Why Visit Paxton?
- You can get behind anything organic
- You love biodynamic wines or want to learn more about biodynamics in general
- You’re in search of quality red wines in McLaren Vale
- You want to savor wine and cheese with a stellar view
Any wine lover is familiar with the philosophy that truly great wines are made in the vineyard. Personally, I think this couldn’t be more true and the Paxton family seems to agree. Paxton is a family owned winery established in 1979. In 2000, the family released the first wine under the Paxton label – a 1998 Shiraz. However, the Paxtons were involved in the wine industry for three decades prior to their first release. Founder and owner, David Paxton, is one of Australia’s most revered viticulturists. He’s been managing vineyards and growing exceptional fruit for over 30 years!
Paxton’s Biodynamic Vineyards
The Paxton vineyards are spread out over a variety of sites and soil types, which are managed meticulously from planting to harvest. David has always managed the vineyards biodynamically without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Rather he focuses on promoting healthy soils via natural compost preparation. In 2011, they made it official and Paxton became a fully certified organic and biodynamic wine producer. The Paxton farming practices intend to create balanced and diverse soil biology in order to make nutrients readily available to the vines. The composts are naturally broken down in the soil to form humus which in turn provides improved soil structure while retaining water and nutrients more efficiently. The main component of biodynamic compost is cow manure and the Paxtons keep their own heard of cattle for this purpose.
In biodynamic farming, the farm is seen as a whole organism rather than separate entities. The Paxton vineyards are maintained in a way that allows for a natural ecosystem to thrive. A diverse array of plants are promoted between the vine rows to diversify the soil and provide a habitat for different nutrient profiles. Though vines are self-pollinating and do not require bees to reproduce, Paxton keeps beehives on the property so the bees can pollinate flowers of other plants on the farm. These flowers in turn attract other bugs. The health and diversity of the farm’s ecosystem is enhanced by all of these factors, thus improving the growing environment of the vines.
Paxton employs a variety of vineyard management techniques for the diverse varieties they grow. These include shoot thinning, leaf plucking, and fruit thinning to achieve superior quality fruit. Paxton’s six vineyards are spread across different areas of the McLaren Vale region. One such vineyard is amongst the oldest vineyards in the region still on original rootstock. Having vineyards in different locations really provides for an assortment of fruit profiles to work with resulting in exceptional wines. You can read more about the Paxton vineyards here.
Paxton aims to make approachable wines showcasing the natural diversity of the region and the high quality of McLaren Vale fruit from premium vineyard sites. The winery cellar door is just as approachable as the wines. Warm, laidback, and inviting, the cellar door offers the perfect space to savor Paxton wines and soak up incredible views of the region. I’ve found biodynamic wineries tend to just have a different vibe when you walk onto the property. The vines seem happier, the views are more beautiful, and the estate feels more in tune with nature. I definitely felt that upon arrival at Paxton.
To taste your choice of wines at the cellar door only costs $5. The tasting fee is redeemable with the purchase of any wine. You can buy cheeses and charcuterie to make your own platter and sit out on the deck with a glass of wine to enjoy the views.
The reds are definitely the stars at Paxton. I found my favorite Shiraz in McLaren Vale here! The 2017 Quandong Farm Single Vineyard Shiraz and the 2016 Jones Block Single Vineyard Shiraz were two of my faves. I took home a bottle of each! The Quandong Farm Shiraz went down too fast to take tasting notes, but I got some down for the Jones Block Shiraz. This wine had a medium nose with notes of warm spices, caramelized sugar, cooked berries, balsamic reduction, and wild herbs. Medium bodied with a long finish. This wasn’t necessarily a wine to meditate on, but would definitely be loved by all at your next dinner party or bbq. Maybe alongside some bbq ribs….I digress.
Bottom line, get to Paxton if you make your way to McLaren Vale. You won’t be disappointed!
For more on McLaren Vale, click here.