- Beaches, Wineries/Breweries, Neighborhood/Area Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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To see where South Australia's famous wine industry began, head 25 miles south of Adelaide to McLaren Vale. Roughly 65 wineries call this region home, where grapes have been turned into shiraz, grenache, cabernet and more since the first vines were planted in 1838. Travelers will also find six white-sand beaches, two walking and biking trails, five art galleries and a farm-to-table food scene that includes locally produced olive oil, fresh produce and an array of cheeses and chocolates in McLaren Vale.
For some of the region's best vino, previous travelers recommend stopping by Old Oval Estate, d'Arenberg Wines and Primo Estate. Oenophiles rave about the cheese platters and wines available at Old Oval Estate, while Primo Estate and d'Arenberg Wines are great for tours and tastings. "The Blending Bench" class at d'Arenberg Wines, an interactive experience that involves blending and bottling a sample of shiraz, is especially popular with former visitors. It costs 70 Australian dollars ($53) per person.
No public transportation is available to and from McLaren Vale, but the region is a convenient stopping point for travelers driving from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island. Another option: take a full-day wine tour with Wine Diva Tours. Rates start at AU$165 ($125) per person and include lunch, private wine tastings and round-trip transfers to and from Adelaide. Travelers can also visit wineries without a tour group, but charges generally apply for each tour and tasting. Expect to pay about AU$15 to AU$55 (or $11 to $42) for each standard tour. Most wineries are open daily from 10 or 11 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. However, some smaller locales are only open on weekends. For a complete list of winery hours, plus information about area beaches, hotels, restaurants, markets and more, check out McLaren Vale's website.