WITH MORE THAN 350 CELLAR DOORS NESTLED AMONG SOME 76,000 HECTARES OF VINEYARDS, YOU’RE SPOILT FOR CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING A SPOT TO SIP WINE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
But wander a little off the well-worn track and you will be rewarded with hidden gems pouring up wine in unique settings. From boutique cellar doors tucked in 100-year-old churches to small-batch organic wines nestled in valleys, your new favourite cellar door is waiting to be discovered. Forgo the familiar with our guide to the best hidden cellar doors in South Australia… We bet there’s somewhere on this list even the most dedicated vinophile is yet to visit!
1. TEN MILES EAST, ADELAIDE HILLS
Set your coordinates Ten Miles East and step into a storybook-perfect cellar door. Frequented by those in the know (welcome to the club), this Adelaide Hills winery and cellar door is one of the most idyllic and undiscovered spots to drink wine in South Australia. Their vineyard footprint is small, stretching just nine acres and with six varietals grown and bottled. But with unique varieties like the Georgian Saperavi – one of the few grapes which is has both red skin and flesh – a visit to Ten Miles East is a discovery for all senses. Surrounded by rambling, terraced gardens reminiscent of an English manor, the 100% estate grown wine is poured from a tiny 1800s stone barn. Find a spot nestled among the trees, perched lakeside or sprawled on the lawns with a BYO picnic spread and they’ll pour your wine wherever you settle.
2. SAMSON TALL, FLEURIEU PENINSULA
Consider yourself a devout wine connoisseur? Add Samson Tall to your cellar-door bucket list. Not your average cellar door, Samson Tall is a boutique winery located in a picturesque McLaren Vale church dating back to 1854. Pull up a pew (literally) and let winemaker Paul Wilson pour you a few of his favourite drops or head outside to enjoy a bottle of heaven-sent grenache-mataro rosé on the deck. There’s a piano waiting to be played, lush lawns primed for picnics, and a resident winery dog, Miller, in need of pats. Your pup is welcome too. Did we mention there’s a historic graveyard out the back?
3. BERG HERRING, FLEURIEU PENINSULA
A short drive down the coast, the religious ritual of wine continues. A converted church blessed with sweeping views across Sellicks Beach provides one of the most unique spots to sip wine on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Conveniently open Friday to Monday for long-weekend getaways, Berg Herring is a small-batch label producing basket-pressed, minimal intervention wines. The rosé and fiano are exceptional, and perfect to savour (or slurp) on a hot summer’s day by the beach.
4. CRFT, ADELAIDE HILLS
Perched in one of the highest altitude grape growing regions in the country lies a lesser-known hero of the Adelaide Hills. CRFT is a certified organic label run by wine young-guns Candice Helbig and Frewin Ries, who collectively have 48 vintages under their belt. Set to the backdrop of the Mount Lofty Ranges, the unique Piccadilly micro-climate allows wine to be produced with minimal intervention. Bountiful rainfall means the vineyards are unirrigated and native ducks, rather than pesticides, keep insects under control. Here, grape growing conditions are likened to those of the Champagne wine region in France and are among the coldest, wettest and most elevated in Australia. The result is relatively low cropping but quality yields which are used to create 13 single-vineyard wines. Best sipped metres from the vines on which they were grown, CRFT’s cellar door is a converted barn cradled by vineyards.
5. BETWEEN THE VINES, ADELAIDE HILLS
Hidden at the bottom of a lush valley, Between the Vines is as much a secret garden as vineyard. Descend down the tree-lined driveway to the family-run cellar door, where a charming Tuscan-style tasting room sits on the edge of the five-acre vineyard. Framed by hills festooned with vines, private alfresco nooks are tucked all around the cottage-style garden and vineyard, while panoramic views await on the rooftop deck. Inside, there are countless cosy corners to sip wine paired with a local cheese platter. You’ll find Between the Vines on the edge of the leafy hamlet of Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.
6. BIG EASY RADIO, FLEURIEU PENINSULA
A big blue shed, live music, board-short clad locals and slightly sandy floors… Big Easy Radio isn’t your typical cellar door. Shunning wine snobbery, this quirky winery reflects the label’s mission of making wine more approachable. Natural-style wines show the breadth of the region’s terroir with grenache, touriga, tempranillo, malbec, montepulciano, sangiovese, mataro, fiano and vermentino among varietals bottled up and liberally poured out. Pack a picnic and sprawl out on the lawns with a bottle or two, some friends, your dog or your kids; everyone is welcome. On Fridays, wine and cocktails, set to a soundtrack of live music, are served into the night.