With more than 350 cellar doors nestled among some 76,000 hectares of vineyards, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a spot to sip wine in South Australia.
But wander a little off the well-worn track and you will be rewarded with hidden gems pouring up wine in unique settings. From boutique cellar doors tucked in 100-year-old churches to small-batch organic wines nestled in valleys, your new favourite cellar door is waiting to be discovered.
Forgo the familiar with our guide to the best hidden cellar doors in South Australia…
Writers Tip: Be sure to check in advance the opening hours of all cellar doors as times and days vary, to avoid disappointment.
1. Ten Miles East, Adelaide Hills
Set your coordinates Ten Miles East and step into a storybook-perfect cellar door. Frequented by those in the know (welcome to the club), this Adelaide Hills winery and cellar door is one of the most idyllic and undiscovered spots to drink wine in South Australia. Their vineyard footprint is small, stretching just nine acres and with six varietals grown and bottled. But with unique varieties like the Georgian Saperavi – one of the few grapes which is has both red skin and flesh – a visit to Ten Miles East is a discovery for all senses. Surrounded by rambling, terraced gardens reminiscent of an English manor, the 100% estate grown wine is poured from a tiny 1800s stone barn. Find a spot nestled among the trees, perched lakeside or sprawled on the lawns with a BYO picnic spread and they’ll pour your wine wherever you settle.
2. Samson Tall, Fleurieu Peninsula
Consider yourself a devout wine connoisseur? Add Samson Tall to your cellar-door bucket list. Not your average cellar door, Samson Tall is a boutique winery located in a picturesque McLaren Vale church dating back to 1854. Pull up a pew (literally) and let winemaker Paul Wilson pour you a few of his favourite drops or head outside to enjoy a bottle of heaven-sent grenache-mataro rosé on the deck. There’s a piano waiting to be played, lush lawns primed for picnics, and a resident winery dog, Miller, in need of pats. Your pup is welcome too. Did we mention there’s a historic graveyard out the back?
3. David Franz, Barossa
The son of Peter Lehman, David Franz has forged his own path in the wine world with his exciting take on Barossa wine culture. Combining old school methods with innovative and creative thinking, David Franz wines will redefine your expectations of the Barossa region. With a cellar door in an original 1860’s cottage, discover their wonderful wines and perhaps one of the best views the Barossa has to offer.
Writers tip: Sample one of their homemade ‘golden scrumpy’ - a deliciously refreshing sparking grape and apple cider or grab a six pack to go.
4. CRFT, Adelaide Hills
Perched in one of the highest altitude grape growing regions in the country lies a lesser-known hero of the Adelaide Hills. CRFT is a certified organic label run by wine young-guns Candice Helbig and Frewin Ries, who collectively have 48 vintages under their belt. Set to the backdrop of the Mount Lofty Ranges, the unique Piccadilly micro-climate allows wine to be produced with minimal intervention. Bountiful rainfall means the vineyards are unirrigated and native ducks, rather than pesticides, keep insects under control. Here, grape growing conditions are likened to those of the Champagne wine region in France and are among the coldest, wettest and most elevated in Australia. The result is relatively low cropping but quality yields which are used to create 13 single-vineyard wines. Best sipped metres from the vines on which they were grown, CRFT’s cellar door is a converted barn cradled by vineyards.
5. Between the Vines, Adelaide Hills
Hidden at the bottom of a lush valley, Between the Vines is as much a secret garden as vineyard. Descend down the tree-lined driveway to the family-run cellar door, where a charming Tuscan-style tasting room sits on the edge of the five-acre vineyard. Framed by hills festooned with vines, private alfresco nooks are tucked all around the cottage-style garden and vineyard, while panoramic views await on the rooftop deck. Inside, there are countless cosy corners to sip wine paired with a local cheese platter. You’ll find Between the Vines on the edge of the leafy hamlet of Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.
6. Sherrah Wines + Bondar Wines, McLaren Vale
Step into this small but cosy three bedroom historic cottage and be rewarded with three cellar doors under one roof. Award winning trio Sherrah Wines, Bondar Wines and Lino Ramble have teamed up as roomates on McMurtrie Road in McLaren Vale and is the perfect place to set up shop and relax for a tasting or three. Snag a seat inside or on the lawn and stay a while before continuing your tour through the McLaren Vale - your hardest choice will be deciding where to start.
7. Kimbolton, Langhorne Creek
Kitted-out industrial shipping containers designed by renowned architect Damian Chwalisz create the perfect secret spot to while away an afternoon at Kimbolton Wines. Take a bottle of Montepulciano Rosé (think crisp, fresh and dry) to the rooftop deck and soak in views across Langhorne Creek’s vineyards or head to the lawns with a regionally-inspired platter playing lawn games below. You can bring the kids along too, with cordial and cheese flights available during school holidays.
8. Wines By KT, Clare Valey
Sip and savour the unmistakably Clare Valley riesling flavours at Wines by KT in Auburn. A local Clare Valley legend, Kerri Thompson (KT) has mastered the craft of winemaking having done so in the region for over 20 years. Creating easy drinking wines rich in aromas and flavours, complete your Clare Valley tasting experience here and discover how riesling truly comes in different shapes and sizes.
9. The Blok, Coonawarra
Take the road less travelled and unearth the world-class wine region that is Coonawarra. Nestled in the heart of the Limestone Coast of South Australia, Coonawarra is home to a number of welcoming cellar doors, such as the The Blok – a quaint cellar door taking residence in an old homestead. Serving traditional varietals from sparkling pinot chardonnay to a selection of reds, this delightful and small family-owned cellar door is well worth the visit.
10. The Joinery Wine Room, Port Elliot
Journey south of Adelaide to the idyllic seaside town of Port Elliot - home to postcard-worthy beaches and the Joinery Wine Room. A cellar door serving Charlotte Dalton Wines and Cooke Brothers Wines, this kid and dog friendly venue invites you to relax with a glass or bottle while grazing on a platter of delectable local produce. Stay for a while or stop by to pick up some wines to go – this cellar door won’t stay hidden for long.
11. Alkina, Barossa
Nestled among iconic legends like Penfolds and Seppeltsfield lies Barossa newcomer Alkina. Opened in November 2020, a visit to this brand-new cellar door is like being transported to the Mediterranean. An old stone woolshed has been transformed into the picturesque cellar door accented by earthy terracotta tones and surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. Alkina, meaning moonlight in the local Ngadjuri language whose traditional lands the winery sits on, is a nod to their certified regenerative, organic and biodynamic practices which are influenced by the phases on the moon. The vineyard sprawls over 60 acres and is sectioned into smaller plots of around 200 vines reflecting the different terroirs of the land. Fruit is handpicked, processed and bottled in small batches to respect these individual characteristics. A glass of sparkling, Kin Rosé or lightly chilled Kin Grenache paired with a cheese and charcuterie board is the perfect introduction to this up-and-coming winery or extend your stay and spend the night on sight at the luxury 1900s homestead or 1850s cottage.
12. Sourc'd Wine Collective, Aldinga Beach
Wine down by Aldinga beach at the seaside cellar door and wine bar - Sourc’d Wine Collective. With a curated list of small batch boutique wines, craft beers and spirits, watch the sunset over the ocean with a refreshing beverage in hand. Also serving up a tapas menu and live music on weekends, sample range of local wine producers and take in the beautiful surrounds of Aldinga beach at once.
It’s wine time in South Australia
Still thirsty? It’s always wine time in South Australia! Drink on with our guide to where to rosé all day, discover the best family-friendly wineries in South Australia or find wine events near you this weekend.