Twenty years ago the Coriole Music Festival was conceived by the Lloyd and Burrell families as a celebration of fine music in the McLaren Vale wine region. First held in 1999, it is now an annual event on the first weekend of May. Coriole Music Festival takes place at Coriole Vineyards in South Australia’s beautiful McLaren Vale. The concert venue (the barrel room replete with wooden wine barrels lining the walls) has a wonderful acoustic for chamber and vocal music.
Coriole was established by the Lloyd Family in 1967. The vineyards date from 1919, late 1960s, and early 1990s, and the main variety produced is Shiraz. Wines are estate produced and sold in many countries around the world.
Shiraz: The great tradition of McLaren Vale, since the 1850s, Shiraz is the variety that in recent years has propelled McLaren Vale onto the world wine stage. All the 85 and 35 year old vines at Coriole are Shiraz. Coriole Shiraz was first produced in 1970 and the Lloyd Reserve Shiraz first produced in 1989.
Chenin Blanc: This white grape has a long history in McLaren Vale being first planted many years ago as the sherry variety, “Albillo”. It has subsequently proved to be highly valued as an aromatic premium variety, along with an unheralded ability to age for long periods in bottle.
New Australian varieties: Coriole has been the principal pioneer of Sangiovese in Australia. It was first planted in quest of an alternative wine style to Shiraz and one that has a natural fit with McLaren Vale. In recent years plantings of Barbera, Nero d’Avola, Fiano and Prosecco have been added. Most recently Coriole has produced the first Picpoul in Australia.
“Festivals should be largely about exploring the unfamiliar rather than serving up more of the all too familiar. Generally festival audiences understand and appreciate this, which may account for the enthusiastic response to these two very interesting and unusual programs. The festival ended with one of Mozart’s most glorious works, the String Quintet in G minor, an impossibly perfect blend of pathos, lyricism, playfulness and much more. It was an ideal way to end of marvellous weekend of great music performed by an excellent array of musicians.” … The Advertiser 2016
“As if summoned by nature’s beauty in the picturesque surrounds of Adelaide’s Southern Vales, the miracles just kept rolling at this year’s Coriole Music Festival. The annual weekend event invariably puts on a good show, making it one of Australia’s top three chamber music festivals — smaller but equal in quality to Huntington and Four Winds. But this one was vintage. Some magnificent performances and a strongly integrated English-Russian program from director Anthony Steel made it especially successful.” … The Australian 2016
“It seemed a tall order to articulate the most thematically complex program that director Chris Burrell has assembled during the event’s 15 years into one weekend. But succeed it did. His choice of works was astute, Ken Healey’s pre-concert talks insightful and the performances in each of the three concerts enormously stimulating.” … The Australian, 2013
“Coriole’s rich recipe for romance…Audiences at this year’s Coriole Music Festival exited replete with memories of the Romantic Era’s emotional riches, courtesy Richard Wagner whose eminence grise presided throughout the three concerts on offer in celebration of his 200th anniversary.” … The Advertiser 2013
“The spectacularly winsome acoustic of Coriole’s barrel room proved as persuasive for festival goers’ listening pleasure as ever”
“(tenor Andrew) Goodwin’s Rachmaninov selection… brought the house down with its emotional range, characterisation and insight” The Advertiser May 2011
“Extraordinary depth and richness in programming” … The Australian, 2007
“feasts for mind, soul and body” … The Advertiser, 2007
“the twin themes of musical Vienna and Paris … revealed seamlessly and enticingly as the festival progressed” … The Advertiser, 2008
“stunning Bartok creation” … The Advertiser, 2009
“in the festival highlight, Bartok’s Sonata for two pianos and percussion, there was no denying the primacy of pure, elemental rhythm” … The Australian, 2009