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With more than 60 wineries to choose from, there is literally a cellar door around every corner. Just 20 minutes drive from the city, the Adelaide Hills is closer to a capital city than any other wine region in the world.
During January, most cellar doors participate in the CRUSH festival - an annual celebration of Adelaide Hills’ food and wine. Make the most of the entertainment and special offers. In July settle in by the fire at your favourite winery and enjoy the Winter Reds Weekend.
See the wild side of wine at Sinclair’s Gully. This is the Adelaide Hills' only eco-certified winery. Watch black cockatoos fly overhead while you enjoy a twilight tasting.
Hahndorf Hill specialises in food-friendly wine, including Grüner Veltliner and Blaufränkisch. Sample the world’s most luxurious chocolate on the ChocoVino Experience. The Lane is a great choice for lunch and single vineyard wines. The restaurant's European-influenced cuisine is especially popular, so book ahead.
Must-visit cellar doors include K1 by Geoff Hardy near Kuitpo forest, which produces a range of wine, from Shiraz and Semillon/Viognier to the rare Arneis. Many regard K1 as one of Australia’s leading cellar doors, due to its natural beauty and outstanding wines.
Drop in at The Lane Vineyard, just outside of Hahndorf, in a helicopter. The Lane Vineyard just happens to be the only registered helicopter landing site in Hahndorf, but also offers traditional wine flight experiences, sumptuous lunches and amazing views.
Craft beers, ciders and boutique spirits are transforming the Adelaide Hills drinks scene. As you exit the freeway for Hahndorf, Kick back in the welcoming beer garden at the Lobethal Bierhaus, a small all-grain craft brewery which produces a range of award-winning character beers.
Prancing Pony Brewery in Totness (between Hahndorf and Mount Barker) uses traditional Southern German fire-brewing methods. Its Indian Red Ale was named Supreme Champion Beer at the 2016 International Beer Challenge awards. Gulf Brewery in Hahndorf's main street offers a contemporary range of ales, lagers and ciders.
Handcrafted apple and pear cider makers have popped up in Kersbrook, Verdun and Paracombe. Cider aficionados should also look out for the award-winning ciders from the Hills Cider Company, which are available in several of the region's pubs. There's also locally made gin and whisky to try and a great place to start your appreciation of local boutique spirits is at The Stirling Hotel's new Gin Club.
Local produce is key in the Adelaide Hills and you can pick up your own basket of goodies at any number of weekend farmers' markets - or sample some of the best with a glass of wine in hand. Visit Bird in Hand’s cellar door at Woodside or The Lane Vineyard and order a food platter of cheeses, cured meats, organic greens or indulge in a regional cheese platter while sampling Nepenthe’s Tempranillo or kick back for a long lunch at the Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard and allow chef Matt Fitton to delight you with his dishes.
Want more? Pick your own strawberries at Beerenberg, sample delicious chocolate at Melba's Chocolates at Woodside or pop into South Australia's "hive door" at Buzz Honey. Sample some award-winning cheeses at Woodside Cheese Wrights cellar door, Have an authentic German experience at one of the historic pubs in Hahndorf and combine chocolate and wine at Hahndorf Hill Winery's ChocoVino experience.
A romantic weekend escape
There’s romance in the air in the Adelaide Hills, just 30 minutes from the city. Best known for its bed and breakfasts, you’ll find boutique Adelaide Hills accommodation, cosy cottages, contemporary hotels, a historic mansion and a hand-built gothic castle.
There are award-winning properties in quaint Adelaide Hills towns such as Aldgate, Balhannah, Oakbank, Stirling and Crafers. Good options for families and those on a budget include wildlife sanctuaries and caravan parks.
The Visitor Information Centre at Hahndorf is open seven days a week and the friendly staff are always on hand to help you with your plans, so drop in and say hi.
Download brochures and maps before you go to help find your way around, especially if you're taking the self-drive option which is easy given the Hills are just 30 minutes drive from the city centre.
Foodies will love the Epicurean Way road trip which takes in the Adelaide Hills as one of its four gastronomic destinations, and families will enjoy the nature and wildlife experiences on offer in the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden or Cleland Wildlife Park. See what's on in the Adelaide Hills which includes weekend farmers' markets.