Wine, Art, Views – McLaren Vale SA

It’s no secret that the McLaren Vale wine region is a favourite of ours with more than 80 cellar doors to choose from, where you can also find delicious food, world class art and views galore.

Being only 40 minutes from Adelaide it’s also an easy choice for visitors that may have just flown in for the weekend and are staying in the city. This was the reason we visited the southern vales recently to catch up with family and enjoy sharing this region with overseas visitors.

With only a limited amount of time to spend, and for a quick snapshot of the region’s food, wine, art and views, there were two places that came to mind.

Chalk Hill

This is one impressive venue with expansive views of vineyards of the McLaren Vale and seating areas undercover or outdoors on the manicured lawn where you can sit and enjoy the surroundings.

You can reserve a table at Chalk Hill for $25 per head, which is redeemable on wines to drink while you’re there, or on bottles to take with you. Italian street food by Cucina di Strada, is available to purchase with small plates to share and Pinsa (focaccia style pizzas) with a range of different toppings.

This is also the home of Never Never Distillery where you can taste a gin flight or choose a gin and tonic or gin based cocktail if that’s more to your taste.

Chalk Hill is a one stop venue to taste wines, gins and enjoy good food with amazing views.

d’Arenberg Cube

This place is just too crazy to describe it’s a ‘have to see it to believe it’ kind of place. There is no other winery architecture like the cube, it’s so out there and just gets quirkier and weirder on the inside. The interior changes slightly every time I visit but it always truly feels like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into another warped world.

For the complete experience when you visit, pay the $25 per head which will give you access to the Alternate Realities Museum, the Salvador Dali exhibition and a wine tasting experience.  A couple of huge Salvador Dali sculptures mark the entry way that leads into the cube and the reception area where you pay to see the rest of the exhibits.

The Alternate Realities Museum, I can only describe as a strange brain dump of the winemaker Chester Osborn with mannequins (and parts of), odd paraphernalia displays, and a video light and sound room which is a psychedelic type experience.

Once you’ve made it through the museum, it just makes sense that a Salvador Dali exhibit fits in perfectly here and almost seems perfectly normal after the ground floor sensory onslaught.

There is also a restaurant in the cube which has changed style over the years to now being ‘Singapore Circus’ which has a south east Asian inspired menu of small plates and signature dishes.

The tasting room is on the top floor of the cube and here the experience returns to what you’d normally expect at a winery, terrific personal service at a seated tasting with (at least) 4 wines varieties to try, and more if you show interest in the wines and have a great hostess as we did.

If weather permits, head outside on some of the balconies for more views over the surrounding vineyards and to see different angles of the cube.



2 thoughts on “Wine, Art, Views – McLaren Vale SA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s