the 1880s, the system of grafting scions onto American rootstocks had become an accepted practice. Also, selected yeasts or levures were

McLaren Vale


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