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Deveronvale is not McLaren Vale – but there are similarities…

Banff Bay and Maslins Beach. Scotland in winter, South Australia in summer. Which is which?

Banff Bay and Maslin Beach. Scotland in winter, South Australia in summer. Which is which?


It’s about freezing in Deveronvale in the northeast of Scotland- about thirty degrees colder than South Australia at the moment. The towns of Banff and Macduff which sit astride the mouth of the River Deveron have just had their first snowfall of the winter, while McLaren Vale basks in its Mediterranean climate.

This corner of the northeast of Scotland has much to offer – more than offshore fossil fuel extraction. It has pretty fishing villages- Whitehills, Gardenstown, Cullen (home to the famous and delicious Cullen Skink, a smoked fish and potato soup) and Pennan (the location for the film Local Hero), history, culture and its own distinctive dialect of Scots English- the Doric.

Scottish farmlands post harvest near the town of Macduff at the mouth of the River Deveron.

Scottish farmlands in winter near the town of Macduff at the mouth of the River Deveron.

Deveronvale is not McLaren Vale but there are some similarities- both are about an hour from their regional centres Aberdeen and Adelaide and are situated in remote parts of their respective countries. Both are fertile farming areas, bounded by the sea- the Moray Firth and St Vincent’s Gulf, home alike to dolphin and seal (but not shark!) and boasting beautiful sandy beaches. Most importantly both regions produce world class drinks- the one maritime climate reds, the other “the water of life.” Strangely both regions are arguably overshadowed by more famous neighbours- Speyside the true home of Highland (as opposed to Islay or Lowland) Scotch whisky, and the Barossa Valley with its take-no-prisoners Shiraz.

McLaren Vale, South Australia.

McLaren Vale, South Australia.

Similarities abound between these two beautiful parts of the world – just the fact of those thirty degrees separate them.