Sip and savour South Australia's most accessible wine region.
Home to world-class wines and culinary experiences, pristine coastlines and luxury accommodation, McLaren Vale makes for an unparalleled must-see destination. As one of the most geologically diverse regions in the world, the Mediterranean-like climate drives the regions wine style and diverse food culture. Best known for producing red wine varieties such as shiraz and premium grenache, you’ll also find Spanish and Italian varieties such as fiano, vermentino, tempranillo and sangiovese. Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend away, with over 80 cellar doors to choose from, prepare your palate and sip your way through McLaren Vale wineries with our guide to the best cellar doors.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE CELLAR DOOR & RESTAURANT
Fall down the rabbit hole and experience a wine tasting like no other - inside a vintage double decker bus. Permanently parked at Down The Rabbit Hole, the pastel blue vintage double decker bus is a defining feature of the cellar door, making for the perfect Instagram backdrop. Lounge on the lawn amongst the beautiful grounds and roll out a rug, order a grazing board, sip some wines or book a table at their sit down restaurant. In the warmer months the cellar door is open longer on Friday nights to catch the last golden rays of sunshine to the sound of live music, with food and wine to enjoy.
HITHER & YON
Originally a butcher’s shop built in the 1860s, Hither & Yon is a quirky and intimate cellar door space that still retains the original slate flooring and limestone walls. Set on the High Street of Willunga, the cellar door serves 14 people at a time, offering an exclusive curated wine tasting of six wines. With the iconic ‘&’ artworks on the bottles decorate the walls of cellar door while paired with black leather couches immerse yourself into the world of Hither & Yon in their special tasting space. Cheese platters are also available to pair with your wine tasting, so indulge in the sunshine filled courtyard out back or by the fireplace in winter.
ALPHA BOX & DICE
Set within a heritage-listed barn with an open green lawn overlooking idyllic vineyards, Alpha Box and Dice are on a mission to create the ‘Alphabet of Wine’. Using only styles and varieties found in South Australia’s famous wine regions, the complete collection will be a celebration of South Australian wines. Book in for a premium tasting to guide you through the ‘Alphabet of Wine’ or relax on a picnic rug while enjoying a drop or two of delicious vino and graze on one of the locally sourced platters.
d’Arenberg Cube is an iconic landmark of McLaren Vale with five levels of sensory fun. Carefully designed to entice and excite the senses, ‘the cube’ includes a wine sensory room, a virtual fermenter, a 360-degree video room, an art exhibition, and a tasting room on the top floor with views over McLaren Vale. Compliment a wine tasting by blending your own wine bottled to take home, or for the complete d’Arenberg experience dine at one of the inhouse restaurants - Singapore Circus or d’Arry’s Verandah.
CORIOLE VINEYARDS, CELLAR DOOR & RESTAURANT
Coriole vineyards, cellar door and restaurant sits on the Seaview ridge of the picturesque McLaren Vale region. Steeped in the region's wine making history, Coriole has been known for producing estate-grown Shiraz and Cabernet, and has pioneered a range of Mediterranean varieties including Sangiovese, Fiano and Picpoul. The charming courtyard restaurant is nestled between the original 1850's homestead and the ironstone barn, now home to the cellar door. The restaurant and cellar door are open daily and guests of Coriole are encouraged to soak up the breathtaking views the region offers and beautifully maintained gardens and grounds.
WIRRA WIRRA VINEYARDS
As its Aboriginal name infers, Wirra Wirra is nestled “among the gums” in McLaren Vale, South Australia - a picturesque ironstone winery with over 100 years of history. From the call of the towering Angelus bell atop the winery, to the massive timber fence known as “Woodhenge”, Wirra Wirra offers a unique and memorable winery experience. Best known for its famous red Church Block blend, winemaker Paul Smith and his team deliver rich, textured McLaren Vale reds and stunning cool climate whites from the Adelaide Hills. Wirra Wirra is also home to Harry's Deli, a providore-style café mixing exceptional wine with a selection of delicious light meals.
Maxwell Wines is an idyllic location for an unforgettable food and wine experience. The stunning limestone building is complemented by large picture windows, and breathtaking views overlooking the rolling hills of McLaren Vale. Showcasing the best of the region and his own kitchen gardens, Head Chef Fabian Lehmann offers a versatile menu including à la carte options in Maxwell Restaurant. Taste wines before you dine to ensure the perfect selection, or simply let it all happen, with wines expertly matched from the estate vineyards.
Housed in an 1853 built farm shed overlooking the spectacular Onkaparinga River National Park, a visit to Samuel’s Gorge might have you confused for the views in Tuscany. With a focus on five key red varietals grenache, shiraz, mourvèdre, graciano and tempranillo, Samuel’s Gorge is a must visit for red wine lovers. Relax and unwind with a tasting and watch the winemakers at work in the open-air winery, or grab a glass and take in the stunning surrounds.
CHALK HILL WINES
Chalk Hill Wines is a family-owned winery that is dedicated to making small batch, organic wines with expansive views from the Mt Lofty Ranges to the Fleurieu Peninsula coastline. Book yourself one of the tasting experiences on offer from a standard wine flight to award winning wines paired with artisan chocolates or local cheese. With walk-in space available on the sprawling lawns, this family and dog friendly cellar door makes for the perfect school holiday activity for all.
Known for their organic and biodynamic farmed wines, Gemtree’s tasting room is purpose built using recycled materials, powered by solar panels and uses only rainwater. Relax on the deck and immerse yourself in a personalised guided tasting experience as you take in the stunning views of the vineyards and out to the sea. Experience the beautiful natural bush land of McLaren Vale and pick up a local produce picnic pack and bottle of McLaren Vale wine from the tasting room to enjoy within the Gemtree Eco Trail.
A LITTLE MORE FLAVOUR...
McLaren vale is bursting with flavours beyond the vines. With beautiful cuisine and equally magnificent views, prepare to be deliciously dazzled with our guide to the best McLaren Vale restaurants. Or simply continue the wine tasting through South Australia and discover the best cellar doors in Barossa, Clare Valley or Adelaide Hills.