GIWC Top 20 | Chapel Hill The Parson GSM 2020

Chapel Hill’s The Parson GSM 2020 is an award-winning wine from McLaren Vale in South Australia. 

The Chapel Hill Winery in McLaren Valley was built on the site of the old Seaview school house and Chapel. It is perched on the edge of the Onkaparinga Gorge with sweeping views over the McLaren Vale and the Gulf St Vincent. The chapel that was built in 1865 from ironstone and still stands on the site today, is an integral part of the Chapel Hill tasting room. Planting at the vineyard commenced in 1972 and the first vintage was produced in 1975. 

The vineyard boasts elevation, ancient rocks, contoured plantings and moderating sea breezes. It was one of the first wineries to embrace the McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Program and is now a member of the subsequent Sustainable Australia Wine Growing Program. Therefore, CHapel Hill undergoes numerous practices to ensure its winery is sustainable. 

Chapel Hill does not have access to water mains, so reclaimed water from the Willunga Basin Water Company and treated wastewater irrigate the vines. All marc and bunch stems from the winery are composted on-site and used in replacement of synthetic fertilisers. Spraying processes have been minimised and replaced to ensure the protection of beneficial insects and to maintain the natural environmental balance. Volunteer crops are used to smother weeds mid and under rows of vines. It is also undertaking the layering of vines that require replacement to ensure appropriate regeneration.

The most exciting thing about the Parson GSM is that it is the gateway to classic McLaren varieties. It has a focus on savouriness and texture, being smooth, silky and fruit-driven.

The Grenache lead wine is a rich opulent style. Blackberries, woody herb and anise are joined by gritty tannins that creates a long chocolatey finish. 

Best paired with rich flavours such as stews, casserole, grilled meats, marinated Asian and barbecue, the wine can be shelved for around eight years.

Appealing to all wine drinkers because of the blending of three varieties, it is not just for professionals to enjoy.

“The purity and balance expressed in our wines is inspired by a deep respect for our land and vines," said Michael Fragos, CEO and Chief Winemaker at Chapel Hill. 


Winery Name: Chapel Hill

Location: McLaren Vale

Region & Country: South Australia

Grape Variety/Varieties: Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah 

‘Fun Fact’ about the wine/winery/winemaker? The winery takes its name from the historic ironstone chapel built on the site in 1865.