Wine lovers’ guide to

South Australia

Clear a space in your calendar and then do the same in your cellar, because it’s time to sample the best wines of the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and the Barossa.

Few places boast as many quality cellar doors as South Australia, and some of the most exciting wine regions are barely a cork’s throw from Adelaide. With Accor Hotels you can stay in the heart of the city and enjoy short daytrips to the vineyards, or immerse yourself in wine country in style.

McLaren Vale

When in Adelaide, one of the best spots to whet your appetite for South Australian wines is The Playford Adelaide, a member of the MGallery Collection. The Playford Restaurant has a comprehensive list of exceptional drops, particularly from McLaren Vale.

“Supporting the local wine industry is very important to us,” says food and beverage manager Riccardo Cervieri. “McLaren Vale is renowned for its organic and biodynamic approach to winemaking, which provides a point of difference. And the quality of its wines is outstanding.”

This historical region on the Fleurieu Peninsula is less than an hour’s drive south of the city, so it’s an easy daytrip from the hotel. There are more than 70 cellar doors to choose from. We recommend starting at Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards, a family-owned winery that dates back to the mid-19th century and has a stone cottage and family museum. Aside from providing fruit for Penfolds Grange, Oliver’s produces exceptional shiraz, grenache and fiano.

The cellar door at d’Arenberg should also be on your list. You can sample the latest vintage of the ever-popular The Dead Arm Shiraz, along with 30 other wines from d’Arenberg’s range. If you have more time, hit d’Arry’s Verandah for lunch. This popular McLaren Vale restaurant has a cracking degustation menu complemented by a list of homegrown and international wines.

Other cellar doors to tap into your GPS include Primo Estate (for Italian varieties), Wirra Wirra, Coriole and Samuel’s Gorge.

Adelaide Hills

A short drive east of Adelaide will place you in an undulating landscape of vineyards, olive groves, orchards and historical sandstone houses. Here, in the Adelaide Hills region, sauvignon blanc is king.

With its country-house charm, beautiful English-style gardens and sweeping views of the Piccadilly Valley, Mount Lofty House, a member of the MGallery Collection is the perfect place to stay. It also has its own vineyards and wines, including the popular Mount Lofty House ‘The Block’ Chardonnay and Mount Lofty House ‘The Summit’ Sparkling Pinot Noir. The wine list at on-site Piccadilly Restaurant provides a lovely introduction to the region. And with almost 40 cellar doors to explore, there’s plenty to discover.

Just minutes away is Shaw and Smith, a star of the region and a champion of the local style of sauvignon blanc. This modern winery with state-of-the-art facilities also produces very impressive chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz.

Lenswood is a respected subregion of the Adelaide Hills where mineral-rich soils contribute to the character of the wines. Great examples can be found at the barn-like cellar door of Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard. It also has a terrific menu inspired by regional produce, making it a great destination for wine and food matching.

Other cellar doors to explore are Hahndorf Hill, Ashton Hills and Nepenthe.

The Barossa

The Barossa is just over an hour’s drive north-east of Adelaide. The region comprises the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley and boasts more than 80 cellar doors, including some of the most famous in the country, such as Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek and Yalumba.

The Novotel Barossa Valley Resort sits comfortably between the two valleys, making it the ideal place to relax in between cellar door visits. Harry’s Restaurant and bar has an exceptional collection of local drops to enjoy as well. As general manager Sarah Henderson says, “Harry’s Restaurant has a very regional wine list. It’s 100 per cent South Australian, with a strong Barossan element.”

The Barossa Valley is renowned for full-bodied shiraz. The warmer sites turn out delicious grenache and mourvèdre, which appear in the popular blend GSM. Cabernet sauvignon also performs well.

One of the stand-outs in the region is Rockford, with its stone cottages and old-world charm. It celebrates the rewards of traditional winemaking in the capable hands of Robert O’Callahan, whose Basket Press Shiraz is an iconic wine best enjoyed in situ.

If you’re keen to explore subregional expressions, head to Artisans of Barossa to sample the wines of Teusner, John Duval and Spinifex, among others. It’s a great spot for lunch – chef Mark McNamara crafts an impressive menu and there are plenty of wines to match.

To wrap up your tour of South Australia’s finest wine regions, head to the high country of Eden Valley to experience the fragrant and mineral whites of Pewsey Vale and Peter Lehmann. Of course, you can’t leave without visiting one of Australia’s most respected wineries, Henschke, the birthplace of Hill of Grace. With its beautiful vineyards, rustic church and incomparable range of wines, you’re sure to return next year with a much bigger boot.

Reader Offer

ibis Adelaide

Stay overnight in a Standard Queen or Twin Room, including a bottle of Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc and an Australian cheese platter for two, from $165. Also, order any two dishes from the grill menu and receive 50% off any bottle of South Australian wine. Call 08 8159 5588 for bookings.

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