A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale
wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Best wine tours in McLaren Vale

Why Visit McLaren Vale?

McLaren Vale sits in pristine natural splendour less than an hour's drive from Adelaide city centre. One of the most well-known wine regions of Southern Australia, the Vale has it all - miles of splendid coastline and turquoise seas, a thriving art and culture scene, world class dining options and of course, an incredible selection of cellar door and winery experiences.

The region's proximity to Adelaide, the capital of Southern Australia, means that this is a perfect destination for visitors, whether you are seeking a day trip out of the city or a longer sojourn in the glorious Australian countryside. Sun seekers will love the array of gorgeous sandy beaches with their clear blue waters and miles of golden sand. Beach-going is a way of life in Australia and many of McLaren Vale's best allow visitors to drive right onto the sand, so it's possible to load up the car and set up for a great day! Port Willunga is one of the quietest if you're looking to escape the crowds, whilst buzzing Port Noarlunga boasts a spectacular jetty which leads out to a reef - so grab your snorkel and enjoy!

Elsewhere, the region is popular for its miles of bushwalking and hiking trails which take travellers through bush, scrub, vines and amazing coastal paths, all resplendent with natural beauty. The 5-mile Shiraz Trail is perfect for combining a wine experience with something more active - the trail follows an abandoned railway line and takes in some of the region's most popular wineries, where you can pause along the way to taste some of Australia's best Shiraz! There is also a thriving arts and culture scene here, with an abundance of galleries. There are even several wineries which display amazing art alongside their vinous offerings - the famous d'Arenberg Winery has even hosted a spectacular exhibition of no less than 23 works of art by celebrated Surrealist Salvador Dali.

The gastronomic scene in McLaren Vale is another real crowd-pleaser. Alongside the many wineries (there are over 80 cellar door and winery experiences to choose from) there is also an abundance of local produce and numerous farmer's markets. Many wineries offer local food pairing and tasting experiences as part of their tour packages, and foodies should also make sure not to miss the award-winning Willunga Farmer's Market, which takes place every Saturday morning in Willunga town centre.

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

The birthplace of the Southern Australian wine industry (the first vines were planted here in 1838) McLaren Vale, like many other parts of Australia, tends to be dominated by red wines. The key grape varieties to be found here are Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which luxuriate in the consistently warm climate to reach optimum ripeness. Thanks to this warmth, McLaren Vale reds tend to be smooth and full bodied, with gentle, ripe tannins and fruit flavours - the Shiraz from this region is often acknowledged for its coffee and spice character, too.  However, there are plenty of popular white varieties here too - international varieties such as Chardonnay tend to struggle in this climate, but Italian varieties are popular thanks to their ability to handle the heat, and it's usual to find exciting varieties such as Vermentino and Trebbiano featuring in the region's white wines (alongside some Italian reds such as Primitivo and Sangiovese).
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Best time to visit

Temperatures in McLaren Vale rarely drop below 15°C, even in the coldest winter months of July and August, so this really is a fabulous-year round destination. Summer highs can regularly top 30°C, so if searing heat isn't your thing then plan your trip for spring (September to November) or autumn (February to April). Autumn is a particularly good time for wine lovers to see the grape harvest and wine production in action, but do be aware that this is the busiest time of year for winemakers so always check in advance before a visit! This is also a great time to enjoy some of the region's best local produce.
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How long to stay

Day trips for wine lovers are very common in McLaren Vale thanks to the region's proximity to Adelaide. Spend a day immersing yourself in all things wine if you're short on time - or, if you're travelling at a more leisurely pace, head to the beach and spend 2 nights and 3 days exploring all that the region has to offer.
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How to get there

McLaren Vale is less than an hour's drive from Adelaide. Adelaide Airport is well connected to both domestic and international destinations, with flights between Adelaide and Sydney taking just over two hours. 
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