It’s difficult to visit Adelaide, South Australia, without hearing all about the wine regions surrounding the city. We are proud of our local wines, and clearly others think the same as Adelaide was named as one of the ten Great Wine Capitals of the world in 2016. Within one hour from our city centre we have three world-class wine regions that visitors and locals alike love to visit. When looking for things to do in Adelaide, taking a day tour to do some wine tasting is essential. With an absolute plethora of tours to choose from, I have done the research for you and come up with the best Adelaide Hills wine tours from Adelaide for everyone.
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- 1 Where are the Adelaide Hills?
- 2 About the Adelaide Hills Wine Region
- 3 Best Full Day Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
- 4 Best Hop On Hop Off Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
- 5 Best Wine and Food Tasting Tour
- 6 Best Private Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
- 7 Best Adelaide Wine Tour if you are Short on Time
- 8 Best Eco Wine Tour and Wildlife Experience
- 9 Best Combined Adelaide Hills & Barossa Valley Tour
- 10 Adelaide Hills Accommodation
- 11 More South Australian Wine Tours
Where are the Adelaide Hills?
Located to the east of the Adelaide city centre, the Adelaide Hills wine region stretches for 70km along the path of the Mount Lofty Ranges – often colloquially called the Adelaide Hills – from Williamstown in the north to Strathalbyn in the south. It also encompasses the popular town of Hahndorf and the large residential centre of Mount Barker. It’s the closest wine region to the city centre too. You can be within the region in only twenty minutes from your accommodation if travelling by car.
About the Adelaide Hills Wine Region
The Adelaide Hills wine region is a little different to the other South Australia wine regions that surround it because it is a cool climate wine region. Most of the Adelaide Hills vineyards sit between 600 and 650 metres above sea level. The cooler and wetter climate means that the area is perfect for chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc wines. The first grape vines were planted here near Mount Barker in 1840 and since then they have grown to have their own distinct flavours.
There are around fifty cellar doors available to visit during your wine tour. Some of the best known Adelaide Hills wineries are Shaw + Smith, Bird in Hand and Hahndorf Hill. Of course there are also many other attraction in the area to consider too, particularly the town of Hahndorf, and the many other gourmet food producers and craft breweries that dot the hills.
Best Full Day Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
Looking for a tour that is all about the wine experience? This tour is it! It is all about the grape varieties, how the wines are made, the history and the location. Lunch is included as you travel to up to five boutique cellar doors. You will be picked up in the Adelaide City Centre, or in Glenelg or the Barossa Valley.
Best Hop On Hop Off Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
For flexibility during your tour of the Adelaide Hills cellar doors, try the hop on hop off bus. It will pick you up in the Adelaide City Centre, and once in the Adelaide Hills it loops around between 8-10 wineries allowing you to stop at those you would like to try for as long as you would like. The bus also stops in the township of Hahndorf, and if you are staying in the Adelaide Hills region rather than in the city you are able to join the tour from there.
Best Wine and Food Tasting Tour
What is the one thing better than a wine tour? One that also includes cheese and chocolate! This small group tour will pick you up from the Adelaide city centre, Glenelg or even in the Barossa Valley. During the day you will stop at various local producers such as Melba’s Chocolate Factory, Udder Delights and Beerenberg Farm. Lunch is included and there will also be time to explore that main street of Hahndorf. The wineries have not been forgotten, and at least two will be visited on your tour.
Best Private Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
For a special day out, this is the wine tour to choose. You will be picked up by luxury car from your Adelaide city centre accommodation and whisked up to the Adelaide Hills, with a quick stop at Mount Lofty to see the views over the city and out to sea. Your personal guide will take you to three popular Adelaide Hills wineries where you will enjoy tasting their premium wines before enjoying a three course lunch with matching wines at one of the best Adelaide Hills winery restaurants. After a leisurely lunch, there will be time for one more tasting before being returned to your central accommodation.
Best Adelaide Wine Tour if you are Short on Time
Only a few minutes from the city centre is the Penfolds Magill Estate cellar door. This two-hour tour will show you around the whole estate while you learn about the wine making process. At the end of the tour there are some tastings and snacks, including a taste of the world-renowned premium wine, Penfolds Grange.
Best Eco Wine Tour and Wildlife Experience
Start the day by hiking through some of the pristine Adelaide Hills bushland on the Morialta walking trails, with luck spotting waterfalls and various wildlife, birds and wildflowers. Learn about the Eco-certified Sinclair’s Gully wines, and taste some of them while enjoying a BBQ lunch before being returned to your city accommodation
Best Combined Adelaide Hills & Barossa Valley Tour
Can’t decide if you want to taste the cool climate Adelaide Hills wines or the full bodied Barossa Valley reds? Take this private tour to have the best of both worlds. It starts in the Adelaide Hills and then the afternoon is spent tasting wines at the Barossa Valley cellar doors. This tour is flexible and can be customised to your own requirements and is for up to six people.
Adelaide Hills Accommodation
While the Adelaide Hills are easy to reach from the city centre, it is a lovely area to stay in especially if you are looking to relax and get away from the daily hustle. Many of the accommodation options are located in rural or bushland settings, and are perfect for that luxurious, romantic retreat. Here are some suggestions
This B&B is located in the leafy streets of Stirling and looks absolutely lovely. It has fantastic reviews, and offers everything from breakfast, to wifi and airport transfers.
Sticky Rice Villas
A quirky name, but these self-contained villas look like a piece of Bali has been transported to the Adelaide Hills. Each of the three individually themed villas contains a full kitchen and outdoor space with scenic garden views. For an additional charge, you can also do a cooking class at the on site cooking school.
The Haus Studio Apartments
If you would prefer to stay “in town”, then this option right in the main street of Hahndorf could be for you. The self-contained studio apartments are spacious and modern, and you will have access to the many Hahndorf restaurants. It is also the perfect location to explore the town after you have spent a long day tasting wines in the region.
Mount Lofty House
This one is pure luxury! Now run by Sofitel, it is located in a historic country house with amazing views over the Adelaide Hills. The on-site restaurant is a popular fine-dining location and if the food at the cocktail party I attended here is anything to go by, it will be delicious. The grounds include a swimming pool and a tennis court, all surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens leading to the neighbouring golf course and national park.
If you are looking for Adelaide Hills winery accommodation, this is it, Longview Vineyard at Macclesfield. We actually stayed here a few years ago when the accommodation side was only new and it was just stunning. I loved waking up to views over the vineyard, and the included breakfast was delicious and plentiful.
Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park
Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park offers a range of family accommodation right in the heart of Hahndorf, ranging from self-contained cottages to camping areas. Importantly, they also provide a disability access unit too. They provide many extra facilities such as an on-site bar & bistro, an outdoor swimming pool, a playground, mini-golf and a self serve laundry.
More South Australian Wine Tours
While you are visiting South Australia, why not visit one or two of the other wine regions we have here – after all there are 18 different regions to choose from! Here are some links to some wine tours in the other regions that are the most popular with visitors.
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.