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Wine

The Best McLaren Vale Wineries and Cellar Doors

Exceptional wine blends, new varieties, and ocean views abound as we present the best McLaren Vale wineries and cellar doors with this guide and interactive map

McLaren Vale is a dream to visit, with exceptional wines, regional produce and beautiful scenery nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the beaches of Gulf St Vincent. The region is the gateway to the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula, which looks remarkably like much of the coastline around Lisbon in Portugal. It’s this warm, Mediterranean-style climate and proximity to the sea that explains the fantastic range of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese varieties on offer throughout the region. Expect to see TempranilloSangiovese, Touriga Nacional, Vermentino, Zinfandel, Fiano, Touriga and countless other alternative varieties on offer. There is clearly no fear of experimentation in McLaren Vale, which is evident in their superior Red Wine blends and a real sense of passion and something new evident at every winery and cellar door. You can find out more about the wines on offer in our McLaren Vale region guide.

Wine Selectors’ Tasting Panellist and Wine Show Judge, Trent Mannell is a big fan of McLaren Vale: "It's a region where the vines meet the sea, so it has a unique coastal vibe and the wines reflect the influence of the maritime climate. The cellar doors are so peaceful; it’s the most tranquil wine region I know.”

The Best McLaren Vale Wineries

Hugh Hamilton Wines

The Hugh Hamilton Wines cellar door is not to be missed during your next McLaren Vale visit. The unique setting, perched above the vines with near 270 degree views is remarkable, as is the passion for wine on show by the cellar door staff. There is a great range of wines available for tasting from their classic Shiraz through to the eclectic blends and new alternative varieties for which McLaren Vale is so famous. We recommend booking for one of the great hosted wine and cheese flights of their single vineyard wines.

94 McMurtrie Rd, McLaren Vale – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 11 am to 5 pm

Visit the Hugh Hamilton website

Battle of Bosworth

This charming boutique cellar door is a must visit in the region, particularly so if you are curious about learning about organic wines. Winemaker Joch Bosworth took the reins for the family business in 1995 and began the conversion to organic practices. There is a real pride in doing things the old-fashioned way, which comes through in the fantastic examples of Touriga Nacional, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The cellar door is located just outside historic Willunga, in their restored 1850s stables, with views over the vineyards and west to St Vincent.

92 Gaffney Rd, Willunga – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 11 am to 5 pm

Visit the Battle of Bosworth website

D’Arenberg

d’Arenberg is an institution in McLaren Vale, with d’Arry Osborn and his chief winemaker son, Chester renowned for their fantastic Shiraz and Grenache. For now, the d’Arenberg cellar door is housed in their beautifully restored 19th-century homestead. In this charming setting, you can enjoy an extensive range of great wines, guided by their always entertaining cellar door staff. But not for long, soon the daring and ambitious ‘d’Arenberg Cube' will be complete. At the moment, it is more of a sight to behold, than the multi-venue cellar door it will become. But, if you’d like to keep an eye on its progress, you can watch one of their regular construction time-lapses. Find out more about The Cube and d’Arenberg in our interview with Chester here.

Osborn Rd, McLaren Vale – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the d’Arenberg website

Gemtree Wines

Husband and wife , Mike and Melissa run Gemtree Wines with a simple philosophy – minimal intervention in the winemaking process and a more environmentally conscious farming system to produce wines which are powerful, concentrated, and expressive of the true characteristics of each grape variety and the region. This relaxed and simple outlook translates through to the cellar door experience on their outdoor verandah with views all the way to the sea. Here you learn more about organic and biodynamic farming practices while sampling their fantastic wines, or get adventurous and explore the 10 hectare wetland eco-trail.

167 Elliott Rd, McLaren Flat – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Gemtree website

Leconfield Wines

Nestled amongst the vineyards with magnificent views to the Willunga escarpment, the Leconfield cellar door is the perfect place to sample Richard Hamilton’s Estate, Single Vineyard Reserve, and select Leconfield wines. With family owned vineyards in McLaren Vale, as well as the lovely vines surrounding their McLaren Vale cellar door, you are able to sample and appreciate the difference that the natural environment has on the wines. You can find out more about Chief Winemaker, Paul Gordon’s process in our recent Q&A. With platters of local regional food on offer and sweeping lawns and verandahs, the Leconfield cellar door is a delightful stop during any visit to the area.

439 Main Rd, McLaren Vale – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Leconfield website

Mr Riggs at the General Wine Bar

Part restaurant, part cellar door, this McLaren Vale institution is a collaboration with Zonte’s Footstep, another noted McLaren Vale winery. It is the perfect place to stop for lunch or Friday night dinner. There are fantastic wine flights on offer in which spectacular Mediterranean varieties, Shiraz, and whites are matched with morsels of contrasting and complementary dishes from Chef Ben Sommariva. Winemaker Ben Riggs is able to use his extensive contacts with growers to cherry pick fruit from McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, and other premium South Australian sites. This, combined with Ben's considerable European experience, is evident in every wine available for tasting.

55a Main Rd, McLaren Flat – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily Sat-Thur 10 am to 5 pm, Fri 10 am to late

Visit the Mr. Riggs website

Oliver's Taranga

This fantastic McLaren Vale cellar door is contained within a charming original 1850s stone workers cottage, built by the first generation of the Oliver family. There is a great range of exceptional Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as small batch Fiano, Grenache, Mencia, and Sagrantino. Before you visit McLaren Vale, be sure to check their events page, as they host many novel wine and food events such as their monthly Porchetta Parties and Twilight Pizza events through to pop-up events in Adelaide.

246 Seaview Rd, McLaren Vale – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 4 pm

Visit the Oliver’s Taranga website

Coriole

Coriole is situated in the undulating hills of McLaren Vale, within sight of the sea. The small and boutique cellar door is found in the old ironstone barn built in 1860 and is surrounded by the Estate vineyards.  Coriole is famous for pioneering alternative varieties in the region, namely Sangiovese in 1985 and the release of Australia's first Fiano in 2005. Their diverse range includes Sangiovese, Barbera,, Fiano, Picpoul, Nero d’Avola through to exquisite examples of the classic varieties, Shiraz and Cab Sav.

Chaffeys Rd, McLaren Vale - view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Mon – Fri 10 am to 5 pm, Sat – Sun 11 am to 5 pm

Visit the Coriole website

Penny's Hill

Set on the historic Ingleburn property and its stunning grounds, this charming winery is the perfect place to stop for lunch during your travels through McLaren Vale. Indulge in the Kitchen Door Restaurant before wandering through the Red Dot Gallery or visiting the farmyard animals. Winemaker Alexia Roberts has picked up a swag of wine show wins recently, including the World’s Best Cabernet at the Concours International des Cabernets in France, as well as Best Australian Red in Show at Mundus Vini Germany for the past two years running. This talent is very obvious in the premium wines available for tasting.

281 Main Rd, McLaren Vale – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Penny’s Hill website

Serafino

Steve (Serafino) Maglieri arrived in Adelaide in 1964 as a teenager from Italy with little more than a passionate dream to make great wine. After many highs and a few lows in the wine industry, eventually the Serafino label emerged and the Maglieri family was able to craft their own piece of paradise amongst the gumtrees of their McLaren Vale winery. The warm, friendly and familiar ethos of Serafino is evident in the cellar door, charming restaurant, and four-star accommodation. As such, it is the perfect place to base yourself during a weekend getaway. There is a great range of Italian and alternative varieties such as the Bellissimo series of Vermentino, Fiano and Montepulciano through to reserve Grenache and Shiraz.

Kangarilla Rd, McLaren Vale – view on our McLaren Vale winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 4:30 pm

Visit the Serafino website

Mclaren Vale Winery Map

 Planning a trip to McLaren Vale? Download our interactive McLaren Vale winery map. To save on your browser or device, click here

For more information on visiting McLaren Vale, be sure to visit the official McLaren Vale region website or stop by the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre in the centre of town. But, if you’d like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our wide selection of McLaren Vale wines and find out more about the wineries listed here in our Meet the Makers section.

With the Wine Selectors Regional Release program, you'll experience a different wine region each release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel, plus you’ll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our Regular Deliveries page to find out more! 

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Mudgee - nest in the hills
Words by Keren Lavelle on 12 Sep 2016
There’s a zest for life, a sense of passion and purpose, among the winemakers, restaurateurs and providores of this Central Western NSW region. Friday night, with the sun setting and the moon rising, is a fine time to arrive at Lowe Wines, high on a hill-rise, with its vista of vines and cerulean blue hills beyond. There’s time enough for a quick catch-up with the very busy winemaker David Lowe, just before hundreds of guests are seated at tables in his winery for dinner and a show. Lowe is a sixth-generation descendant of the first Lowes to take up farming on this property, and he’s a passionate convert to organic, indeed biodynamic, farming measures. "When I took over, the soils here were completely degraded, needing drastic repair, and biodynamics seemed the fastest and best way to fix them,” Lowe says. Biodynamic farming techniques involve burying cow horns with a mixture of fermented manure, minerals and herbs at specific phases in the lunar cycle ‘to harmonise the vital life forces of the farm’, as one authority explains it. While it’s based on belief more than theory, it’s certainly working here. David is famous for his premium, certified organic wines; some made without any preservatives, notably a Shiraz , demand for which is high. Adjacent to the winery is The Zin House, Mudgee’s only restaurant with a SMH Good Food Guide chef’s hat. Chef Kim Curry is David Lowe’s partner, so naturally, flights of Lowe Wines accompany her degustation menus, which are inspired by what’s fresh and in season – 60 to 70 per cent of the ingredients are sourced locally, many of them grown here on the farm. PALPABLE PASSION There is a long tradition of organic winemaking in Mudgee , starting with Australia’s first organic vineyard, Botobolar in 1971. At Vinifera Wines, the McKendry family is celebrating having achieved organic certification for their wines. After Tony and Debbie McKendry recognised climatic similarities between Mudgee and Spain’s Rioja region, they embarked on Spanish varieties like Tempranillo, Graciano and Gran Tinto – all of which have been very popular – however, it’s their Chardonnay that leaves me smitten. The passion emanating from the winemakers – indeed, from all the Mudgee producers – is palpable. They care deeply about quality, and are continually improvising and experimenting to improve quality and variety. The other striking feature is how collaborative they are – they share advice and ideas, and as winemaker Peter Logan tells me, they have fun together – the winemakers field their own indoor soccer team in a local comp. A STUNNING OUTLOOK With over 40 cellar doors in the fairly compact Mudgee wine region, there’s a lot of choice. There’s also plenty to please the eye, like the stunning tasting room and deck at Logan Wines with its sweeping view of Apple Tree Flat and its surrounding pyramidal hills. Peter Logan, celebrating his 20th vintage, is happy to show off his latest range called Ridge of Tears, two very different styles of Shiraz. Each is made from low-yield fruit and treated much the same, but ‘terroir’ is the variable – one comes from Logan’s Orange basalt-based vineyard, the other from Mudgee’s more loamy soils. The terrace at Moothi Estate has another gorgeous view, especially at sunset. ‘Moothi’ is another version of ‘Mudgee’, meaning ‘nest in the hills’ in the Wiradjuri language, extremely apt for this beautiful place. Jessica and Jason Chrcek now run Moothi Estate vineyard, which her parents started. At their cellar door, they serve award-winning platters of cheese, pickles and smallgoods – the lamb pastrami is a great discovery. At another family enterprise, the Robert Stein Vineyard and Winery, the multitalented, third-generation winemaker Jacob Stein (playing striker in the winemakers’ soccer team), also has responsibility for looking after the ‘old world’ varieties of pig that graze on the property. His brother-in-law, chef Andy Crestani, roasts the resulting free-range pork at the winery’s restaurant Pipeclay Pumphouse, and it appears as one of the dishes in the dinner degustation. (I’m keen to come back for breakfast to try the bacon and egg gnocchi with truffle oil.) Just about every cellar door will serve you High Valley Wine & Cheese Factory’s handmade soft cheeses, and they return the complement by serving local wines in their tasting room. The couple behind High Valley, Ro and Grovenor Francis, are no slouches. They already had 40 years of farming experience, and 20 years of viticulture behind them before venturing into dairy manufacture. The walls of their tasting room are plastered with the awards their wines and cheeses have won. ALL AGES ADVENTURES I discover local passion isn’t confined to producers when I meet ‘mine host’ of Mudgee’s Getaway Cottages, Elizabeth Etherington, a former mayor of Mudgee. These six holiday dwellings appear to be houses on an ordinary street a few minutes’ walk from the centre of town, but you soon discover that they all back onto a 3.64-hectare farm-stay wonderland on the banks of the Cudgegong River. “I’m a baby boomer,” Etherington explains, “and I grew up with plenty of space to play and roam, and with innocent freedom to explore. When I created Getaway Cottages, I had in mind to provide for today’s children the joy of nature, which many seem to miss out on.” To this end, Elizabeth Etherington has created a kids’ paradise, complete with an ostrich, a donkey, rabbits, flourishing vegetable gardens to raid for dinner, and plenty of toys and activities, including, for the big kids, a chip’n’putt golf course. In conversation, it transpires that Etherington is a producer as well, of the Orchy brand of fruit juices, which is a “100% Australian family-owned business since 1876.” Mudgee’s food manufacturing history goes way back. In town, Roth’s Wine Bar, holding the oldest wine bar licence in NSW, is the place to try (and buy) almost all of the district’s wines (due to the peculiarities of the ancient licence, you are also permitted to take away). Here you can dig into pizza, listen to live music, and try Roth’s special in-house drinks, such as the ‘1080’ (named after a poison bait) and ‘Diesel’. Before being licensed in 1923, when Roth’s was a general store, these were code names for the sly grog chalked up on farmers’ accounts. Also possessing a fine cellar, the recently renovated Oriental Hotel offers an elevated dining/drinking experience (and city views) on its second-storey deck, while at the nearby Wineglass Bar and Grill, owner and chef Scott Tracey serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (and provides chic boutique accommodation) in a restored 1850s former hostelry for mail coaches. BEER AND BITES It’s not all about the wine (and food), however, there are very fine craft beers to be sampled at the Mudgee Brewing Company (another live music venue), housed in a historic wool store; and adjacent to Vinifera Wines there’s Baker Williams Distillery, where distillers Nathan Williams and Helen Baker are having a lot of fun coming up with proof concoctions – butterscotch schnapps, anyone? Good coffee can also be found – at the Wineglass, you can buy the four-shot ‘bucket’, ideal for coping with a bad hangover. One of the most popular breakfast spots in town is the leafy courtyard café at Albie + Esthers, which transforms into a wine bar at night (of course). Tea is not neglected either – exotic varieties (and fresh handmade dumplings) feature on the menu of the delightful 29 nine 99 Yum Cha and Tea House at nearby Rylestone; it’s well worth stopping here for refreshments if you are making the 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Sydney. There’s lots more to explore – the old gold-mining township of Gulgong, the racehorses of Goree Park, the fine streets and shops of Mudgee itself, and more wineries – but when you eventually have to leave, FlyPelican can make light work of the trip with a 50 minute flight to Sydney. (Speaking of ‘light’, and speaking from experience, the aircraft’s 23kg luggage limit means it may be best to freight your wine purchases beforehand.) It’s good to know, however, that whenever you pine for a taste of more Mudgee magic, it can be quick and easy to return.
Wine
Five Of The Best Rutherglen Wineries and Cellar Doors
Explore world-renowned wines and enjoy great country hospitality as we present the best Rutherglen wineries and cellar doors with this guide and interactive map . Forged out of the fortunes of the gold rush era,  Rutherglen   is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia and that history is on display everywhere. From the historic corrugated iron sheds housing dusty barrels of world-class fortified wines, to the old hand-tended vines that have lived through world wars, drought and pests, the whole region embodies the quintessential pioneering Australian spirit. Rutherglen is arguably the unrivalled king of Australian fortified wines, but there is also a great variety of robust reds and crisp dry whites.  Durif   is the region's speciality red wine. It's full-bodied with dark fruit and cola characters and high levels of alcohol and tannin, but there is also a great abundance of Pinot Noir, Gamay, Shiraz and alternative varietals on offer. To help plan your trip, we've selected a collection of Rutherglen wineries we feel provide the best cellar door experience, plus we've included a handy interactive map down below . Rutherglen Cellar Doors List Stanton & Killeen
The charming Stanton & Killeen winery is set amongst established gums and rolling pasture with beautifully landscaped grounds and rustic iron sheds. For over 141 years, this Rutherglen icon has produced full-bodied, robust reds, crisp white wines and luscious Muscats, Topaque and vintage fortifieds and there is a great range available to sample during your tasting. Their fortified tasting flights are outstanding, allowing you to sample different categories of Muscat and Topaque to learn more about the process, the importance of ageing, blending and the difference between each method and variety. The historic bond room, originally added for storing spirit, and the original cement vats and fermenters give a snapshot of what winemaking practices were like at the turn of the century. 440 Jacks Road, Rutherglen -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Stanton & Killeen website Rutherglen Estates
  Rutherglen Estates  is proving to the world that Rutherglen can produce world class white wines in addition to the region's renowned fortified and red wines. There is a great range of traditional, Mediterranean and alternative varietals on offer from Viognier, Marsanne, Fiano, Savagnin and Roussanne through to Shiraz, Sangiovese and Durif. Located on the edge of the town in the Tuileries complex, Rutherglen Estates is the perfect place to base your stay in the region. There is a fantastic newly renovated cellar door, a unique Aboriginal art gallery as well as  boutique accommodation overlooking the vines  , a quality café, bar and a great restaurant. And you're just a stone's throw away from Rutherglen's Main Street to explore more after dark. Tuileries Complex, 13-35 Drummond Street, Rutherglen -  view on our map Open daily 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Visit the Rutherglen Estates website Pfeiffer Wines
This charming winery is set inside a historic old distillery complex by the bank of the Sunday Creek. The father and daughter winemaking team of Chris and Jen Pfeiffer produce a world class range of wines that has garnered over 50 trophies and 350 medals from wines shows around the globe. After sampling the full range in the tasting room, you can then relax outside under an umbrella on the century-old Sunday Creek Bridge. With a glass of their world-renowned  Pfeiffer Wines fortified  or aromatic Gamay, you can try to catch a glimpse of a platypus in the creek below. Distillery Rd, Wahgunyah -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Pfeiffer Wines website Cofield Wines
The Cofield family have been an integral part of the Rutherglen winemaking community since Frank Cofield first tendered to the St Leonards vineyards in 1909. Today, that family passion for wine lives on with third generation Damien at the helm of their wines with premium fruit sourced from Rutherglen, the King Valley, Alpine Valley and Beechworth. Cofield is a great choice when travelling with the family with lovely grounds, free BBQ facilities and outdoor games, bean bags, chess and totem tennis. And does spending the night under the stars with a glass of wine beside the vineyard where the grapes in that wine were grown sound like your ideal weekend escape? If so, then you're in luck, as you can camp beside the Cofield vines thanks to Grape Vine Glamping. Distillery Rd, Wahgunyah -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Cofield Wines website Campbells Wines
For over 145 years and five generations, the Campbells family have produced iconic, full flavoured Rutherglen reds and elegant Rutherglen Port, Muscat and Topaque. That heritage is on display as you walk along the 'muscat mews' lined with century-old barrels of ageing fortified wines in their cellars. There is a great range of emerging varietals, Rutherglen stalwarts such as Shiraz and Durif through to their renowned sweets and stickies to taste accompanied by local cheese and olives. Make sure to book ahead for a private tour and tasting or reserve a hamper filled with delicious regional treats to enjoy on the lawns beside the vines. 4603 Murray Valley Hwy, Rutherglen -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Campbells Wines website RUTHERGLEN WINERY MAP Planning a trip to Rutherglen? Download our interactive Rutherglen winery map. To save on your browser or device,  click here For more information on visiting Rutherglen, be sure to visit the official  explore Rutherglen website  or stop by the visitor information centre in the middle of town. But, if you'd like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our selection of Rutherglen wines and find out more about the wineries listed here in our  Meet the Makers section  . And, with the  Wine Selectors Regional Release program , you'll experience a different wine region each Release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel, plus you'll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our  Regular Deliveries  page to find out more!
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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