This region is an easy day trip from Adelaide but with so much on offer from more than 70 wineries, a craft brewery, fine dining, nearby farmers market, cycle trail and unique, zany architecture, really interesting shopping and artisans’ stores you will want to stay a few days at least to make the most of it.
You are spoilt for choice in the vale with every option from bakeries to fine dining and everything in between. On a recent weekend stay there, I was lucky enough to sample a range of foods, from an iconic South Australian chocolate to the dining equivalent of artistic masterpieces (in my humble non food critic opinion).
Leave all of your sanity at the door people! Well that’s what the sign should say as you enter The d’Arenberg Cube at McLaren Vale. At the entranceway there is only the slightest hint of the weirdness that you are about to be drawn into as you step inside this five storey glass and metal architectural Rubik’s cube. Inside you’ll find a tasting room, restaurant and ‘Alternate Realities Museum’, not to mention the anything but humble toilets. All I can say is make sure you have a male with you to clear the way so that you can safely step inside the ‘mens room’ to have a peek in there too (it’s allowed). I will leave photos of the interior until later though, as the story behind all this needs to be told first.
South Australia is well known for its wine regions, perhaps the most famous is the Barossa Valley but equally as good are McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Region, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills but wait there is more…Eden Valley, the Limestone Coast, the Riverland and even the Southern Flinders.
Discovering wineries in the Adelaide Hills is more than just about the wine. My latest find is Anderson Hill winery in Lenswood. Not that they are new on the scene, the winery was established in 1994 by the Anderson family on 35 picturesque acres. The restaurant is however recently expanded and you have the option of dining indoors, out on the deck or at tables set up on the lawn. The views to the north from outside overlook the vineyards and take in breathtaking rolling hills and the mountain bike trails in Mt Crawford Forest.