The Adelaide Hills are alive with the sound of clinking glasses...
Discover the bounty of the earth in a region where grapes have been cultivated since 1839 and now produces some of the best white wine in Australia. Sample everything from vegan and organic wine to varietals like sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir. The region is also well known for its historic pubs (including one with a 4,000 bottle floor-to-ceiling wine cellar). Each one has a story to tell in the best local tradition and another opportunity to experience the true warmth and flavour of South Australia.
Check out our guide to the most iconic Adelaide Hills wineries and spend your day winding your way down leafy lanes, wandering around fairytale villages and taste testing some of the best Australian wine.
This award-winning family-owned vineyard is located just outside the historic township of Macclesfield and includes 65 hectares of rolling hills. Longview Vineyard really has it all, from a gleaming glass and stone cellar door where tastings are paired with seasonal, Italian inspired fare to a luxurious day spa. Stay on for a weekend in premium accommodation, which ranges from a King Suite to a lovingly restored homestead.
Shaw + Smith
Established in 1989 by two cousins, this winery has built an enviable reputation for award-winning wine, including sauvignon blanc, riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. The Balhannah Tasting Room on site was recently voted by Gourmet Traveller as the “Best Tasting Experience”, with a cheese and artisan produce plate offered along with the wine. If you have the opportunity, book in for the Friday Table with a winery tour, followed by a convivial lunch.
The Lane Vineyard
This accolade-laden vineyard and restaurant boasts a top chef, Tom Robinson, who was recently named among the Top 20 in Adelaide. The Lane Vineyard also picked up a gong in the 2022 South Australian Tourism Awards. Clearly, those at 'The Lane’ have turned their cellar door experience into something special. To try their hand-crafted blended wines, book into The Gathering - a degustation style wine tasting that showcases the harmony between single-vineyard wines and the restaurant menu.
The Stirling Hotel
The Stirling Hotel is a South Australian institution. Just 15 minutes up the hill from Adelaide, this historic establishment has everything from your hearty pub meals to vegan and vegetarian delights. Sink into one of their armchairs by the fire with a glass of locally grown wine in hand, or book in one of their five special suites- the ideal central base for exploring this charming region. This is country living at its best and a chance to mingle with locals in the main bar while enjoying the authentic hospitality.
The Uraidla Hotel
Bar hop into history at the Uraidla Hotel, which is derived from the Aboriginal word, Yureidla, meaning the place of two ears, referring to the profile of the local mountains. Established in 1867, the Uraidla was once the focal point of the town. It currently boasts its own brewery and The Tank - a 4,000 bottle, floor-to-ceiling wine cellar. It even has its own smokehouse. You have to try the Smoked Rascal Jack 300g Pork Rib Mojo or the Smoked Free Range Half Chicken Mojo.
The Aldgate Pump Hotel
The leafy village of Aldgate is just 21 km south-east of Adelaide and is most famous for the Aldgate Pump, which is adjacent to the Aldgate Pump Hotel. It was used to water the horses and bullock teams that passed through the area on their way south to the Echunga goldfields. These days `The Pump' - as the hotel is called by the locals - is also famous for Thursday night schnitzels.
Ashton Hills Vineyard
Nestling on a ridge below the summit of Mt Lofty, 570 metres above sea level, the much awarded Ashton Hills has built its reputation around pinot noir and cool climate whites. You might consider a 'Pinot In Private' tasting with winemaker Liam Van Pelt, where you’ll work your way through all the current releases. This includes the reserve pinot noir and a back vintage wine from the Ashton Hills cellar. The tour, which has a minimum of two people and a maximum of eight, includes a shared platter to enjoy while contemplating which was your favourite wine.
Paracombe Premium Perry
If you’ve never tasted alcoholic pear cider before, you’re in for a treat. Established in 2012 by Damian and Amelia McArdle, Paracombe Premium Perry is situated in the family’s chamberlain orchards. This is the true bounty of the earth and it’s about celebrating the pear in all of its glory to blend the hand-crafted Perry. Call into the shed door to enjoy a tasting and some delights from the wood-fired oven, or take a picnic to the orchard.
Golding Wines is a storybook pretty winery that boasts lush gardens and well tended vineyards. It was opened in 2002 by Darren and Lucy Golding, who are committed to producing the best wines in beautiful surroundings. They also produce a range of award-winning wines, including a vegan collection. The tasting room is a beautifully appointed stone barn and you might also like to book into the Gingko restaurant with the option to dine outdoors.
This unique single vineyard winery in the Piccadilly Valley produces certified organic wines. CRaFTed is owned by Candice Helbig and Frewin Ries, who believe that each bottle is “an honest reflection of place — a story of site, soil and season”. There’s so much to discover here, including a tasting room that was originally a converted 1900s shearing shed and stables.
This family-owned winery, with horses on site and helicopter transfers, produces stellar award-winning wines. The Sidewood Cellar Door was once a humble apple shed and offers many experiences, including masterclasses, a self-guided wine flight and even an opportunity to build your own grazing platter. The Sidewood Restaurant is also spectacularly beautiful, set in landscaped gardens with an inspired seasonal menu. This is an Adelaide Hills wine experience at its most luxurious.
If you wish to feel like an Adelaide Hills local, soak up the atmosphere at Greenhill Wines - a vineyard, cellar door and cafe just on the edge of the city limits. It’s a popular meeting place in the region, where you can lunch on the deck as if you were visiting a friend’s place. Stop for a sip before setting out on the Piccadilly Trail, which involves buying a bottle of wine from designated cellar doors, including Greenhill’s. You’ll receive a stamp from each one and ultimately a complimentary set of two Riedel Pinot glasses. It’s a lovely memento of your time spent in the Adelaide Hills.
You have come to the right place. As Australia's designated Wine Capital, Adelaide is surrounded on all sides by award-winning vineyards, with many local produces specializing in organic, bio-dynamic and sustainable practices.Check out our guide to some of the best sustainable wineries in South Australia and go green for your next happy hour.