Nestled at the cross-section of the world famous Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale regions, it’s easy to see why Adelaide draws food and wine aficionados around the world – but you don’t need to be an expert in gourmet goods to enjoy this city’s surrounds. Whether you're a fun-loving foodie or just after an intimate getaway for two, Adelaide's trio of top wine regions has you covered.
Ready to go? Choose a destination to suit your tastes or explore all three on an epic country to coast tour with our essential guide to Adelaide’s wine regions.
Undoubtedly the most well known destination within Adelaide’s diverse wine country, this internationally renowned region hasn’t earned its worldwide reputation without merit. As well versed in creating big, bold Shiraz blends as it is in producing handmade chocolates, house-cured meats and artisanal cheeses, the Barossa Valley is a mecca for self-confessed gourmands.
Afforded with four distinct seasons thanks to its sheltered, regional location, the Barossa Valley’s spectacular landscape transforms each summer, autumn, winter and spring with a spectrum of colours unique to each time of year. Whether your cruise beneath a fiery-coloured canopy in March or drive through the dewy mist in September, taking the scenic route is a must while you make your way to the cellar doors and specialty food suppliers.
Home to some of the biggest names in the Australian wine industry, a trip to the Barossa Valley affords visitors with the rare opportunity to sample top quality tipples that easily exceed the budget of an everyday bottle. Call into Penfold’s cellar door and try the legendary Grange or visit the likes of Jacob’s Creek and Henschke, where the region’s signature Shiraz is the main attraction. If an exclusive taste of the world’s best wines leave you craving a bit more luxury, opt for a seasonally inspired degustation at Hentley Farm, or keep things simple with a collection of gourmet goods from the Maggie Beer Farm Shop before finding a grassy knoll to call your own.
Enviably positioned between the city and the sea, there’s little the rolling hillside of McLaren Vale is lacking. While it’s oft overshadowed by the more established wine regions to the city’s north, this coastal wine country is quickly climbing the ranks as one of Australia’s favourite drinking destinations, with annual festivals, beachside activities and nature-based adventures serving as the perfect accompaniment to the area’s award-wining wines.
With less than 15 kilometres between the picturesque town of McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula's most sought-after beaches, it goes without saying that travellers should aim to squeeze in at least one trip to the shore between tastings. Head north to Port Noarlunga where you'll find local surfers paddling out to catch big, hollow waves or cruise south to reach Aldinga Beach, where an underwater cliff edge provides a vibrant network of reefs perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.
While Adelaide's other wine regions specialise in traditional, farm-raised favourites like chicken, lamb and beef, McLaren Vale is an ideal destination if you prefer a spot of seafood with your Sauvignon Blanc. Grab an aperitif at the D'Arenberg cellar door before making your way to the vineyard's Verandah Restaurant, where dishes like locally-caught snapper and succulent lobster medallions come complete with matching wines.
First established in the 1830’s, this collection of mountainside vineyards makes up one of the oldest wine countries in all of Australia. While it may be further afield from Adelaide’s city centre than both the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, this more remote region rewards travellers willing to make the two-hour trek with unspoiled scenery, crowd-free cellar doors and some of the world’s best Riesling.
Home to a bounty of heritage buildings as old as the vines themselves, a trip to the Clare Valley’s towns and villages is akin to stepping back in time. Experience life like an early settler as you wander through cobblestone streets and take in marvellous architecture, from the historic Bungaree Sheep Station to the heritage-listed Martindale Hall.
With classic wine making techniques and old country towns at the heart of the Clare Valley's allure, it should come as no surprise that the region's take on fine dining is equally steeped in tradition. Visit anyone of the area's authentic pubs, charming homesteads or stunning wineries and you'll find tables full of locally-grown delights, from heirloom beet and goat cheese salads to succulent plates of roasted quail.
Ready to sip your way through Adelaide's world-famous wine regions Grab a car hire from the Adelaide Airport and discover the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley one cellar door at a time.