Do you enjoy taking your time to sample wine, ask questions and learn about the wineries history?
Get a taste of South Australia by exploring Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. for their quaint and quiet wineries where if you travel in the off peak season
Travel in the off peak season and you’re in for a chance to indulge in having entire winery and its staff all to yourself.
None of the wineries listed here charged us for tastings, however buying a bottle has been the courteous way for us to enjoy their offerings – guilt free.
Immediately identifiable by the gorgeous three gables building that is also represented on each bottle, Wynns produce fruit of exceptional quality, notably Cabernet Shiraz.
With lush green grass to the side of the cellar door and picnic tables you could easily spend hours here tasting their whole range and chatting with the very knowledgeable and friendly staff. The ‘Siding’ Cabernet Shiraz was our pick of the bunch – red cherry, mint and dark berry flavours.
A tree lined gravel drive leads to this impressively sized winery that is worthy of stopping off just for a photo! Do go in though – we had this winery all to ourselves (on a Sunday) and even met the wine maker who recommended the Gewurztraminer, a clean crisp German white wine.
Here you can select delicious local produce from the fridge to make up your own platter to enjoy on a table outside, or borrow one of their rugs to sit out on the lawn. For $40 we enjoyed a bottle of wine and a platter complete with cheese, olives, oils, bread, crackers and prosciutto.
Rymill Winery has a beautiful selection of wines, and also the option to enjoy a cheese platter on their gorgeous grounds.
Built in the 1850’s this little cottage winery absolutely delighted us. The owners’ son was looking after the place since returning for a seven year stint in Adelaide and it was nice to have a chat with someone living life on the vineyard and keeping family history alive. The Cabernet Sauvignon is highly recommended and we walked away with a bottle that was perfect enjoyed on a cold night at the campsite.
Kidman’s Cellar Door is a quaint cottage from 1850’s
Here we loved the reds – Church Block Cab Sav, Shiraz and Merlot blend and the Rose. We were also lucky enough to have a private tour of the vintage wine making process. There is ample space here to enjoy a picnic outside and relax for a couple of hours.
If in the area also visit Victory Hotel, up on a hill with ocean views. Enjoy an evening meal (reserve a table as they are pretty popular), or just a glass of wine or beer in their grassy courtyard. They so also make their own wines here, but we didn’t taste any.
The Clare Valley
Jim Barry Wines
If you like both your whites and your reds Jim Barry are renowned for both. We purchased a bottle of Riesling for $22 and were also very tempted to stock up on their well known ‘The Cover Drive’ Cabernet Shiraz. Also worth a try is The Barry Brothers Shiraz Cab Sav.
A quaint old building, with a beautiful outdoors area is a gorgeous setting to enjoy delicious meals or even just afternoon tea. We stopped for tastings and had a cuppa and coffee under the olive tree. Standout wines included the Sparkling Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Rose. Definitely stop by here, and if you have the money, book a table for lunch and dine the afternoon away.
Skillogalee winery is sure to delight with picturesque scenery
Mitchell Wines practice biodynamic wine making and we found the wines to be pretty nice, but in our opinion not necessarily the same standard as others in the region. We walked away with a Watervale Riesling which the region do so well.
We enjoyed the best night here at their moonlight cinema screening of the Grand Hotel of Budapest. Such great value at $6 a ticket and a bottle of Shiraz for only $15. Excellent winery for the budget conscious, you are sure to find something that you like at Taylors wines. They hold cinema nights throughout the summer months.
Enjoying a drop of red waiting for the movie to start
This is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley and has been owned and operated by Jesuits since 1851. It still produces sacramental wines, as well as table wines. Tours of the winery and the St Aloysius Church are available. The grounds are simply stunning and well worth a meander around. Here you must try (and buy) the sparkling Riesling. I am not usually a bubbles girl, but this wine is so crisp and refreshing and went down a real treat.
Cycle the wine regions
We were so close to hiring bikes and cycling along the Clare Valley Riesling Trail that follows the old train tracks, however it was a 38 degree day so Drew agreed to drive (what a champion).
If in the area at a cooler time, cycling would be the way to go. Both the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale have cycling trails and routes mapped out for visitors to meander around the wineries.
Visit mclarenvale.info or rieslingtrail.com.au for more info.
How drinking wine is becoming part of my healthy lifestyle…
I feel that with this holiday I am beginning to let my hair down a little. No less than two months ago I was getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym, eating bucket loads of vegetables throughout the day and perhaps enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner, but probably only once a week, if that.
But I’m soon realising that living life on the road requires some compromise, especially if I want to take advantage of the beautiful wine regions that we are passing through on the great journey of Australia. I’m still trying to eat bucket load of vegetables and get active in the bush, but it is certainly important to enjoy the things that you love in life without guilt or regret. And if that happens to be wine, then bloody well have some wine!
As one of my favourite Cat Empire songs goes –
“I sang songs, spun stories, loved, laughed and drank wine” – which is what I plan to continue to do as we head to Western Australia in a couple of weeks.