Wine lovers world-wide will have heard of the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and the Clare Valley. These four delectable wine regions surround the city of Adelaide and a trip to South Australia wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least one of the regions. South Australian wine makes up for nearly half of Australia’s total output, and while red reigns supreme here, all varieties can be found to keep even the fussiest of wine aficionados happy.
1. Adelaide Hills
As the name would suggest, the closest of the wine regions to the city of Adelaide is the Adelaide Hills, just to the east of the city. This region boasts over 40 cellar doors and the setting amongst neighbouring orchards full of fresh fruit and small historic towns could not be better. The cooler climate in the hills means it’s best suited to white wines like Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Some of our favourite vineyards include Longview for its stunning views over vine clad rolling hills, Bridgewater Mill for its cosy outdoor fireplace, and Nepenthe for their local cheese platter and live music on Sundays. The quaint town of Hahndorf is also a must visit in the region. This gorgeous town is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and features historic old buildings converted into galleries, restaurants, and stores selling fresh food and locally produced wines.
Perhaps the most well-known of South Australia’s wine regions is the Barossa, located only 45 minutes from Adelaide. This magnificent region is home to 150 wineries, 80 of which have cellar doors. Many of the big names are based here including Peter Lehmann Wines, Rockford, Jacobs Creek and Penfolds. There are daily tours of the Penfolds winery, but the unique ‘Make your own blend’ experience is a must do. You’ll be taken into the Winemakers Laboratory and have the chance to blend your own red wine which is then put in a personalised bottle and ready for consumption as soon as you can find a wine glass. There is a range of accommodation in the Barossa, from the 4.5-star Novotel Barossa Valley Resort to 5-star luxury at The Louise, also home to the award winning dining experience Appellation Restaurant.
3. Clare Valley
The Clare Valley lies to the north of Adelaide and is home to at least another 40 vineyards. Sevenhill Cellars is the oldest in the region, opened by monks in 1851 to make sacramental wine. Today they produce premium red, white and fortified wines. Clare Valley has many boutique vineyards such as father and son run Skillogalee which has a lovely veranda for tasting in the sun, or roaring fires when cold. Annie’s Lane has won countless awards and their cellar door also has a museum and art gallery. Or, for something a little different, try Knappstein who alongside excellent Riesling, also produce a premium Bavarian lager.
4. McLaren Vale
The local favourite, McLaren Vale, lies 45 minutes south of Adelaide - halfway between the city and Kangaroo Island. With 70 vineyards to choose from, enjoy the warmer climate Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon wines which predominant in the region. Thanks to a variety of non-wine options, this is a great option for families or groups. Fox Creek Wines is great for kiddies with a treasure hunt set up to keep them entertained while mum and dad sample the specialised Shiraz on offer. Penny’s Hill have resident chickens and sheep, as well as petanque and more. Or for those who enjoy a lager, Red Poles Restaurant has a fantastic range of local craft beers as well as ciders, with more local breweries on offer.
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