Lonely Planet describes Adelaide as a city that is ‘effortlessly chic, and, like a perfectly cellared red, it’s ready to be uncorked and sampled’. The pun is intended; the region is the wine capital of the continent, with numerous estates of all sizes – and personalities – on its doorstep.
There are reds from the Coonawarra on the Limestone Coast, an hour’s drive from Adelaide, and further north is the Clare Valley, which is famous for its rieslings. The Adelaide Hills have some stunning, crisp, white wines and there are 30 boutique vineyards, so drive yourself around the estates and take the day at your own pace or join one of the guided tours.
Notable vineyards include Hentley Farm, set among the green banks of Greenock Creek, and Seppeltsfield, where you can taste your own birth year. There is also Penfolds in the heart of the Barossa region, which offers blend-your-own-wine experiences. And last but not least, there’s D’Arenberg in McLaren Vale, where you can ride rough on a 4WD tour or take to the skies in a Waco plane.
After a day of wine-tasting, unwind by dining at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant, one of South Australia’s most loved and highly awarded eateries, set on a picturesque hilltop.
If gin and vodka are more your thing, visit the award-winning distillery on Kangaroo Island, a short flight from Adelaide (and you’ll find the island is about far more than booze:
Adelaide’s cuisine scene is varied and diverse, from innovative restaurants to beachside cafes. There’s a sweet sense of innovation (literally): there’s recently been a small boom in dessert bars serving only… desserts. Hip names include Eggless, Devour and Aviary.
There are also the Fork on the Road monthly events, showcasing the best of the city’s food trucks all in one place. It claims to show off ‘the new, hip happenings in Adelaide,’ making it ‘unique, cool and exciting’. Check out forkontheroad.com.au for details.
Should you fancy yourself a bit of a MasterChef, soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Adelaide’s Central Market, a magnet for budding foodies, selling produce from farmers across the state. Pick and choose from a smorgasbord of ingredients, from shellfish to cured hams, olive oils and matured cheeses.
Had your South Australia foodie fix? Head north to Uluru to dine under the stars, and to the Northern Territory’s capital Darwin for a taste of the tropical.
South Australia’s food and wine highlights
• ‘Make Your Own Blend’ at the Penfolds Nuriootpa Cellar Door, Australian Wine Producer of the Year. Alternatively, dine at its Magill Estate Restaurant, on the outskirts of Adelaide, recognised as one of the Top 10 restaurants in Australia
• Take a day trip from Adelaide to the Fleurieu Peninsula with Off Piste 4WD Tours. Discover a blend of craft beer, olive farms and boutique cellar doors set against a stunning coastal backdrop. Getting off the beaten track means you’ll find iconic producers at excusive locations
• Take to the skies in a hot air balloon for an aerial view of Australia’s premium wine region, the Barossa. Once back on land visit the iconic wineries of the region including Jacobs Creek, Wolf Blass and Penfolds [deleted lesser-known here as it makes it too long and we also mention off the beaten track producers in the point above]
• Sample the gastronomic delights of South Australia’s finest restaurants in the Barossa including Fino at Seppeltsfield, FermentAsian and Appellation.
• The Eyre Peninsula is to seafood what the Barossa is to wine, so head there for Coffin Bay oysters, abalone, lobster and tuna direct from the ocean, or try a cooking class at the Fresh Fish Place. If travelling there by car, be sure to take in the Seafood Frontier route