The Best Wineries in McLaren Vale
Pristine ocean views, exceptional wine blends, an abundance of new varieties… what’s not to love about the birthplace of the SA wine industry? Take a tour of the best McLaren Vale wineries and cellar doors for 2019 with this guide from Wine Selectors.
Home to some of the world’s oldest grapevines and with over 80 cellar doors and vineyards accessible just 45 minutes from Adelaide, McLaren Vale is a wine-lovers dream. Nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the beaches of Gulf St Vincent, this region is the gateway to the stunning Fleury Peninsula, evocative of the stunning coastline around Lisbon, Portugal.
This warm, Mediterranean-style climate and proximity to the sea goes a long way to explaining the fantastic range of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese varieties on offer throughout the region. Alongside the deservedly celebrated Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Vermentino, Fiano and Touriga Nacional varieties on offer, a sense of adventurism abounds in the countless alternative varieties and superior red wine blends coming from the region, with something new to discover at every winery and cellar door.
Trent Mannell, Wine Selector’s Tasting Panellist and Wine Show Judge is effusive in his love for McLaren Vale region. “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.”
Read on for Wine Selector’s picks for the best McLaren Vale wineries and cellar doors for 2019, and discover more about the wines you can explore in our McLaren Vale region guide.
The Best McLaren Vale Wineries
Hither & Yon
Built from the soil up and lovingly curated by a truly invested team, Hither & Yon celebrates not just the rolling nature of the region, but the easy-going nature of the Brothers Leask and this family-and-friend run business. Their cellar door – originally an 1860s Willunga butcher’s shop – retains its local slate flooring and limestone walls, yet has been refreshed to reflect the artisanal vibe of a vine to table sensibility. With wine tastings, cheese platters, and a fireplace to kick back and savour a fine Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Blanc or Nero D’Avola (among others), Hither & Yon emphasises sustainable grape-growing that celebrates the geography and maritime influence of McLaren Vale.
17 High St, Willunga
Open Daily 11 am to 4 pm
Visit the Hither & Yon website
The Shottesbrooke story actually begins just outside the South Australian hamlet of Myponga, with the quality fruit produced by founder Nick Holmes. A new era for the label began when he purchased a McLaren Flat property, where the Shottesbrooke winery and cellar door were built and some of McLaren Vale’s most exciting wines were brought to life. Nestled amongst the company vineyards with magnificent view to the surrounding Mount Lofty Ranges, the cellar door offers a diverse range of excellent wines made at the winery right next door, presented by a passionate and experienced staff. You can make a day of it with an all-inclusive full-day tour, and take a journey into the heart of the winemaker’s craft; or, stroll through the estate vineyards for a three-course lunch prepared by the award-winning chefs at The Currant Shed, best enjoyed alongside a hand selected range of matched Shottesbrooke wines.
101 Bagshaws Road, McLaren Flat
Open Daily 10 am to 4.30 pm, Sat – Sun 11 am to 5 pm
Visit the Shottesbrooke website
d’Arenberg is a McLaren Vale institution with d’Arry Osborn and his son Chester, Chief Winemaker, renowned for their fantastic Shiraz and Grenache. Formerly housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century homestead, the d’Arenberg cellar door has now soared into a bold new era with the daring d’Arenberg Cube, a multi-venue experience that is home to masterclasses, à la carte or degustation dining, as well as a contemporary art museum. You can even play winemaker for the day, blending and bottling your own wine. And, of course, you can also explore an extensive range of quality wines, guided by their always entertaining cellar door staff. Learn more about The Cube in our interview with Chester, and explore The d’Arenberg Experience at their website.
Osborn Rd, McLaren Vale
Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Visit the d’Arenberg website
BATTLE OF BOSWORTH
Want to learn how organic wines are cultivated? Then make sure to stop by this charming cellar door and sample the wares of boutique winemaker Joch Bosworth, who took the reins of the family business back in 1995 and drove a return to the old ways. Such pride in tradition is suitably reflected in quality examples of Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional. Located just outside the historic township of Willunga, the cellar door occupies a restored 1850s stable with views over the vineyards and west to St Vincent.
92 Gaffney Rd, Willunga
Open Daily 11 am to 5 pm
Visit the Battle of Bosworth website
HUGH HAMILTON WINES
A sweeping, 270-degree view of one of McLaren Vale’s signature vineyards awaits you at the Hugh Hamilton Wines cellar door, a must-stop for anyone visiting the region. Recognised as Australia’s oldest wine family, the passion and knowledge of the cellar door staff is on clear display and the range on offer is exceptional with everything from a classic Shiraz through to the exciting new blends and alternative varieties the region is so rightfully famous for. Our tip? Book a hosted wine and cheese flight of their single vineyard wines for a trip you’ll always savour.
94 McMurtrie Rd, McLaren Vale
Open Daily 11 am to 5 pm
Visit the Hugh Hamilton website
Gemtree Wines operates on a simple philosophy – minimal intervention in the winemaking process, and a more eco-conscious farming system. The result is a range of wines which are powerful, concentrated, and expressive of the true characteristics of each grape variety and the region. The relaxed and unassuming outlook created by husband and wife duo Mike and Melissa permeates every aspect of the cellar door experience, which features views all the way to the sea from their outdoor verandah. Sample their fantastic wines while learning more about organic and biodynamic farming practices, and make sure you take the time to explore the 10-hectare wetland eco-trail while you’re there.
167 Elliott Rd, McLaren Flat
Open Daily 11 am to 5 pm
Visit the Gemtree website
LECONFIELD & RICHARD HAMILTON WINES
Looking for the perfect place to sample Richard Hamilton’s Estate, Single Vineyard Reserve and select Leconfield wines? Then set a course for Leconfield cellar door, where you can appreciate the natural qualities imparted by the family-owned vineyards in McLaren Vale as well as the vines surrounding the cellar door itself. With its sweeping lawns and verandahs plus generous platters of local regional food on offer, Leconfield will delight the senses. Find out more about Chief Winemaker Paul Gordon’s process in our Wine Selectors Q&A.
439 Main Rd, McLaren Vale
Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Visit the Leconfield & Richard Hamilton Wines website
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, making it the perfect place to position yourself for a weekend getaway… the better to enjoy Serafino’s 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
Open Daily 10 am to 4:30 pm
Visit the Serafino website
Contained within an original 1850s stone worker’s cottage built by the first generation of the Oliver family, Oliver’s Taranga cellar door retains both an authentic charm and a deserved reputation for exceptional wines. In addition to its excellent range of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon you’ll also find small batch wonders like Fiano, Grenache, Mencia and Sagrantino to delight the palate. Planning a visit? Be sure to check their events page before you go, as the venue hosts many unique food and wine events to enjoy, including monthly Porchetta Parties, Twilight Pizza events, and even pop-up happenings in Adelaide.
246 Seaview Rd, McLaren Vale
Open Daily 10 am to 4 pm
Visit the Oliver’s Taranga website
Set within sight of the sea amidst the undulating McLaren Vale hills, this small boutique cellar door can be found in an old 1860s ironstone barn, surrounded by the Coriole Estate vineyards which are celebrating their 50th birthday this year. Famous for its pioneering efforts in introducing alternative varieties to the region – most notably Sangiovese in 1985 and the first Australian Fiano in 2005 – Coriole’s range has an impressive diversity that includes Sangiovese, Barbera, Picpoul, Nero d’Avola, Fiano, as well as exquisite examples of the classic Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. If you’re lucky, you may even get to sample a rare single vineyard Shiraz, or perhaps a Mourvedre. It’s only a small cellar door so if you’re travelling in a group of eight or more you will need to book.
Chaffeys Rd, McLaren Vale
Mon – Fri 10 am to 5 pm, Sat – Sun 11 am to 5 pm
Visit the Coriole website
This charming winery, set on the stunning grounds of the historic Ingleburn property, is the perfect place to stop for a long lunch during your travels through McLaren Vale. Two Forks recipient Chef Tom Boden has crafted a menu celebrating the artisan food producers of the region at the Kitchen Door Restaurant, presenting classic meals prepared in contemporary style. After your meal, wander through the Red Dot Gallery or soak up the farm yard atmosphere and chat with the chooks. The talents of celebrated Winemaker Alexia Roberts, winner of 2016’s World’s Best Cabernet at the Concours International des Cabernets in France, are on fine display with elegant, fruit-driven, single-vineyard estate-grown wines that display the very best qualities of McLaren Vale wines.
281 Main Rd, McLaren Vale
Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Visit the Penny’s Hill website
Before visiting McLaren Vale, be sure to check out the official McLaren Vale region website or stop by the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre in the centre of town. Or, if you’d like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide prior to setting out, explore our wide selection of McLaren Vale wines and learn 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, and explore more great wine regions with our Wine Selector’s Cellar Door Guides. Enjoy!