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“Perfect for the local feel. Try the olive oil too.”
Review of Dog Ridge Winery

Dog Ridge Winery
Ranked #18 of 52 things to do in McLaren Vale
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Picture this: a calm, relaxed creek-side setting amongst gum trees in a revegetated native corridor filled with abundant wildlife. Your picnic hamper is by your side as you sit back, listen to birdsong, and sip a James Halliday 96 point rated DogRidge Cabernet. Afterwards, you wander through the Cellar Door and art gallery and settle in at the handmade refectory table to be guided through a comprehensive tasting experience. Such is the DogRidge experience, and it's one not to be missed. The 'Dog Ridge' is a very old grapevine rootstock, no longer used in modern viticulture as it is too vigorous. This remnant of wine history, combined with the fact that Jen and Dave Wright have been breeders of curly coated retrievers and live on a sandy ridge...well, the name makes sense. DogRidge began when Jen and Dave discovered their first 40-acre vineyard in the ancient soils of McLaren Flat's Kurrajong Formation. In 2005 Jen's son Fred, and his wife Sarah, joined the team, with the sole ambition of making great McLaren Vale wines. Before long the Cellar Door opened, and shortly after that the art gallery did too. The 1940s vineyard on ancient Kurrajong soil makes for wines that are heavily perfumed on the nose, with a gentle tannin. DogRidge specializes in the juicier varieties and blends that the McLaren Vale is known for. Take, for example, DogRidge's pride and joy, its 'Most Valuable Player' - the 2012 Shiraz. With an aromatic dominance of mud cake, after dinner mints and cut cedar, you know you're in for something special. The palate starts with a vibrant burst of dark berry fruits up front, with a spiced Christmas cake middle and baked plums on the finish. Sounds too good to be true! But fear not, it's the real deal. The fruit is picked super ripe and vinified in open fermenters with extended skin contact, then pressed delicately into French oak to mature for nearly three years. It's no wonder James Halliday gave it a 95 point rating. Jen and Dave recommend you buy a bottle and enjoy it with a BBQ rib eye steak, mushrooms and red wine jus: spectacular. DogRidge harvests from late January into March, and grows chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, shiraz, grenache, cabernet, and petit verdot grapes. The Wrights are proud of DogRidge's environmental record, having received property management awards for sustainability and minimal impact on the environment. These awards recognise DogRidge's efforts at incorporating biodiversity into the vineyards, recycling of wine barrel oak and green waste, and conservation of precious water resources. When you arrive for a tasting, you'll be provided with Jen's sourdough bread and Wild Tree extra virgin olive oil for dipping. Be sure to try the botrytis dessert wine, a fortified Viognier, as well as the delectable produce. Open 362 days a year, there's never a bad time to visit DogRidge - take a picnic and make a day of it!
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Perfect for the local feel. Try the olive oil too.”
Reviewed January 17, 2013 via mobile

Dog Ridge was the last of our stops in McLaren Vale however we should have been our first in retrospect. We sat on a large table, was served with local Damper from a 30 year culture for our Olive Oil tasting and drank wonderful wine sampling from a well educated, caring and wonderful person. The ultimate experience. We just wish our customs limit could accommodate more bottles. Ciao and Enjoy!

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1 Thank SwissHeidi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Personal and intimate!”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

I am writing this review as I leave this cellar door, the car is packed with wines and my experience is unmatched for wineries in this area.
After being friendly welcomed and entertained by our connoisseur we would highly recommend a visit to this vinyard.
I have travelled to 32 countries and must say their variety and local knowledge is a must taste!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank 808Shamus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great Wine! Great People!”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

The cellar door at Dog Ridge Wines is a great experience and is a relaxed and friendly way to try their wines. The cellar door manager Jo is very friendly and welcoming and gets you to sit with other visitors and she will go through the wines and answer any question that you throw at her. It was a lovely setting down amongst the wines and the wines were excellent as well with a couple of great Shiraz worth trying.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Auscouple35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Brilliant wines and superb friendly service”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

When we arrived the person in charge was friendly and invited us to take a seat outside in the shade. She then proceeded to bring us our tastings. What a nice idea. As a result, much wine was purchased.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jen1050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Good wine, great chooks and a good idea”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

This is a lovely place to visit; the staff will sit you down and take you through their wines as you make new friends. The wines are good and they also have a particularly good idea. They sell a red and a white clean skin by the dozen which is very drinkable (not the leftovers). In the box, they provide a dozen blank labels so that you can get creative and design your own. What a great idea for a gift: a decent wine with a personalized label. The chooks? Jen Wright's paintings can be viewed here. There's some lovely works but her chooks are fantastic.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Davo60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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