The Adelaide Hills is one of the premier wine-producing regions in Australia.
Renowned for its cool climate in comparison to other winemaking regions in the state, the Adelaide Hills wine region is actually quite diverse. Thanks to its rolling hills, the area is graced with low and high altitudes allowing for microclimates to form and produce a variety of flavour profiles and intensities.
Wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Gris, Shiraz, Sparkling, and Chardonnay are just some of the varieties visitors and wine connoisseurs can expect to taste on their journey into the Adelaide Hills where they will find small-scale wine producers bottling only a few hundred bottles a year as well as wineries that make appearances on wine lists across the world’s major cities.
And at just 20 minutes by car from the city, a trip to the Adelaide Hills makes for the perfect day out or quick weekend escape. Just don’t be a bloody idiot.
Not too sure where you should head first? Not to worry, neither did we. So we’ve put together this list of some of our favourites so far.
1. Bird In Hand, Woodside
A family-owned winery that began in the late 90s and within one generation has become one of the leading wineries in the region producing a varied portfolio of wines, ranging from the everyday table variety through to those with more distinguished character and maturity. Not limited to Sauvignon Blanc or white wines, Bird In Hand was also the 2019 red winemaker of the year (International Wine Challenge 2019).
📍 150 Pfeiffer Road
2. Nepenthe, Balhannah
With their name taken from Homer’s The Odyssey for a herbal drink which eases grief and banishes sorrow from the mind, it is clear that the standards Nepenthe sets itself are quite high. Since it’s beginning, Nepenthe has exceeded those standards and appeared on numerous national and international wine lists and awards resulting in continued expansion. The winery at Balhannah is well known for its views and makes for the perfect picnic spot.
📍 93 Jones Road
3. Howard Vineyard, Nairne
Located between Mt Barker and Nairne, this family-owned and run winery is pet and kid-friendly with plenty of grass for both to run around on. And at just a 25-minute drive from the CBD, Howard Vineyard is an excellent lazy Sunday option. Visit the Clover+Stone’s Restaurant for Asian-inspired eats paired with fantastic wines.
📍 53 Bald Hills Road
4. Deviation Road, Longwood
Producing exciting wines from mature vineyards, Deviation Road blends tradition with contemporary nous with their specialty being sparkling and aromatic white wines. Located near the Scott Creek Conservation Park, the winery and cellar door is an idyllic location surrounded by protected bushland, a perfect place to sample their drops with a regional platter to share with friends.
📍 207 Scott Creek Road
5. K1 By Geoff Hardy, Kuitpo
Considered by some to be the finest, single estate wines in Australia, K1 By Geoff Hardy has continued a 160-year old family tradition of pushing the boundaries of Australian viticulture. It is no surprise then that Geoff Hardy has consulted with over 200 vineyards across Australia, France, and Italy in order to help them produce the best crop possible. K1 By Geoff Hardy has also regularly been voted in the top winery and cellar door experiences across the country by leading wine industry publications. I mean, just to check out that house on a lake feel would be worth it.
📍 159 Tynan Road
6. Petaluma, Woodside
Founded in 1976, Petaluma has vineyards in three of Adelaide’s wine-growing regions but has chosen the Adelaide Hills, specifically Woodside, for their new and improved cellar door experience where visitors are able to sit out on the deck, overlooking the lands, and prepare to sample some of the best Chardonnay in the area.
📍 254 Pfeiffer Road
7. Artwine, Woodside
Another fine choice in Woodside is Artwine, a relatively new winery who have amassed an incredible 25 trophies and awards for their ‘alternative’ wines— new to Australia Mediterranean grape varieties which create and drive their passion. Artwine explains that these varieties are ”food friendly, lighter in style and have complex flavours that are interesting and awaken our palates.” Consequently, they are the only Adelaide Hills cellar door offering estate-grown Prosecco and Albariño. Enough said.
📍 72 Bird in Hand Road
8. The Lane Vineyard, Hahndorf
Come to The Lane Vineyard for an exquisite food and wine experience complemented by the stunning scenery thanks to the elevated location across from the Onkaparinga Valley. Here you will wine and dine and come back for more, but the real treat is in the experiences which help unearth a true sense of the place. Well worth it for your special loved one or a group of friends.
📍 5 Ravenswood Lane
9. Karrawatta, Meadows
Out of a love for elegant wines, Karrawatta was born. Making small-batch, single-vineyard wines from their vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek, this family-run estate showcases their wines at Sophie’s Hill Vineyard in Meadows. Their Adelaide Hills experience begins at just $10 and they’re open seven days a week. Guided tours are also available. What’s not to love about that?
📍 164 Greenhills Road
With over 60 wineries and cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills region, by no means is this list definitive. It’s just the beginning of an adventure.