From traditional wine tasting tours to private, exclusive winery dinners, helicopters tours, cooking classes, culinary activities, and much more, here are some suggestions for making memories together right here in McLaren Vale.
1. Wirra Wirra Shiraz Revolution
Wirra Wirra offers the ultimate Shiraz experience with a selection of their best Shiraz's and museum wines. Come behind the scenes with an intimate winery tour, learn about barrel ageing in their historic Ironstone cellars, and taste five of their best Shiraz's including a rare museum wine in cellar door. Your chance to share in the illustrious history of Wirra Wirra and taste the very best of McLaren Vale's most famous varietal, all matched with the tantalising flavours of a selection of chocolates by Chef Tom Boden. The more adventurous guests will also have the opportunity to ring the iconic ¾ tonne Angelus Bell and hear your efforts peal out across McLaren Vale.
Discover the flora, fauna and wildlife of Gemtree along the Gemtree Ecotrail. Learn about biodynamic grape growing and wine making at the Biodynamic Hut, enjoy a tutored tasting of Gemtree’s wines, and indulge in a private dining experience prepared by the award-winning chefs at the nearby Salopian Inn. The Wine and Wander tour begins at Gemtree’s Tasting Room where you are greeted with a glass of sparkling wine, unparalleled views across McLaren Vale to the sea and your own personal tour guide. Before your epicurean lunch and leisurely stroll through Gemtree’s Ecotrail, you will be treated to a personalised explanation of Gemtree’s organic and biodynamic philosophies and private wine tasting experience. The Gemtree Ecotrail has been lovingly restored from a degraded creek line into a biodiverse conservation area with six interlinking dams and 50,000 native plants over 10 hectares. Your secluded dining table is at the end of the Ecotrail, under majestic gum trees surrounded by native Australian bushland – a haven for native birds, plants and animals. An unforgettable food and wine experience in unforgettable surroundings.
3. Hither & Yon Escape, Sip & Indulge
Hither & Yon invite you to discover our region like you never have: through its vines and our wines. This experience willl have you experiencing McLaren Vale in multiple ways during this activity: you will see, smell, touch, taste, sip, walk and ride. Starting at the Hither & Yon cellar door you will be driven to the Hither & Yon vineyard for a private vineyard wine tasting and cheese platter. Following this you will be provided with bikes and a picnic basket made by de Rose Kitchen. You will then have up to 3.5 hours of free time to get on the Shiraz Rail Trail, finally arriving back at the cellar door.
4. Aphelion Back of the Ute Tasting
Bring your camera as this is the coolest, most Instagrammable yet most fun and laid back wine tasting in South Australia. Picture you and your crew standing amongst the vines of McLaren Vale, high on a hill with views like a painting. Add in a line up of exceptional wines from Aphelion Wine Co. artfully arranged on the back of a real work pickup ute. A stunningly elegant glass in your hand and a Spring breeze in your hair. Aphelion’s highly awarded winemaker Rob Mack is your host for this leisurely and unpretentious tasting where you can ask all the questions you have ever wanted to ask a winemaker.No sharing either – it is exclusively for one group at a time. You will have Rob’s full attention for the duration of your tasting, usually about an hour. Feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy after.
5. Beresford Paired Wine & Food Tasting Experience
This experience at the modern Beresford cellar door will have you enjoying a flight of six wines heroing premium Estate and Limited Release red wines, each paired with a tasting plate of regional flavours.
6. Hugh Hamilton – the Dark Arts Blending Box
Never blended wine before? This will be the most fun you’ve ever had with wine! The ‘Dark Arts’ range is all about creating off-beat wines – and now it’s your turn! In an Australian first – Hugh Hamilton Wines you all the tools and tips to create your own unique blend at home. You will finish your experience by bottling a wine that has NEVER been created before – not even by us. Included in your 'Blending Box' are three blending wines, blending kit, and blending guide.
7. Maxwell Wines – anything / everything!!!
Few cellar doors give Maxwell Wines holistic wine experience. Perched atop the winery, you have a window into its soul. While Mark Maxwell and his team proudly introduce you to their range of wines and mead, either informally or through a personally guided wine flight, you may glimpse an infant vintage start its journey in the fermenters. Discover the nuances brought about by time, terroir and talent over a tasting plate accompanied by the scents and sounds of the winery below.
A hidden gem in McLaren Vale, the restaurant at Maxwell is a must-do when visiting the region. The Maxwell Restaurant promotes seasonal produce from local suppliers and every dish is carefully crafted and presented, while views of the winery, vineyards lay just through the window. Chef Fabian Lehmann's current menu places a new emphasis on the high-quality produce that South Australia offers in abundance.
8. Shottesbrooke and The Currant Shed - Explore, Wine & Dine in McLaren Vale
The ‘Explore, Wine & Dine’ experience is like no other, be taken on a guided tour of discovery where you will learn about the Shottesbrooke winery’s rich history and sustainable winemaking practices. This exciting tour takes you behind-the-scenes of the Shottesbrooke Estate property in McLaren Flat, vineyards, winery and all it's intricacies, as well as journeying through their beautiful barrel shed. After exploring the vineyards and winery, you will experience a private, personalised tasting, featuring many of the wines that were discussed throughout the tour. Once complete, you will take a short, guided walk through our native woodlot to the award-winning restaurant The Currant Shed. Here, you will indulge in a regionally inspired 3-course lunch, complete with Shottesbrooke wines and an incredible view of our vineyards. Between courses, feel free to treat yourself to a self-guided tour of the Currant Shed’s own vegetable garden and delightful Tahitian lime grove, or simply relax and take in the charming ambiance that only McLaren Vale can offer.
9 Accommodation vouchers
From boutique Bed & Breakfasts to decadent luxury sprawling vineyard views, McLaren Vale offers a wide range of accommodation options to turn a day trip into a full weekend trip. Contact any of our friendly, local accommodation providers and give the gift of a night or two away in our beautiful region.
10. Helivista Heli-Swag Adventure Package
Helivista and Mulberry Lodge have teamed up to bring you this unique 3 night Heli-Swag Adventure Package. Highlights of the package include:
- 1 night Heli-Swag experience at your own private campsite high on the Willunga Hills with stunning views out over the McLaren Vale wine region and St Vincent Gulf.
- 2 nights luxury accommodation in the Garden Retreat at Mulberry Lodge Country Retreat with a gourmet breakfast hamper served each morning.
- Helicopter flight just before sunset, flying over the McLaren Vale Wine Region, Onkaparinga Gorge and over the stunning coastline, with spectacular views and photo opportunities. Pick up directly from Mulberry Lodge helipad.
- Campfire dinner under the stars cooked and served by your own private chef.
- Enjoy the stunning sunsets over the Gulf of St Vincent and sit under the stars by the campfire.
- Helicopter flight back to Mulberry Lodge.
- Complimentary use of the Mulberry Lodge electric bikes to cycle the Shiraz Trail during your stay.
To create your own unique McLaren Vale experience please click here.