Previous referred to as the “Southern Vales wine growing region’, the McLaren Vale Wine District is situated in the Fleurieu Peninsula about 40 minutes’ drive south of Adelaide in South Australia.
Located between picturesque hills, vineyards and heritage townships, the area is recognised globally as one of Australia’s premier wine producing areas, and is a great place to visit with superb beaches and dining.
The wines of the region are respected locally and globally. The cellar doors offer wine tastings in picturesque settings, many of which are venues for functions, events and festivals. Many winemakers are known for their innovative approach and regularly win awards for their efforts.
There are over 70 cellar doors to visit, beginning on Adelaide’s doorstep at Old Reynella, then Braydun Hill with panoramic views over McLaren Vale, the hills and the sea, then more clustering around McLaren Vale, McLaren Flat and Willunga in the broad valley and foothills.
The historic ironstone buildings and rustic country settings have been merged with newer and contemporary wineries and cellar doors that have their own individuality and style. The Braydun Hill cellar door is small and close to the vineyard where the grapes are grown for the fine shiraz wines.
Local food is of international standard and includes:
Seafood & aquaculture
Squid, saltwater fish, crayfish, yabbies and freshwater trout are local favourites. Fresh seafood is sought after for the family table and the many restaurants and cafes of the region.
Willunga, in particular, is famous for almonds of several varieties. Almonds are plentiful in the local markets and shops whether raw, roasted, spiced, sugared or coated with chocolate. Dukkah is a tasty mixture of almonds and spices which is also made with the almonds of the region. Almonds are a versatile ingredient and used in many dishes including cakes and biscuits.
Olives and olive oil
The region is blessed with many olive orchards where high quality olive oils and marinated olives are made. Kalamata and koroneiki olives are favourite varieties.
Beef, new season lamb, kid, venison and rabbit are locally raised and readily available in markets, shops and restaurants. The chefs of the region use a wide variety of these local meats in their dishes.
Markets and shops are well-stocked with the region’s dairy products. The dairy farmers and cheesemakers of the region are passionate about their produce and carefully craft each product. Milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt and quark are all made locally.
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are grown across the region. Roadside stalls and ‘pick your own’ farms are popular. Locally sourced berries are used to make many of the jams, preserves and sweets available all over the Fleurieu.
Locally raised turkeys and chickens are renowned for their quality and freshness. They are readily available at markets and shops.