Chapel Hill Winery,
McLaren Vale, SA
McLaren Vale boasts around 65 wineries, mostly boutique-sized. About 270 independent grape growers can also be found here. Visit weekend farmer's markets and pack your picnic hamper with fresh bread, cheese, olives and fruit or linger over lunch in a picturesque vineyard restaurant. Walk, cycle or horse ride along the Shiraz Trail, which follows an old railway line from McLaren Vale to Willunga. Then soak up the region's artistic culture on one of the many driving and walking trails.
Nestled between the rolling Mount Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent beaches, the McLaren Vale region is known for its impressive wines, lush regional produce and scenery. McLaren Vale is also rich in history. It is the birthplace of the South Australian wine industry and home to some of the world's oldest grape vines. The first McLaren Vale vines were planted in 1838. Today McLaren Vale has 65 wineries, mostly boutique-sized, and all within a short distance of McLaren Vale's main street. About 270 independent grape growers can also be found here.
McLaren Vale's Mediterranean climate has created ideal conditions for grape-growing. Shiraz is the most important variety grown in the region, accounting for about half of the area's production. The climate and soil produce intense flavoured fruit and wine with a deep purple colour that can last decades in the bottle. The region also specialises in chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and grenache, as well as merlot, sauvignon blanc and riesling. In between tastings, meet the winemakers or take a guided behind-the-scenes tour.