South Australia is known for its wine regions - Barossa, Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale - but it's not only adults who have all the fun.
BY JULIETTA JAMESON
If you're looking to visit an amazing cellar door, you can't go wrong in South Australia. If you're bringing the family and kids with you too, you're in double luck as many wineries and cellar doors now cater for their younger visitors with toys, games and child-friendly meals.
The old grain room and heritage stables that are home to Pindarie’s cellar door, open to a stunning 180-degree view of Barossa vineyards and paddocks. Children are welcome to cartwheel and play on big stretches of lawn, or climb on a stack of hay bales, while parents watch with a glass of wine. The sense of being on a working farm and out in the open is great for city kids. And the relaxed Grainstore restaurant offers pies, platters, picnic boards, and even panini for hungry little ones. No wonder this winery has won multiple tourism awards.
Tell me more: About a one hour drive from Adelaide at 946 Rosedale Road, Gomersal; (08) 8524 9019
New innovative winemakers and an outstanding trophy cabinet attract wine aficionados to one of Barossa’s heavy hitters. Here the large, contemporary, glass-walled cellar door looks out over incredible views. Kids love the big green lawn strewn with beanbags for relaxing and playing. The winery organises seasonal activities and there’s usually a bat and ball waiting for a game in the open spaces. There are bicycles to tour on, paths to wander along, a laid-back vibe, and plenty of ice-cream.
Tell me more: About 1 hour, 10 minutes drive from Adelaide on Barossa Valley Way at Rowland Flat; (08) 8521 3000
A wonderful place run by a large extended family, children are more than welcome to play on the lawns, or even dance when there’s live music happening. On some special days such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and their very popular Paella Day, they do a kids lunch box with child-friendly food and an activity pack.
The Golding Cellar Door is in the Adelaide Hills and overlooks estate gardens and vineyards, perfect for kids to get barefoot and run around.
Tell me more: About 45 minutes drive from Adelaide, at 52 Western Branch Road, Lobethal; (08) 8389 5120
Gemtree Wines, Mclaren Vale
The Buttery family, who are behind natural and organic wine producers Gemtree, have a playground right next to their pretty cellar door deck, all of it overlooking the organic vineyards and beyond out to sea. There are swings and climbing equipment and nearby, an enclosed grass area where children can check out the sheep and the alpacas named Gus and Caruso. If it’s raining, there’s a toy box indoors and kids packs available for purchase for $5 with colouring books, pencils and healthy treats.
Tell me more: Less than an hour's drive from Adelaide at 167 Elliott Road, McLaren Flat; (08) 8383 0802
Gemtree Wines boasts a playground and resident alpacas. Photo courtesy of Winery Kids.
The southern hemisphere’s largest producer of the ancient drink mead also has one of the most ancient of entertainments, a maze. Both are great, and the maze is as much fun for kids as it is adults. Take to the conifer hedge labyrinth after a lunch overlooking the rolling McLaren Vale hills.
Tell me more: About 45 minutes drive from Adelaide at the corner of Olivers and Chalk Hill Roads, McLaren Vale; (08) 8323 8200
Fox Creek Wines, Mclaren Vale
Fox Creek Wines is relaxed and hospitable, with beautiful lakeside gardens ready for a picnic under eucalypt and olive trees. You’re encouraged to bring your own local delicacies or order a platter at the cellar door. And for the children, there’s a mapped-out treasure hunt in the cellar door grounds with a prize for those who succeed.
Tell me more: About 50 minutes drive from Adelaide to Malpas Road, McLaren Vale; (08) 8557 0000
With a ramble of shady trees and stone buildings giving it a storybook farmhouse charm, Penny’s Hill Winery is a favourite for families. Not only are the wines great, but there’s a wide open lawn for kids to run around on, a chook pen where they can meet the girls after whom The Black Chook wine is named, and a paddock of Suffolk sheep to delight in. For wet days, there is colouring-in and a toy box.
Tell me more: About 50 minutes drive from Adelaide to 281 Main Road, McLaren Vale; (08) 8557 0800; pennyshill.com.au
Wood fired pizzas – need we say more? Woodstock has that, great wines, plus The Woodstock Wildlife Sanctuary, a two-hectare fenced safe haven for Australian native animals including long-nosed potoroos, brush-tailed bettongs, red-necked wallabies and swamp and tammar wallabies. There are kangaroo feeding sessions daily. The pizzas happen at Coterie Restaurant on Friday nights and there’s a beautiful cedar three-bedroom log cabin available for stays. Wallabies and kangaroos visit the doorstep.
Tell me more: About 50 minutes drive from Adelaide to 215 Douglas Gully Road McLaren Flat; (08) 8383 0156
Pikes’ 1870s cellar door overlooking the Polish Hill River valley is, of course, famous for its Rieslings, some intriguing blends and the amazing Pikes beer range. It also has a good kids' area, where the younger ones can amuse themselves while parents get on with the serious business of tasting. The winery also features an art gallery, serves regional produce platters, and there are some beautiful spots to stop a while for a picnic.
Tell me more: Less than 2 hour's drive from Adelaide to 233 Polish Hill River Road, Sevenhill; (08) 8843 4370
Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend celebrations at Pikes Wines.
Woodfired pizzas and a relaxed vibe make this family-run Clare Valley winery an excellent stop when touring with children. A small producer that punches above its weight with awards, this is an old-school cellar door experience, where you can pick up wines you won’t find in stores.
That pizza menu specifies types and sizes ideal for kids – no surprise given the winemakers’ have their own brood to cater for.
Tell me more: Less than 2 hour's drive from Adelaide to Gillentown Road, Sevenhill; (08) 8843 4143