Fleurieu Peninsula

McLaren Vale’s iconic coastal food and wine festival SummerVines returns this January

SummerVines 2024 food and wine festival makes its returning this January to McLaren Vale with 10-days of the coastal region’s finest food and wine experiences.

Are you looking for the ideal date this summer to head to South Australia’s stunning McLaren Vale region, where you can enjoy its world-class wines, culinary delights, pristine beaches, and breathtaking natural wonders? Then mark your calendar for January 19th to 28th as SummerVines 2024 food and wine festival makes its return, promising 10-days of the region’s finest experiences.

“SummerVines is a fantastic addition to our packed calendar of events this summer, offering visitors a chance to soak up the food and wine the region is so well known for – all against the stunning backdrop of the Fleurieu Peninsula,” Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, says. 

Proudly supported by the South Australian Tourism Commission, the iconic festival will celebrate the profound influence of McLaren Vale’s unique coastal location on its vibrant wine and foodie scene.

“Wine regions are witnessing significant impacts from climate change, and here in McLaren Vale, there’s a significant shift toward Mediterranean influences reflected in our food, wine, and landscape. Here it almost feels like you’ve been transported to Sicily or the Amalfi Coast,” Erin Leggat, CEO of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association, tells Glam Adelaide.

“South Australians and Australians alike are discovering the new McLaren Vale region, which, while still known for its shiraz, is also exploring new Mediterranean-style varietals, and we want to celebrate that.”

There’s an array of experiences spanning free events, live music, family-friendly days out, luxurious food and wine experiences, wine tours on the back of golf-buggies (yes, you read that right) and more. 

“The SummerVines Festival is a great way for our region to connect; enjoying great wines in a beautiful setting attracts people. With a series of different events, SummerVines has something for everyone,” Sophie Liddy from Varney Wines says.

The festivities kick off with an exclusive launch event hosted by the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association on Friday, 12 January, at the Silver Sands Beach Club.

“We really wanted to bring that beach element to the fore, which is what our region is known for. The idea is to kick things off down on the beach with a glass of wine and oyster in hand and with our feet in the sand. A lot of people don’t realise how close these venues are to the beach,” Leggat says.

“The Silver Sands Beach Club is also just a fantastic venue and is the epitome of what we do here, it’s very laid back but also showcases super high-end food and wine.”

It’s no surprise Leggat gives the venue high praise, the Silver Sands Beach Club just won Young Gun of Wine’s 2023 Wineslinger Maverick award for pushing boundaries, challenging industry norms and making a unique impact. It’s what makes it the perfect location to kick off the regional program of exciting events.

There’s so many other events across notable wineries, including a tasting tour at Richard Hamilton Wines celebrating the region’s Mediterranean influence, a wine and food pairing experience featuring coastal region grape varietals at Maxwell Wines (with carefully curated snacks with a coastal theme) and weekends of music, food, and fine sips at Paxton Wines. 

Bec Hardy Wines is also hosting its highly-anticipated Twilight Sessions during SummerVines 2024 with the menu created by Head Chef Connor Bishop and live music from a number of talented locals.

“We aim for our Summer Twilight Sessions to be a fun day out with loved ones. It’s a great time to get together with family and friends. It’s a laid-back afternoon session to kick back in McLaren Vale, particularly in summer when the weather is just beautiful,” Eliza Naulty, a representative from Bec Hardy Wines, shared with Glam Adelaide.

The festival coincides with the Santos Tour Down Under Men’s Stage 5 on Saturday, 20 January, and will showcase the relaxed lifestyle but premium wines & food offerings available across multiple stunning locations along the 30km of breathtaking Gulf of St Vincent coast.

“I am proud to support SummerVines through our Regional Event Fund, which helps grow a variety of events across the state that motivate visitors to commit to a trip, linger longer in our regions, and make South Australia a must visit events destination all year round,” Zoe Bettison, says. 

SummerVines will be one of the top McLaren Vale events of the summer, making it perfect for travellers looking to experience the best of South Australia’s most innovative and creative wine region. 

“We are absolutely thrilled for the event to kick off again this year. It’s just a few weeks away now, and with so many people in the region for the holidays, we can’t wait to get started,” Leggat says.

Where: McLaren Vale (various locations)
When: January 19–28 Jan 2024
For more information and to view the full program, head here.

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