FEAST YOUR WAY THROUGH THE CULINARY HEART OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA ALONG THE EPICUREAN WAY ROAD TRIP.
Grab your picnic basket and esky and journey through the iconic wine regions of McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley. Let your taste buds lead the way along the Epicurean Way road trip as you sip and dine your way through South Australia’s best wineries, restaurants and artisan produce. Download the Epicurean Way road trip map and take yourself on a deliciously decadent drive. Here’s our guide to the best things to see, do and most importantly taste along the way between Willunga to Hahndorf.
WILLUNGA TO HAHNDORF
Willunga Farmers Markets
Kick-off your culinary crusade through South Australia at the Willunga Farmers Markets, an institution for local Fleurieu Peninsula foodies offering the region’s best produce. Buy direct from local farmers and artisan producers and sample a smorgasbord of seasonal fruits, vegetables, pastries, olive oils and small goods. Pack a picnic basket and stock up on fresh bread, local cheese, almonds grown in the groves just down the road, honey from bees that have feasted on the very same almond blossom, and beer and cider brewed just minutes away.
D'Arenberg Wine, McLaren Vale
Next stop? Happy hour in a giant Rubik's Cube! Imagine Willy Wonka was a wine, not chocolate lover, and we reckon the result would be something very similar to the d’Arenberg Cube. Seemingly floating above the vineyards, this otherworldly cellar door offers one of the most iconic and unique wine tasting destinations in Australia. Set among the rolling hills of McLaren Vale on the largest biodynamic winery in Australia, the Cube features a tasting room with 360-degree views over five levels, several bars, a casual dining restaurant, a museum and an art gallery. Spend an afternoon sampling a selection of d’Arenberg’s best drops or blend and bottle your very own wine during a blending bench masterclass. A fine dining experience also awaits on-site at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant.
The Currant Shed, McLaren Vale
A feast of local, seasonal produce awaits at The Currant Shed. Set between a delightful lime grove and beautiful vineyards, The Currant Shed was once a part of a homestead where early McLaren Vale residents made their living from mixed farming enterprises. Today, the fine dining restaurant blends inherent charm, stunning views, and one of McLaren Vale's finest menus - all under the guidance of owners Hamish Maguire and Emily Dowie.
Just down the road, more incredible food and wine await. Surrounded by picturesque vineyards that date back to 1893, Maxwell Wines is an idyllic location for unforgettable food, wine and mead in the heart of McLaren Vale. Set in a stunning Limestone building, enjoy one of the most imaginative lunches you have ever dined on while sipping their unique range of sparkling meads. Sample from an impressive line-up of locally sourced seasonal produce, pick fresh herbs and veggies from their garden or put together a cheese board from the cellar door and relax with a picnic down near the vines. Stay a night or two among the vineyard’s at one of McLaren Vale’s best winery accommodation options including the Vineyard Retreat, Hotel California Road @ Inkwell Wines, or Shadow Creek.
The Lane Vineyard, Adelaide Hills
Next, set your coordinates for the fairy-tale villages, world-class wineries, and award-winning regional restaurants of the Adelaide Hills. Pull up at The Lane Vineyard restaurant and cellar door, where the only thing that rivals the food and wine is the view. Feast on a seven course chef’s menu, paired with some of The Lane’s signature wines. Here, the menu features seasonal ingredients grown either on the estate or by local farmers, growers and suppliers – with all ingredients traceable and ethically produced. Consider yourself a wine snob? Go behind the scenes of The Lane’s state-of-the-art winery for a crash course in winemaking with head winemaker Turon White. Create your own master blend, bottle it and take it home to savour later.
Beerenberg Farm, Adelaide Hills
Nothing compares to the taste of fruit plucked straight from the field, and some of South Australia’s best produce awaits in orchards across the Adelaide Hills. Nestled just outside the tourist hot spot of Hahndorf, picking your own strawberries at Beerenberg Farm is a rite of passage during any trip to the Adelaide Hills, plus you can sample their famous jams, sauces, and condiments direct from the farm shop. You’ll also find seasonal a pick-your-own cherry, apple, pear and fig orchards tucked all over the hills so take the pick of the crop with our guide to the best places to pick your own fruit in South Australia and make a few detours on the Epicurean Way road trip, all in the name of food of course.
Woodside Cheese Wrights, Adelaide Hills
The perfect accompaniment to your freshly picked fruit? Award-winning artisan cheese crafted with milk straight from the Adelaide Hills. From gooey to crumbly, creamy and sharp, Woodside Cheese Wrights create seasonal cheeses using locally sourced goat, cow and buffalo milk. Tastings are a must (calcium is important after all, right?) and you can even try your hand at the art of cheese making during a masterclass. If you’re in need of a sweet treat afterward, head next door and stock up on locally made chocolates at the Willy Wonka-worthy Melbas Chocolate Factory in Woodside.
Located on a scenic acreage property at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, owners Trudy, Steve and Matt invite all gin lovers to their distillery and tasting bar, Ambleside Distillers. Enjoy the picturesque setting while kicking back, relaxing and sipping one of the handcrafted signature gins and a food platter or experience their newly expanded tasting bar complete with a nine metre long reclaimed red brick wall and a sprawling timber deck with views of the surrounding hills. Their ‘Small Acre Gin’ uses twelve ingredients including produce from the distillery garden, local and native botanicals.