In Food + Drink

A Complete Guide To Adelaide Winter Wine Festivals

As Adelaide’s summer of cultural festivals draws to a close, a different kind of festival comes to the foreground. Life in Adelaide is synonymous with wine, no matter what season it is, but autumn and winter is prime sipping season.

Technically, you could go DYI and explore the city’s statement-art splashed laneways and their hidden small bars on a makeshift wine tour.

Round up a group of friends or work colleagues and head to the beach (yes, even in winter, they’re dreamy). The weather might have cooled but there’s more wineries in McLaren Vale than you can you can fit in one season.

For the ultimate cosy winter vibes, head to the hills, where is wine season 365 days of the year.

Or, if none of those options appeal, head along to one of South Australia’s many wine-themed winter festivals.

The scenic sipper

The Skilly Hills, Clare Valley Photo: Facebook

Of all South Australia’s wine regions, the Clare Valley is one of the most visually stunning. Get away from the city for the weekend and imbibe in good old country hospitality. From May 19-22, over 25 wineries host dozens of events for the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend.

If you love sipping wine in a stunning valley panorama, this weekend is all you. This event sparked the food and wine trend in Australia. Today, the oldest event of its kind continues to celebrate drinking wine, eating lots, meandering gourmet markets, and marvelling at art exhibitions.

The tourer

Ekhidna Wine, McLaren Vale Photo: TheLeadSA/Flickr CC

Love a bit of adventure with your wine? For three days in June (10-12), head to one of Australia’s most famous coastal wine regions, McLaren Vale. From masterclasses, food trucks and music to big table spreads and tastings, Sea and Vines will stimulate all of your senses. Some of the big-name wineries you’ll visit include Alpha Box & Dice, Coriole, Maxwell, S.C. Pannell, Serafino and Wirra Wirra.

Pubs and hotels around Adelaide make it easy to get to and from McLaren Vale – starting early at their city location and heading down as a big tour group together. You’ll want to round up your wine loving friends for this. It’s held on the June long weekend, so you’ve got plenty of time to recover from the glorious gluttony.

A tour of another kind, there’s Winter Reds. Trade the beach for the charming Adelaide Hills for the July 28-30 weekend. Grab your thickest scarf and winter garbs, then make your way to this famous wine region. You’ll have over 30 wineries to choose from, so take your time. Life isn’t meant to be rushed in the hills.

Picture a crackling fire, quaffing various reds, and rubbing shoulders with your nearest and dearest. Experience how to ‘festival’ in the hills. It’s laid-back, cosy and will take you around some of the most gorgeous, rolling hills views.

The not-another-glass of wine 

If you need a break from all the wine, there’s a festival to break up your winter of wine – Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival. It’s on the same weekend as Winter Reds and showcases South Australia’s best beer and cider. There’s 50 exhibitors to make your mouth water. Which is prefect, as hydration is close at hand.

The all-rounder

Before you hang up your wine hat until summer, you have to visit the Barossa Valley. Indulge in a long weekend of wine masterclasses, cooking, markets, and music – all derived from the very best of this region. Barossa Gourmet Weekend is held August 31 – September 2. Food and wine is always the focus of the Barossa but for this weekend, it’s Mecca. Meet wine producers, world-class chefs, artisan makers and fabulous locals.

If you can’t pick just one ‘wine personality’, why not be them all? There’s one festival for every month, starting now.

Published 26 April, 2018