The Story

A Cascabel is a small bell used in Spanish celebrations and is synonymous with festivity, liveliness and charm.

Cascabel Winery is located on the slopes of the Sellicks Hill Range, near Willunga, at the southern end of McLaren Vale, in South Australia. Completely independent, small and functional, set up by us at the end of 1997 and is fully equipped and designed to handle all winemaking processes entirely by us, from crushing the grapes to bottling. We are two qualified and experienced winemakers, Duncan Ferguson and Susana Fernandez, focusing mainly on our own grapes (we have 9 varieties and mostly Spanish), but we also buy grapes from two mature and very low yielding vineyards for our riesling and shiraz wines.

All grapes are hand picked and brought to our winery, where full bunch press (white wines), small open fermenters (red wines), gentle plunging the skins during fermentation, warm ferments, whole bunches, stalks, wild ferments, extended maceration and many other options are used to some extent in our wines. To extract the right tannins we extend maceration for up to 4 weeks and while this may sacrifice fruitiness we gain better palate structure. French oak Puncheons (500 Litre barrels) are used for all reds.

All wines are bottled on the premises, with our equipment. The ability to do everything in house and to keep full control over the quality is our main strength. At this level of production, the care and individual attention to each wine can be maintained.

The Riesling is from a 45+ year-old single vineyard, dry grown, in the heart of Eden Valley (one of Australia’s best regions for this variety). Bone dry, without acid adjustments, mineral and steely, it has excellent ageing potential.

The grapes for our Shiraz are from a vineyard 25 Km south of us, at the southern end of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Fruit from this vineyard suffers less from the heat that affects many regions in summer; instead, it produces fruit with pronounced varietal characters, flavour and balance rather than simple, overripe flavours.

Our vineyard in McLaren Vale, Viña Cascabel, has an excellent soil type called Urrbrae Stony Loam, which is particularly suitable to growing Spanish and southern French varieties (they also happen to be well suited to our climate). We employ the traditional single wire, low trellis system, without irrigation. Diseases are minimised with the help of the strong gully winds that occur almost every evening and cool the nights during spring and summer.

The intention with our Roussanne/Viognier is to combine the fresh and elegant structure of roussanne with the essence of viognier, and its delightful peach and quince highlights.

We make a Tempranillo released after only 3 months in old French barrels. Showing plenty of fresh and vibrant tasty tannins, the strawberry/raspberry character shows at its best.

Tipico (previously Grenache et al.) is a blend of three historical varieties grown in the area: grenache, monastrell (also known as mataro or mourvèdre) and shiraz. Monastrell and grenache provide the essence, with shiraz complementing the aroma and tannin of this very Typical and traditional McLaren Vale blend.

We also produce two exclusive wines from our vineyard in tiny amounts, where the aim is greater length and ageing potential. Viña Cascabel Monastrell has great richness and shows plenty of spicy, concentrated fruit. Viña Cascabel Tempranillo/Graciano is more perfumed, savoury and balanced, with fine grained tannins. The intention is to showcase these classic Spanish varieties, grown under our tough conditions. Both wines are matured in French oak barrels, up to 50% new, for 18 months.