Perched on the rolling hillsides where South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region meets the shores of Gulf St Vincent is Chapel Hill. The winery’s name is derived from the historic 1865 ironstone chapel and schoolhouse that served the area for 100 years. Boarded up and in disrepair, the building and surrounding land was purchased in the early 1970s by Adelaide Professor, Thomas Nelson. He released the first vintage in 1975 and worked tirelessly to restore and elegantly convert the old chapel to serve as cellar door and tasting room.
Chapel Hill’s remarkable run of success is due in no small part to the immense contribution of the superbly talented team lead by CEO and chief winemaker, Michael Fragos and winemaker Bryn Richards. The wines are produced from sustainably-managed estate vineyards supplemented by fruit sourced from like-minded growers, with minimal interference and no use of additives.
The white wines are made exclusively from free-run juice (i.e. the juice released from freshly-picked grapes during the destemming and crushing process, prior to pressing), which is allowed to clarify naturally to retain aromatics and freshness. Following fermentation, the red wines are matured in French oak barrels for 12 to 29 months and bottled without fining or filtration. The Chapel Hill offerings are excellent; beautifully balanced expressions displaying a superb sense of their unique terroir and exceptional varietal purity.