McLaren Vale wine tours will introduce you to some of Australia’s finest red wines – with the country’s signature Shiraz in particular wowing international audiences – not to mention picture postcard scenery and an incredibly welcoming community.
Nestled between the rolling hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the beautiful Gulf St Vincent coastline, McLaren Vale is a prominent region within South Australia – where most of the country’s iconic wines are produced. The area can be reached within an hour from the state capital, Adelaide, making McLaren Vale wine tours an increasingly popular way to explore the sun-kissed countryside – either as a brief escape from the city or as part of an all-inclusive Australian wine country experience.
Home to some of the oldest vineyards in Australia – the first vines were planted here in 1838 – McLaren Vale is currently vying with the nearby Barossa Valley for the title of the country’s greatest Shiraz (known elsewhere as Syrah) producer. The densely coloured and richly flavoured Shiraz from the region carries a distinctive velvety texture that has been appreciated around the world. As part of a McLaren wine tour, you can plot a course through the Shiraz Trail, which follows an old railway line from the town to Willunga – visiting as many wineries as you wish.
There are around 65 high-class wineries in the region, which forms the most important part of the so-called ‘Fleurieu Zone’, many of which are small, boutique estates producing award-winning, handcrafted premium wines.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise the most exclusive wine tours McLaren Vale has to offer, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique activities. All of our private tours can be tailor-made to meet your exact specifications, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy sampling world-class wines surrounded by Australia’s trademark natural beauty.
Our purely bespoke tour of McLaren Vale will take you to a range of revered wineries accompanied by a professional guide to explain the region and wine’s characteristics before sampling some premium vintages paired with local cuisine over a two-course lunch. As well as tasting a variety of Shiraz vintages, other red wine varieties include, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Grenache that can be aged gracefully for decades – while white styles are made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
And, to accompany the region’s iconic wines, the region is also renowned for its bounty of fresh, local produce, including bread, cheeses, olives and fruit – all of which can be procured from a weekly Farmers’ Market as well as artisan relishes, sauces and traditional cured meats to provide perfect wine pairings and picnic ingredients. Despite being considered a small town, McLaren Vale boasts an impressive array of boutique shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries stretched along the main high street that runs 8km from the town to Willunga.
Aside from taking wine tours, McLaren Vale is an ideal location to explore the great outdoors, including the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is inundated with wildlife as well as a range of seafaring activities including surfing, fishing and swimming off the golden sand beaches, and the Onkaparinga National Park, which is perhaps best explored by taking a canoe down the Onkaparinga River – the second-longest waterway in Australia – which flows towards an imposing gorge straddled by soaring cliffs.
If you are interested in McLaren wine tours, visit our Australia destination page for more information and inspirational ideas before planning a bespoke trip.
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