Coriole Vineyards – McLaren Vale, South Australia

February 15, 2008

Why do I write about Coriole Vineyards ( First of all because I visited this most beautiful winery in the McLaren Vale some years ago. Second, I had found a rather negative review of one of its wines recently.

A “wine rally cum-wine-tasting” last year in Germany, found that the ‘Coriole 2004 Contour 4, Sangiovese Shiraz’ tasted musty and stale, reminiscent of cough syrup (see: and

The very same wine (though the 2005 vintage), however, was listed among the Top 100 at the Sydney International Wine Competition. Well, either the tasters must have picked the’ odd bottle’ or the wine did just not meet the German taste. However that may be, it stimulated my curiosity. Therefore, if I can lay my hands on a bottle here in Jakarta, I will try this wine.

Our visit of Coriole Vineyards happend some years ago. We had visited South Australia to meet some of Margit’s old friends from university days. Sylvan (Elhay) took us on a beautiful drive to McLaren Vale, the wine region less than an hour away from the state capital Adelaide (about 35 km).


Coriole Cellar Door

For me it was the very first visit of this well known wine region. Sylvan was driving, therefore we could taste a few wines and drink some as well. First, we went to see d’Arenberg (more in a separate blog entry later) were we tasted some of their Grenache blend (among others ‘The Stump Jump Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre’) and bought also a bottle of fortified.

Then we went on to Coriole Vineyards. Sylvan had played at the winery some time ago (I think it was some jazz in the vineyard). The Coriole Vineyard was established by the Lloyd family in 1967. The oldest parcels date back to about 1919/1920. The old house and barn were built around 1860. They have a slate roof and slate slab floors typical for that period.

The views from the winery and the vineyards are spectacular. It is surrounded by a most beautiful cottage garden dating from the 1860’s. there is also an olive grove. On a clear day one can see the ocean in a distance. Due to the influence of the sea, frost and droughts rarely occur. The climate is Mediterranean with hot dry summers and a long ripening period with warm days and cool nights. Winter rains provide between 560 and 700 mm precipitation per year.


The Coriole garden restaurant

We were hungry and ordered a (very tasty) vintners lunch, as you can see from the picture below. We drank the flagship of Coriole Vineyards, a ‘Chenin Blanc’. The first Chenin Blanc was planted in 1977. The wine has a fresh and aromatic style with a bouquet of grapefruit, melon, passionfruit and other tropical flavours. The 2004 vintage benefited from a long ripening period after a cool spring and a wet winter. The grapes were harvested in near perfect conditions. As far as I remember, we did enjoy the wine very much, which also applied to the whole visit.

Later Sylvan took us to the house to meet Mark Lloyd and Libby Raupach, the owners of the place. We had a great chat in a relaxed atmosphere. Coriole Vineyards and McLaren Vale in general are definitely worth a visit.


The vintners lunch at Coriole

Coriole Vineyards
Mclaren vale,
South Australia
Ph: +61 8 83238305