Take yourself out of the city and onto the winding roads that will lead you to some of the most sensational wine South Australia has to offer. A wine tour of South Australia gives you the chance to meet the makers and sample the best of their wine, experiencing all the secrets and sensations of this magical region.
Here, we explore a number of South Australia’s finest wine producing regions — two of which you can visit directly as part of a luxury escorted tour with Scenic.
Located just 20 minutes’ drive from the city, the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills region is home to almost 90 wineries that make wine using various different grapes including Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You’ll find some exceptional sparkling wines here and some of the best Sauvignon Blanc that Australia has to offer.
This region is one of the most beautiful and diverse in Australia, boasting rolling hills with an elevation of 450 to 550 metres and idyllic views that will take your breath away.
As you venture through the welcoming villages, you’ll discover both well-known names such as Johnston Oakbank Cellars and smaller, more exclusive wineries such as Barristers Block. Sample from the diverse range of show stopping wines or try one of the 14 fine full-flavoured cordials, a tradition for over 100 years.
Aside from the stunning wine that this area produces, it is known for its local artisans who produce a range of culinary delights, from fine cheeses to gourmet chocolates and many other delicious delicacies. A visit to Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement, is also a must where you’ll enjoy boutique stores and quaint cafés offering sumptuous wares.
The legendary Barossa Valley is synonymous with award-winning wine and attracts thousands of visitors a year, all looking to sample the decadence of this fine wine growing area. The Barossa valley has a warm climate and picturesque scenery, while the historical villages and friendly locals make this region the perfect destination for those looking to indulge their senses.
This area is well known for its big bold reds – Shiraz in particular – but you’ll also find white varieties including Chardonnay and Semillon thriving here.
Barossa Valley is home to more than 150 wineries which include the well-known brand Jacob’s Creek. Here you can taste the wine straight from the vineyard while sampling sensational local produce. The Jacob’s Creek Winery has its own kitchen garden – take lunch there and enjoy fresh handpicked food designed to beautifully complement its reputable wines. Afterwards take a stroll along the banks of the creek, keeping an eye out for the native wildlife.
Other notable vineyards in the Barossa region include Barossa Valley Estate, Greenock Creek, St Hallett, Wolf Blass and Yalumba.
Bordering the Barossa valley, Eden Valley’s sensational wines deserve special attention. This area has a cooler climate with an elevation of 450 metres and is known for producing world famous Riesling. Other noteworthy varieties here include Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabinet Sauvignon.
The vine-covered rolling hills in this region are home to a diverse number of small, unique wineries. This region’s wines are sometimes called the middle palate of Australia, due to their soft full-flavoured character.
You’ll find this area has a warmer Mediterranean style climate thanks to the St. Vincent's Gulf close by. With an elevation of between 50 and 200 metres, it is home to over a hundred wineries that use a wide variety of grapes – Shiraz, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay amongst others – to produce a diverse range of wines. The variety results from the differences in climate and soil type throughout the region.
Well-known names here include Hardy's and Rosemount Estate McLaren Vale.
This warm to hot region with an elevation of 130 to 180 metres is the third largest of all the grape growing regions in South Australia. Here, you’ll find superb Cabernet and Shiraz, often blended. You’ll also find good Merlot and Chardonnay that should be sampled. Visit the Bleasdale and Lake Breeze vineries if you have time.
The Clare Valley has a varied climate and soil which allows a range of different grapes to thrive here. Riesling is the best offering here, and the wines produce are of a world class standard. You’ll also find excellent Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Grosset, Knappstein, Jim Barry and Wendouree wineries are recommended.
With its cool climate and an elevation of just 50m, Padthaway was established as a wine grape growing region in the sixties. Since then, it has gradually gained recognition as a cool-climate area that produces premium quality red and white wines. Top grapes here include Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabinet Sauvignon. The area is around three hours’ drive from Adelaide so less frequented than some of the closer regions, but includes some exceptional wineries such as Morambro Creek, Stonehaven and Padthaway Estate.
Another cool climate region with an elevation of 60 metres, visit Coonawarra if Cabernet is amongst your favourites. Here, the terra rossa (red clay) soils coupled with the maritime climate and dry, cool summers make for excellent wines that also include Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz. You’ll find a good number of wineries here that you’ll want to visit, including Katnook Estate, Penley Estate and Rymill Coonawarra.
You can browse all of our Australian Escorted Tours here, including Tastes of South Australia which takes in the vineyards of Clare Valley and Adelaide, wine capital of Australia.