Is it worth going to Mclaren Vale?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/02/2022

Reading time: 3 mins

Do you love wineries, sprawling greenery, moments of peace and serenity, fantastic gourmet food and tasty drinks, small town charm and countless photos ops?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then YES, you would find a trip to McLaren Vale is absolutely worth it.

Located about a 45-minute drive from Adelaide CBD, this region of South Australia is loved by travellers and locals. It is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, with over 80 vineyards scattered about, and with access to beautiful bike and walking trails, it’s fantastic for the cycling and hiking enthusiasts too.

Eat and drink your way through Mclaren Vale

Some of the best wines you will try come from McLaren Vale, with the shiraz and grenache varieties amongst the most popular from this region.

With good wine, also comes good food. Many of the wineries are equipped with incredible tastings to pair with your wine, or you can sit back and enjoy gourmet eats from new and old restaurants.

Just to help get things under way, and have you feeling inspired, here are just a few of the best spots for foodies to visit:

  • Chapel Hill Winery
  • Coriole Vinyards
  • Pizzatecca
  • Lot 100
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
  • Beresford Wines
  • AlphaBox and Dice
  • Shingleback Winery

Oh, and a quick note – despite it being best known for wine – if gin is more your thing, don’t look past Chalk Hill Wines, which is adjacent to the fantastic gin distillery Never Never.

Pre-book your designated driver.

Given that McLaren Vale is a place to happily eat and drink your day away, it’s not a bad idea to book a tour and have someone else do the driving for you! This way when you find a very tasty wine (pretty much guaranteed) you can sip on more than one or 2 cheeky glasses, if you so desire.

With half and full day tours available, you can have a wonderful day or afternoon away from the city, with all the details and winery bookings taken care for you.

A Half-Day McLaren Vale Wine Experience is an afternoon of charming discoveries. You will explore a 150 year old chapel-turned-winery at Chapel Hill Winery, the main street of Mclaren Vale, with free time to wander about and visit several stores, and spend time at Shingleback Winery before heading back to Adelaide, but not before a quick stop at Glenelg Beach!

To get all of the above, plus an added tour of all things Adelaide – like the Adelaide Oval, Mount Lofty and German-style town Hahndorf, you can opt for the full day McLaren Vale Wine Tour with Hahndorf, and feel like an Adelaide local as you make your way around town.

All aboard the Almond Train

Whenever you find yourself at Mclaren Vale, and in whatever way, one last bit of advice would be to head to the Almond Train.

A converted 1920’s train carriage on the old Willunga Line near the well known Shiraz Trail, this adorable conversion is adored by adults and children. Selling gifts, local produce and products, almonds (of course), you can also enjoy a milkshake, coffee, brunch or lunch in the carriage café.

Bonus points if you take home some South Australian FruChocs for your family and friends to enjoy!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.