What could be nicer than a summer day trip to the cool of the Adelaide Hills to explore some of the region's excellent wineries?
Happy holidays: 20 wineries to visit in the Adelaide Hills
After sixteen vintages, Darren and Lucy Golding have cemented their Golding Wines property as one of the most idyllic locations in the Lenswood appellation. The Goldings’ cellar door offers a casual outdoor setting and garden, with cheese platters available daily, and a rotating lunch menu from Friday to Sunday, with produce fresh from the family’s garden. The spot comes alive as a popular choice for weddings and festivals and now includes the intimate Nido Experience, with a private tasting nest and grazing lunch on offer in their Western Branch Vineyard.
While weaving through Lenswood’s peaks, stop at Anderson Hill for a relaxed cellar door, with fires and gumboots in winter and umbrellas and mountain bikes in summer. With the resident dogs Ruby and Rico, it’s like stepping into someone’s backyard to wile the afternoon away.
Pike & Joyce
With one of the most idyllic panoramas in the Hills, Pike & Joyce’s new head chef Matt Kinghorn has taken the helm and embraced a fresh menu that changes monthly. The cellar door has found its established rhythm as a popular stop-over for wine tours while also catering for weddings and festivals in the area.
With the elevated altitude and cool climate of the Adelaide Hills, Nepenthe produce faithful wine varietals with the subtle nuances of their homegrown vines. Open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, the cellar door offers tastings of the full range of wines, including emerging varietals of gruner veltliner, arneis and zinfandel as well as varieties from their vault, for individuals and groups up to 25. Local charcuterie, cheese boards and picnic blankets are available for a lunch spot to soak up the view.
Ashton Hills Vineyard
Some of the best pinot noirs of the region are now on show with Ashton Hills Vineyard’s Pinot Tour, diving into the classic red variety over a tasting plate, accompanied by a two-course lunch at Stanley Bridge Tavern. The Martini Club is their wine club for lovers of boutique pinot noir, ensuring an allocation of the yearly wines, discounts and exclusive pre-release tastings and tours.
The Lane Vineyard
From intimate dining to twilight masterclasses, the Lane Vineyard calls for visitors to relax and appreciate a slower experience. Dipping into their long lunches and “make your own blend” classes gives an indulgent insight into their passion.
K1 by Geoff Hardy
Take in a lakeside tasting at K1 by Geoff Hardy in his second cellar door, tucked away in Kuitpo Forest. As the fifth generation of the Hardy wine family, Geoff has continued to make his own way in the industry since 1987, pushing the boundaries of cool climate wines.
Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard
As well as producing cool-climate wines, Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard at Lenswood is home to a cellar door with stunning views and a produce-driven lunch menu. The steep vineyard is home to 19,000 vines and produces cool climate premium wines with minimal intervention, all hand pruned and hand-picked. The restaurant and cellar door is open every day, with a gum tree-shaded lawn area and three-tiered timber deck.
Ten Miles East
A small artisan winery tucked in Norton Summit Valley, Ten Miles East use only estate-grown fruit to produce six limited batches of minimal intervention fine wines. Owners and winemakers James and Taiita Champniss fell in love with the European way of winemaking while travelling and still run the estate, splitting time between a UK home. Taiita’s family bought the property in the early 2000s and established vines, before the couple took over in 2013 and opened the cellar door last year.
The family-owned Longview is built from a single vineyard just outside Macclesfield, with undulating hills offering a destination beyond the label itself. With on-site accommodation, the vineyard also regularly hosts weddings and special events, and has recently revealed a tasting room and eatery. Try the wines at the cellar door or Della Casa Sunday lunches, and stop by for the annual street art festival The Piece Project during Crush Festival, which has brought local street artists to paint the walls for the past seven years.
Hahndorf Hill Winery
Embracing the Bavarian heritage of the region, Hahndorf Hill Winery specialises in Austrian-variety wines, including the gruner veltliner, blaufrankisch and zweigelt, balanced with the cool climate classics of pinot grigio and rosé. Its cosy cellar door also offers ChocoVino, a chocolate and wine matching experience.
Hidden among the Gumeracha hills in a 1920s cold store is the home of Unico Zelo and Applewood Distillery. The project of winemaking couple Brendan and Laura Carter, Unico Zelo seeks to create Mediterranean varietals in a very Aussie, approachable fashion. At their cellar door, experience the inner workings of an operating distillery and winery and enjoy handcrafted cocktails, Unico Zelo and Harvest Wines, wine and spirit flights, and bar nibbles.
Tapanappa Wines’ Tiers vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley is celebrating its 40th year, after being planted by Brian Croser in 1979 at the forefront of modern winemaking in the Adelaide Hills. A newly introduced food offering makes the most of the deck among the vines at the Tiers vineyard, accompanied with a glass of wine and local produce by Section 28 and Birky Fine Foods. Cellar Door open Thursday to Monday, 11am to 4pm.
Bird in Hand
Bird in Hand is a renowned pit-stop for Hills visitors, home to fine wines, a farm-to-table restaurant and sipping cellar. The winery continues to collaborate with artists of many mediums, evident in their Gallery Restaurant, and has hosted some of Australia’s most loved musicians for their outdoor concerts on the farm – earning praise for more than their sparkling pinot noir. Open seven days for tastings.
Shaw + Smith
There are new ways to indulge in the extensive range of wines available at Shaw + Smith. Alongside their tasting room open, 11am to 5pm daily, the Shaw + Smith wine flight includes five new release wines matched with three local cheeses, where the Limited Release Wine Flight includes five aged release or single-site wines and a South Australian produce platter stocked with smoked trout, beetroot skordalia, mushroom pate and handmade salami. The Friday Table runs from 11am for groups of two to 13 for an intimate, in depth look at the label, including a guided tour, tutored tasting and two-course lunch by chef Ali Seedsman.
One of the most family-friendly wineries in the region, Barrister’s Block caters for all at their cellar door and restaurant’s lush lawn area, sandpit and resident deer and alpaca. Wine tastings wash down gourmet pizza and tapas, open every day from 11am.
Captivating views await at Woodside’s Artwine, showcasing their modern and traditional varieties in an architecturally designed cellar door. Feast on gourmet local produce share platters and appreciate the local art for sale daily from 11am to 5pm. Light meals and platters complement the wide range of whites, reds, rosé, sparkling and fortified in the Artwine catalogue, stemming from various vineyards in South Australia’s fruitful regions.
Renowned for their range of hand-crafted sparkling wines – including six methode traditionnelle – Deviation Road have revamped their tasting room for a more immersive experience for customers. The tasting room is open daily from 10am to 5pm, where you can enjoy a glass, bottle or seated wine flight to delve into the natural wine garden, alongside a local produce platter. Once a month, they host a Sunday Session with local live music and catering by Comida.
Set on an 84-hectare property nestled in the Hills is the thoughtfully designed new production site of Mismatch Brewing and Adelaide Hills Distillery, coupled with the cellar door experience for The Hills Cider Company, Ashton Valley Fresh and Vinteloper. The collaboration is a mecca for SA food and wine in a location that will lure fans of local tastes and produce for a rustic Italian inspired meal or picnic on the expansive lawns under the gum trees.
Sidewood Estate’s cellar door is nestled in Verdun at Maximillian’s restaurant, which appeals to visitors for the wine, and has them staying for the experience – whether it’s their award-winning crisp apple cider, casual dining on the deck or hole-in-one prize pool. For the past three years, Sidewood has been the largest eco-sustainable winery in the region, and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
This story first appeared in the SALIFE Food & Wine List 2019.