McLaren Vale road trip
If you find yourself in Adelaide, a side trip to the McLaren Vale region is a must.
Not only is the area jam-packed with wineries, but it is also home to delicious local produce, warm-hearted people, bushland trails and beautiful vast blue skies.
A short forty-five-minute drive from Adelaide will have you in the heart of the town, with wineries located in every direction.
Don’t miss a visit to Hugh Hamilton, with their elevated circular tasting room with views across the vineyards. They offer a “Tasting of the Senses” experience where you can enjoy select wines from their range, including experimental and premium styles, plus a matched cheese plate for AUD $20. Don’t forget to sample their new season ‘The Floozie’ Sangiovese Rosé (AUD $25) and enquire about their Black Blood Shiraz trio (AUD $79/bottle or AUD $237 for three).
Taste the succulent red wines of Oliver’s Taranga in their historic cottage nestled amongst the vineyards, open daily between 10am – 4pm. Wine quality is high across the range. I particularly enjoy their 2015 Grenache (AUD $30) and their 2013 HJ Shiraz (AUD $55).
For lovers of vibrant, modern wines visit the S.C Pannell cellar door, open daily 11am – 5pm, where you can have a complimentary tasting of select wines or taste through their range for AUD $10 per person (redeemable with purchase).
Then stop by Coriole for fleshy Kalamata olives and new season olive oil.
Those who adore finely crafted shiraz and grenache should stop by Bekkers tasting room (open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10-4pm). The AUD $10 tasting fee is a small price to pay for the privilege of tasting these superb hand-crafted premium wines. Their 2015 Grenache (AUD $80) has excellent clarity and composure.
Wine aficionados should not miss the high-quality wines at Yangarra. Visitors can sit down and taste though the range of Rhône varietals for a nominal fee. Then purchase a bottle of their delightful and expressive 2016 Roussanne (AUD $35). Splash out on a bottle of their 2014 High Sands Grenache (AUD $140).
And head over to Willunga on a Saturday morning between 8am – 12.30pm for the weekly farmer’s market held in the town square. Then journey to Sellick’s Beach for an easy 1km stroll along a portion of the Coast Park Trail.
Opening late 2017 is d’Arenberg’s new wine centre, housed in an eclectic five-story glass and steel structure, inspired by a Rubik’s cube. One suspects it will be an unmissable experience from the day it opens its doors.