When it comes to wine, South Australia serves up a pretty good drop. Home to some of the world’s best Shiraz and Rieslings, grown in premium wine regions and vineyards spread across Coonawarra, Barossa and Clare Valley, this is an ideal destination for a wine tasting tour. Hire a car and set off on an adventure across the state’s superb cellar doors, stopping off to soak up the atmosphere and stock up your boot with some top bottles.
One of Australia’s best known wine regions, Barossa can be divided into two main areas; Eden Valley, famous for its light, semi-sweet Rieslings, and The Barossa Valley, known primarily for its superb Shiraz. With big names like Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass sharing the stage with lesser known wineries, this is one of South Australia’s most popular spots among wine enthusiasts. Set in the heart of the valley you’ll find Penfolds’ Barossa Valley Winery and Cellar Door. Built around the turn of the century, this is now the brand’s winemaking center and features the largest premium red wine barrel hall in the Southern Hemisphere. For Wolf Blass fans the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre showcases an extensive portfolio of their award winning wines, from Platinum Label Shiraz to Black and Yellow Labels. If you’re after a slightly more low-key experience, head off to Langmeil Winery. One of the area’s oldest vineyards, this small family-run winery produces its renowned Freedom Shiraz from 160 year old vines. For those who prefer a bit of activity after your wine-tasting at the Riesling you can take a scenic bike ride through the vineyards to work off your lunch.Read more
For full-bodied, rich wines, look no further than Coonawarra, the Limestone Coast’s leading wine district where the vines sprout from rusty red soil. Producing internationally acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon and delicious Shiraz, this tiny region is home to around 24 different cellar doors. Sample well known favorites such as Yalumba at the Yalumba Menzies Retreat (which conveniently enough offers up its own accommodations just in case you end up sampling one too many of their gorgeous grapes), or stop off at family owned and run winery Zema Estate. Keen believers in the “vine to wine” technique, the vines here are pruned by hand, bottled and packaged on site. Another must-stop-spot can be found at the Wynns Coonawarra Estate, now one of the area’s best known wineries. Here you can choose between Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot and make your very own personalized bottle to take home with you.
the clare valley
With around 40 wineries spread across the region, The Clare Valley boasts some serious contenders when it comes to cellar doors. Originally know for the vineyards of legendary wine pioneer Jim Barry, the area is now among South Australia’s very best wine producing regions and has a whole host of different names under its belt. For something a little different, check out Sevenhill Cellars – one of the area’s oldest vineyards. Dating back to 1851, the cellar itself was actually constructed by Jesuits in order to make sacramental wine and is well worth a visit, not only for its historical significance, but also for the fantastic wines it now produces. Built in 1856 Reilly’s Wines is ever so slightly older, but no less stunning. Make sure to visit around lunchtime for a feast of locally sourced food served up alongside home-grown wines at its on-site restaurant. Finally, Skillogalee is the ideal cellar door to visit on a rainy day or lazy afternoon. Run by a father and son team, the winery features a cozy living area where you can curl up in front of the log fire with a large glass of premium red, before stumbling upstairs to one of the estate’s suites to sleep it off.