With Winter setting in early, and the thought of red wine, fireplaces, degustations and visits to wineries creeping into our minds, we’ve put together a handy little guide to visiting McLaren Vale which just depends on how much time you have on your hands.
Whether you’re entertaining interstate visitors, taking the family out for the day, or planning a day trip with friends, here’s our pick of what to do. We’ve centred the itineraries around d’Arenberg as it offers a wide selection of things to do depending on what you’re in the mood for. Don’t forget to add in your travel time to and from Adelaide (approx an hour each way).
3 HOUR ITINERARY
11am Alpha Box & Dice- Lot 8 Olivers Rd, McLaren Vale, SA. An incredibly funky little winery that stands out from a crowd. Varieties that can avoid the turbulence of the Australian summer and provide an abundance of pourmeanotherglassness.
12pm d’Arenberg- Osborn Road, McLaren Vale, SA. d’Arenberg is one of the most significant wineries in McLaren Vale. They handcraft all their wines and press them in wooden baskets using the very gentle, traditional ‘Coq’ and ‘Bromley & Tregoning’ presses, for both reds and whites. The presses are both old soldiers, dating from approximately 1860. Get yourself a private tasting or just a visit to the cellar door.
1pm S.C Pannell– 60 Olivers Rd, McLaren Vale, SA. Tastings and tapas lunch at the brand new cellar door. They have a small award winning range of wines so the tasting will be quick. Their tapas menu is quick and delicious (although they only do food on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.)
All 3 cellar doors are on the same road, perfect for a quick visit and for ease of travel.
4 HOUR ITINERARY
11am Oliver’s Taranga- 246 Seaview Rd, McLaren Vale, SA. Wine tasting at a family owned winery that has been in the area since 1841.
12pm d’Arenberg- Osborn Road, McLaren Vale, SA. Experience the blending bench and cellar door visit. This is a great hands on, interactive experience where you play winemaker and even get to take home a 750ml bottle of your own creation!
2pm Coriole- Chaffeys Rd, McLaren Vale, SA. Lunch and tasting at The Coriole Restaurant. It is housed in the rustic courtyard complete with a fireplace and the enclosed Veranda with views across the McLaren Vale region, a stunning spot. Lunch is available Friday-Monday and we highly recommend booking.
5 HOUR ITINERARY
11am Maxwell- Corner of Olivers & Chalk Hill Roads, McLaren Vale, SA. Visit the cellar door for wine tasting and then lose yourself in the winery’s own maze!
12pm Chapel Hill– Corner Chapel Hill & Chaffey’s Road, McLaren Vale, SA.Chapel Hill owns and operates 44 hectares of vineyards and purchases fruit from a select group of McLaren Vale vignerons. Their craft wines display a purity in regards to varietal and vineyard site characters.
1pm Samuel’s Gorge– Lot 10 Chaffeys Road, McLaren Vale, SA. Right next door to Chapel Hill so no travel time at all. Samuel’s Gorge is a boutique winery specialising in Shiraz, Grenache, Tempranillo and their new to the family, Mourvedre.
2pm Top it all off with a long lunch or even degustation at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant at d’Arenberg.
6 HOUR ITINERARY
If you have 6 hours, or a whole day lets say, to spare we suggest combining some (or all) of the aforementioned cellar doors (Alpha Box & Dice, S.C Panell, Samuels Gorge, Maxwell, Chapel Hill, Coriole and Oliver’s Taranga) with a masterclass and degustation at 1pm d’Arenberg on d’Arry’s Verandah. The masterclasses means you can enjoy d’Arenberg’s internationally awarded wines in a private setting. Hosted in the historic stables built built circa 1880, you will learn about the age old winemaking techniques that d’Arenberg still use today, such as foot treading and basket pressing. Then indulge your tastebuds with an eight course degustation in d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant, overlooking the rolling hills of McLaren Vale. The perfect experience.