d'Arenberg Cube-Fleurieu Peninsula-South Australia

South Australia’s best wineries to visit

These are the best wineries to visit in South Australia

From the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale, check out these cellar doors.

Words by Ute Junker

Photo South Australia Tourism

Low-impact wines: Gemtree Wines, McLaren Vale

They do things differently at Gemtree Wines. Every bottle that is produced here is certified organic, biodynamic, preservative-free and vegan-friendly. The winery’s sustainability-first focus – which includes using sheep instead of pesticides to keep weeds under control – recently saw Gemtree take out the award for world’s best winery for sustainable wine tourism. Along with making fine wine, the owners want to ensure they leave the land in better condition than they found it, which is why the cellar door, made of recycled materials, runs on solar power.

Don’t miss The winery offers a Wuldi Cultural Experience in which a Ngarrindjeri elder shares ancient stories of this land.

Riesling royalty: Jim Barry Wines, Clare Valley

If you have come to the Clare Valley to take a deep dive into Riesling – and let’s face it, that’s why most people come to the Clare Valley – you can thank Jim Barry. Barry pioneered Riesling in the Clare Valley when he launched his winery in 1959. Today Jim Barry Wines, still run by the Barry family, is known for producing some of the region’s best Rieslings, all of which are made with fruit from their own vineyards. They do a fine job with other varietals too, including shiraz the Greek grape assyrtiko.

Don’t miss The limited-edition Florita Riesling is sourced from one vineyard in Watervale, with winemakers hand-selecting grapes from individual rows to ensure the perfect drop.

History in a glass: Seppeltsfield Barossa, Barossa Valley

It starts with the date palms, all 2000 of them. Lining either side of the road leading to Seppeltsfield Barossa, they are the first sign that you are heading somewhere special. Step through the gates at one of Australia’s oldest wineries, dating back all the way to 1851, and you will find plenty to explore, from the JamFactory design studios to the acclaimed Fino restaurant. Top billing, of course, has to go to the award-winning wines, which range from shiraz to vermentino and grenache, not to mention some outstanding fortified wines.

Don’t miss This is the only winery in the world to release a 100-year-old tawny every year. Book in on the Centenary Tour to taste tawny from your birth year straight from the barrel.

Defying gravity: D’Arenberg, McLaren Vale

D’Arenberg has the most distinctive cellar door in South Australia. Known as The Cube, this five-storey glass construction resembles a Rubik’s Cube and appears to float above the vineyards that surround it. You will find the tasting room, where you can savour the views while you sample d’Arenberg’s rich reds, on the top floor. To get there, you first pass through a series of creatively-designed spaces including the aroma room, where you can experience some of the different notes commonly found in wine; a virtual fermenter; and plenty of art installations.

Don’t miss If you have always wanted to try your hand at winemaking, book into a Blending Bench experience – you even get to take a bottle of your favourite blend home with you.

Pinot paradise: Ashton Hills Vineyard, Adelaide Hills

There is a lot to be said for doing one thing and doing it well. When Stephen George founded this Ashton Hills Vineyard 40 years ago, he quickly decided the cool climate was perfect for producing premium pinot noirs. The winery has kept its focus there ever since, although it also produces a small amount of other drops such as chardonnay and sparkling shiraz. The friendly cellar door team includes chief guest-greeter Clive the border collie.

Don’t miss For passionate pinot fans, the Pinot in Private experience is a must. Winemaker Liam Van Pelt guides you through a tasting of all the current release wines, including a barrel tasting.

A long version of this story first appeared at delicious.com.au 

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