So, you’ve finally decided to plan and embark on a Wine Tour in South Australia, but where do you start? With so many stunning destinations to choose from − McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills – how do you decide what wineries to check out? And let’s not forget that Adelaide is Australia’s wine capital.
Choose a Region
Thankfully, South Australian wineries can be divided into distinct categories so it’s simply a matter of figuring out what type of wine tickles your fancy and off you go. Of course, visiting cellar doors and enjoying wine tastings is much more fun in company so why not invite family and friends to tag along?
Next you’ll need to decide how to get there. To make trip planning easy, we’ve created a list of bus companies. If you prefer to travel in style, why not hire a limo or Hummer? Do keep in mind that some wineries don’t accept licensed vehicles. Jumping in your own car is by far the easiest but limits how many people can come along. Check out our Transport Options and make your choice.
Length of Trip
You’ll need to work out if this is going to be a morning out or a day trip. Bear in mind that most cellar doors and wineries don’t open until 10 or 11am and close between 3-5pm. It pays to do your homework before you hit the road to avoid disappointment.
Number of Stops
Pick a central point to meet – a café, pub or bus/train interchange – and start your winery tour. Experience suggests one hour per stop, including the time to get there. Some SA wine regions, such as McLaren Vale, have cellar doors and wineries close to each other whereas the Barossa Valley has wineries and cellar doors spread out over a large area. If you’re intending to visit Adelaide Hills wineries, you’ll discover it is divided into sub-regions. Why not use Google Maps to determine travel time and route? If you’ve chosen a transport company, the staff will assist you with trip planning.
If you’ve organised a large wine tour you will have to book wine tastings. A few wineries only do large group tastings in the morning, prior to opening to the public.
Lunch is an important consideration. Allow 2-2.5 hours to enjoy a beautiful meal of gourmet Australian cuisine and a glass of boutique South Australian wine. Again, it pays to pre-book if you’re traveling with a large group. Some wineries offer wine tastings along with lunch which gives you more time to visit other cellar doors and wineries. Click here to browse restaurants by region.
Visiting cellar doors and doing wine tastings comes with a price tag attached of course. It pays to collect money upfront if you’ve organised a large wine tour. You wouldn’t be the first wine tour organiser to get stuck covering the cost of people who cancel last minute.