From Coriole to Dune: Three Generations of a McLaren Vale Dynasty

From Coriole to Dune: Three Generations of a McLaren Vale Dynasty

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Next year will mark 40 years that the Lloyd family has grown grapes and made wine in the McLaren Vale region.

Three generations and now two wine brands in Coriole and Dune, a reputation for upholding tradition and leading the charge in innovation, the Lloyd family has done it all.

Today we take a closer look at this great Australian wine family and offer you their latest releases. It's a privilege to tell these stories.

 

 

In 1969 Hugh and Molly Lloyd purchased a 12-acre estate in McLaren Vale with their first release, a Shiraz from their well-established 1919 plantings labelled as 'Claret', put to bottle in 1970.

The Coriole legacy had begun.

Four years later Hugh and Molly were crowned only the second ever Bushing King and Queen at the 1974 McLaren Vale Wine Show. Grapes have been grown in the region since as early as 1838, but it's in the early 1970s is where we see the budding of the vibrant food and wine cultural hotbed that is modern day McLaren Vale.

The Lloyds were at the heart of it.

 

 

"What great things Coriole have done for Australian wine with their championing of Italian grape varieties."
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)

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Hugh and Molly's sons Mark and Paul eventually took the reins of the family business - Mark making the wines, Paul managing the business side.

In 1980 Mark made the pivotal decision to break from tradition and plant Australia's first Sangiovese vines. Thirty-one vintages of Coriole Sangiovese later and one can't help but wonder what the Australian wine landscape would look like today had he not had the inspiration and foresight to do so. It's no stretch to say that we owe many of the threads of the modern Australian wine Technicoloured Dreamcoat to Mark's vision.

 



Under Mark's guidance, with his wife Mary Kathleen by his side, Coriole rose to be one of the flagbearers of the region. Mark brought us the first Australian Fiano in 2005 and our first Piquepoul in 2015. An early champion of Nero d'Avola, Barbera and now Negroamaro, the man has never stood still.

His wines focused more on food and wine culture, rather than flashy, bombastic wines built for Trophy hunting. He revealed a new face of McLaren Vale wine.

 

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"Coriole is one of our pioneering wineries, at least with regard to the Italian grape varieties. Mark Lloyd, the proprietor and founder, is one of our under-sung wine heroes... Lloyd was way ahead of the pack."
- Huon Hooke (The Real Review)

 

 

"(The Dune wines) are as addictive as any I have tasted in years."
- James Halliday (The Australian)

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Today, Mark and Mary's sons Duncan and Peter are taking up the mantle.

With Duncan recently returning to take the position as Senior Winemaker at Coriole and Peter in Sales Development, it feels just a little like history repeating. Except for this time, there's a side story unfolding as well.

A new vineyard in Blewitt Springs purchased by the family in 2008 is the site of the boys' burgeoning independent project, Dune, which has exploded with only two releases under its belt.

 



"The next generation of Lloyd following Mark of Coriole. May their legacy go well; some ripper wines to start from this earnest new project. Kudos, dudes."
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)

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The wines have quickly been lauded by the wine media.

With Dune, the boys are free to do things their own way and experiment whilst keeping the Coriole wines true to their traditional style.

The grapes for Dune are farmed organically, the wines are made with a gentle touch, but rather than let the 'minimal intervention' philosophy hem them in with dogma, Duncan and Peter are free to play, tinker and blend as they see fit.

These are fantastic, energetic wines that have set a cracking pace with only a few vintages under the brand's belt.

Keep your eyes peeled for what's next for the brothers Lloyd. It's the next part of their family's wine story unfolding and it's brilliant to watch.