Super six! South Australia’s irresistible wine regions
Think South Australia, think delicious wine. The state bursts with some of the best wineries on the planet, and prized regions are dotted throughout.
From rich reds to flavoursome whites, SA is a mecca for wine lovers, complete with ample opportunity for exciting cellar-door hopping.
We’re taking you on a tour of six sensational SA wine regions. Cheers!
Deservedly, this is Australia’s most famous wine district with 80 or so cellar doors and a winemaking history that dates to 1842. A feast of headline-grabbing wineries and their vibrant cellar doors abounds: Some are sixth-generation setups, others among the biggest names in the game.
As it’s comprised of two distinct sub-regions, the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, this renowned area boasts the rare distinction of having warm and cool-climate conditions sitting side by side. Consequently, all palates win: Barossa shiraz is highly desirable, and Eden Valley riesling is downright delicious. And that’s just the beginning…
Must-visit Barossa wineries
- Chateau Tanunda: Authentic, stylish cellar-door experience within a grand building surrounded by elegant gardens.
- Seppeltsfield: A must for history buffs; more extravagant surrounds.
- Grant Burge: Sample premium wines while soaking up panoramic valley views.
- Jacob’s Creek: The complete package with its dedicated visitor centre, tours, and more.
Book now: BIG4 Barossa Tourist Park.
Regarded as the birthplace of SA wine, McLaren Vale is a region of immense appeal. Here, upwards of 70 cellar doors are sprinkled throughout and mix household names with underrated gems – and all just a 45min drive south of Adelaide’s heart.
McLaren Vale is best known for its rich reds, most notably shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. However, come prepared to sample a vast assortment of red and whites that thrive in the Mediterranean climate, including several lesser-known varieties.
Must-visit McLaren Vale wineries
- d'Arenberg: Stop by if only to marvel at the funky new five-storey Cube structure.
- Primo Estate: Family-owned; Italian-influenced wines and excellent service.
- Wirra Wirra: Inviting inside; spacious and picturesque outside. Reliably tasty wines.
A couple of hours’ drive north of Adelaide, passing heritage towns and villages, leads to this historical grape-growing area. Riesling is the region’s signature, although red drinkers will appreciate the emergence of shiraz and cabernet varieties.
There are roughly 50 cellar doors to choose from, and one of the best ways to tick a few off the list is by hiring a bike and taking to the Riesling Trail. The scenic path follows an old railway line and is suitably flat in most parts. Whatever the mode of transport, touring this inviting region is suited to a relaxing pace.
Must-visit Clare Valley wineries
- Sevenhill: Interesting and well worth visiting for more than its claim of ‘the only remaining Jesuit-owned winery in Australia’.
- Claymore Wines: Fun, music-themed winery experience.
- Skillogalee Wines: Hard to pronounce, easy to fall in love with. Region veterans.
Charm-soaked towns, gorgeous landscapes, and mouthwatering produce – already the Adelaide Hills are a people magnet. Throw in a delightful cool-climate wine region, and you have an irresistible holiday destination. Better yet, this is the closest wine region to a capital city anywhere the world over: just a 30min drive from Adelaide.
Boutique cellar doors flourish, many influenced by the Hills’ rich European heritage. A vast assortment of varieties stands out from chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and riesling to pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. Add this area to your itinerary today.
Must-visit Adelaide Hills wineries
- Bird in Hand: Excellent wine selection that includes award-winning chardonnay.
- Shaw + Smith: Dedicated tasting room provides the complete cellar-door experience.
- The Lane Vineyard: Views from the dining room are as memorable as its menu, which emphasises local produce.
Plenty of good judges will tell you the Coonawarra warrants a position among Australia’s elite wine regions. It’s fertile terra rossa soil is the envy of many and leads to the creation of rich, intense reds led by its cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.
The Coonawarra is ideal for cellar-door hopping, as 20-plus wineries are clustered within a relatively small area. And the wider Limestone Coast region is crammed with absorbing natural and historical attractions.
Must-visit Coonawarra wineries
- Wynns Coonawarra Estate: Region stalwarts with a formidable reputation. Rustic tasting room features an interpretive centre.
- DiGiorgio: Family owned, historical. Shaded outdoor area is perfect for spending a relaxing arvo.
- Katnook: Excellent experience offering much more than just tasty wine samples.
- Rymill: Welcoming setup; opportunity to learn about the winemaking process.
Emerging from the shadows of its famous neighbours, including the Coonawarra, is this relatively new wine region. Located just minutes from the popular coastal town of Robe, Mt Benson was established as a grape-growing area only in the 1980s. It’s making up for lost time.
A handful of cellar doors produce flavoursome cool-climate wines with reds dominating the plantings: Cabernet sauvignon is the hero. However, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay fans will be treated to distinctive palate-pleasing wines.
Must-visit Mt Benson wineries
- Cape Jaffa Wines: Relaxing atmosphere to sip a vast array of vino, backed by sweeping views.
- Ralph Fowler Wines: Boutique style with a super selection that punches above its weight.
Isn’t it time you enjoyed a grape escape? Book your next BIG4 break now.