South Australia – a McLaren Vale gourmet getaway

By Sara Schwarz
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Leconfield - Home of Richard Hamilton Wines, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Leconfield - Home of Richard Hamilton Wines, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Shingleback Wine, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
Vineyard House Producers of McLaren Vale, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
Producers of McLaren Vale
Wirra Wirra Winery at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia


The South Australian region of McLaren Vale is only a short 40-minute drive from central Adelaide making it a perfect day trip or weekend destination.

Be warned however, surrounded by stunning beaches and packed full of award winning wineries, restaurants and one of the best Farmer’s Markets around, a weekend in McLaren Vale could easily stretch into a week.

Our itinerary features just a few hi-lights of what this fantastic region has on offer…along with some great benefits for Members.

Stop 1 – Breakfast at the Adelaide Central Market

Before you hit the road south, the Adelaide Central Market offers travellers no better introduction to the produce of South Australia. Established in 1869 when a group of local market gardeners set out their wares at 3:15am one warm January morning, the Market is now a South Australian institution with over 80 stall holders all vying for your custom.

Open from 7am Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and from 9am Wednesdays and Thursdays, the Market is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and a tasty breakfast before embarking upon an indulgent gastronomic weekend.

Grote Street, Adelaide
08 8203 7494 

Stop 2 – Meet the makers at the Willunga Farmers' Market

If you are making your way through McLaren Vale on any given Saturday, the Willunga Farmers Market is a must. Established in 2002, the locals are so passionate about ‘their’ market that many pay a small fee to support it each year and refuse to take advantage of any discounts this entitles them too.

With over 50 stall holders selling their own breads, fruit and veg, meat, herbs, preserves, flowers, wine and more, if you are interested in meeting the region’s producers and tasting their products, then the Willunga Farmer’s Market is for you – and it’s a great place to grab a mid morning snack before getting down to the serious business of wine tasting.

Willunga Town Centre
Every Saturday from 8am to 12:30pm

Stop 3 – Leconfield Wines, the home of Richard Hamilton Wines

Great wines are crafted from great vineyards. Here you will find three stunning wine brands: Leconfield, Syn and Richard Hamilton.

Dr Richard Hamilton comes from a long line of winemakers - his great-great grandfather, also Richard Hamilton, established a vineyard south of Adelaide in 1837. The current Dr Hamilton set up his winery in 1972 and the cellar door, with magnificent views to the Willunga escarpment was officially opened by the then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard in 2005.

An excellent spot to try exquisite wines from both McLaren Vale and Coonawarra regions, we also encourage you to enjoy one of their regional platters that are well matched with both the wines and the views.

Cnr of Main Road and Johnston Road, McLaren Vale
08 8323 8830

Stop 4 – Shingleback Wines

Shingleback Wines is a family-owned estate that produces premium red wines across five labels. They have deservedly won numerous major awards over the years across Australia and overseas.

A shingleback is a lizard native to the McLaren Vale region. It has scales that resemble a pinecone and is a monogamous creature, seeking out the same mate each year. The wines of Shingleback, like the lizard, have a long lifespan and enjoy quality regional food (the Shingleback lizard is a fan of berries and succulent leaves in particular).

1 Main Road, McLaren Vale
08 8323 9919

Stop 5 – Penny’s Hill and so much more

Established in 1995 by Tony and Susie Parkinson), the team at Penny’s Hill are fast making up for lost time.

The Cellar Door is home to Penny's Hill, Mr. Riggs and The Black Chook wines. Local produce, books, good coffee and a treat or two are also on offer and if you’ve the time, you’re always welcome to borrow a set of boules or simply enjoy a tapas platter in the sunshine.

For those with an inclination to dine, The Kitchen Door Restaurant has established an enviable reputation. And if you feel it would be an insult to the wine and food of the region to have to drive after such a magnificent dining experience, then arrange to stay the night at Ingleburne, the beautifully restored two storey homestead on the property, which dates back to the 1850s. Generous breakfast provisions are provided.

Members – Visit Penny’s Hill and you will receive a very generous fifteen per cent discount not only at the Cellar Door, but also when staying at Ingleburne »

Main Road, McLaren Vale
08 8556 4460

Stop 6 – Wirra Wirra

In the 1970s the legendary Greg Trott rescued a derelict 1902 ironstone winery from its state of near demolition and leveraged this rejuvenated brand into the public eye with a shrewd blend of assured winemaking and astute marketing. Trott sadly passed away in March 2005 however his stamp is to be found throughout this fascinating winery from the buildings he designed to the 3/4 tonne Angelus Bell and the plans he drew up for a medieval catapult designed to shower neighbouring wineries with the finest drops from Wirra Wirra.

Members – Enjoy a generous 20 per cent discount on select wine purchases and complimentary freight for two or more cases »

McMurtrie Road, McLaren Vale
08 8323 8414

Stop 6 – Producers of McLaren Vale

Producers of McLaren Vale is set over 32 hectares of vines, crops, fruit and nut trees, veg garden, native flora and fauna and more. Here owners David Arbon and Tori Moreton offer travellers a number of unique agri-tourism experiences. Choose from hands-on classes making your own wine, olive oil, cheese, bread and preserves, guided wine tastings, food and wine matching, an on-site Providore and Cellar and a selection of accommodation options for couples or groups.

A wonderful idea that hopefully will spread throughout Australia’s regions is their Travellers Table, based on a French model where you join your hosts for a set dinner. If you’re feeling like a little more privacy however, picnic hampers, cheese plates and massages are also on offer to the weary traveller.

126 Branson Rd, McLaren Vale
08 8323 0060

Members – Producers' offers you four experiences with exclusive benefits for Members; Walk and Talk Wine, Food with Wine, McLaren Vale Blend and Seasonal Workshops.


Want to enjoy these benefits, experiences and more? Become a Member today and start benefitting.



  • Fleurieu Peninsula (SA)
  • Fleurieu (including Kangaroo Island) (SA)
  • McLaren Vale (SA)
  • Mount Lofty Ranges (SA)

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