South Australia produces some of the country’s best wine, and its capital, Adelaide, is in the fortunate position to be surrounded by these excellent wine regions. The dry, Mediterranean climate is perfect for wine growing, and if you drive in just about any direction from the city and you are sure to come across a world class winery. If you love your wine, a visit to Adelaide’s wine regions is a must, and the best part is that they are all in close proximity to the city. Stay in a hotel in Adelaide and visit some of these world class wine regions when you’re in Adelaide.
The Barossa Valley, located only an hour’s drive north-east of Adelaide, is Australia’s most well-known and highly regarded wine region. Home to over 150 wineries with 80 cellar doors to choose from, you can be almost overwhelmed by the choice of wines here. The region is famous for Shiraz, known for its peppery notes, but many different varieties grow well here. You can visit well-known wineries such as Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass, as well as discover smaller cellar doors along the way.
While wineries are the obvious drawcard to the Barossa Valley, the small historic towns in the region are well worth visiting in their own right. These charming towns and villages still portray a real European feel, many with German origins. Explore the towns of Lyndoch, Angaston and Bethany, to name a few.
Eden Valley is like a sub-region of the Barossa, but is worth a visit on its own for its quiet, picturesque landscapes, lesser-known vineyards and the charming small town of Eden Valley itself. Many of the wineries in Eden Valley don’t have their own cellar doors, but you can sample their wines at Taste Eden Valley in Angaston. Visit the village of Eden Valley and step back in time, with its charming buildings and cottages. You could just about take a photo and say that you are in a village in the English countryside, and people would believe you.
If you enjoy white wines, venture a bit further afield to the charming Clare Valley. It is located around an hour and half to two hour’s drive north of Adelaide, and the region’s white wines, particularly its Rieslings, are world class. There are over 40 cellar doors to choose from, along with several charming small towns and villages to stop in at and explore. The main town of Clare acts as a good base. For many, the highlight is Seven Hills Cellars, the oldest winery in the region, established in 1851 by Jesuits to produce sacramental wine. This tradition is still continued to this day and their sacramental wine is sent all over the world. They also produce commercial wine and their cellar door is well worth visiting, along with their beautiful landscape of vines running towards the stone built church.
The Adelaide Hills is the closest wine region to the city, located in the highlands just to the east of Adelaide. This region naturally produces good quality cool climate wines, with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Since you can reach the region in under half an hour’s drive from the city, it means you can spend longer exploring more than 40 cellar doors, many of which you may never have heard of, making it a good region to discover new wine producers. The region is also home to several interesting towns to explore, such as Hahndorf with its rich German heritage
Another easily accessible wine region is McLaren Vale, located just 45 minutes south of Adelaide. This wine region is situated between the hills and the sea, and produces excellent red wine varieties that grow well in the warmer climate, such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sample wines from over 80 different cellar doors, or follow the Shiraz Trail between the towns of McLaren Vale and Willunga. Since the region is located close to the coast, you could visit some of the beautiful beaches of the region on your way back to Adelaide, such as the popular Sellicks Beach.
This small region is located around the town of Langhorne Creek, about an hour’s drive south-east of Adelaide. Home to several excellent wineries with good cellar doors, this region produces some high quality red wine varieties. Some top wineries to check out are Bleasdale, Bremerton and Lake Breeze Wines, which also hosts the annual Hand Picked music festival.
SOUTHERN FLEURIEU PENINSULA
The Fleurieu Peninsula is known for its spectacular coastal scenery, charming seaside towns and its surf beaches, but it is also home to a good range of wineries. This lesser visited wine region is located just over an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, and it is the sort of place where you might venture away on the weekend to escape the city, to enjoy some vineyards and cellar doors that seemingly merge with the ocean. The charming towns of Victor Harbour and Port Elliot are good places to start, with several good cellar doors to choose from in the area. Merlots do well here, as does Shiraz and other red wine varieties, and you can pair these with a meal at one of the excellent restaurants.
SOUTH FLINDERS RANGES
You will have to venture a bit further afield to visit this newer wine region, but the Southern Flinders Ranges are well worth visiting as a day trip from Adelaide for its spectacular scenery, forests and walking trails. The twenty or so wine growers of the region are slowly making a name for themselves, bringing this new South Australian wine region into the spotlight. Enjoy good red wine varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, or very nice Rieslings. To reach the Southern Flinders Ranges wine region, drive 3 hours north of Adelaide towards the town of Melrose.
With so many world class wine regions in every direction, Adelaide is an absolute must visit for wine lovers. The only problem will be deciding which wineries to visit!
Our opinions are as always, our own.