It’s difficult to visit Adelaide 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 Tour
- 6 Best Private Wine Tour of the Adelaide Hills
- 7 Best Adelaide Wine Tour if you are Short on Time
- 8 Best Combined Adelaide Hills & Barossa Valley Tour
- 9 Adelaide Hills Accommodation
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 among the vineyards 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
This full day wine tour gives you a little of everything. See some of the picturesque Adelaide Hills villages and visit a variety of wineries and cellar doors. Combine the wine tasting with a visit to Hahndorf where you can enjoy a German lunch and wander along the delightful main street. Pickups for this tour can be done from the Adelaide City Centre, Glenelg, the airport and cruise port.
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 Tour
What is the one thing better than a wine tour? One that also includes cheese and chocolate! This private tour will pick you up from your Adelaide city centre, Glenelg or Adelaide Hills accommodation. During the day you will visit a variety of wineries that offer pairings, either food, cheese or chocolate is matched to the wines on offer. Lunch is in Hahndorf with a German flair and there will also be time to explore that main street of Hahndorf.
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 then the days yours to plan. You will either be taken to the wineries of your choosing, or you can go with the recommendations or your driver. but it’s not just wineries you can visit, you can add in breweries and distilleries, some of the local cheese and chocolate producers, and scenic viewpoints like Mount Lofty.
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 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
- Sticky Rice Villas – self-contained villas that look like a piece of Bali has been transported to the Adelaide Hills
- Manna by Haus – hotel rooms right in the heart of Hahndorf. Read my review here.
- Mount Lofty House – a historic country house with amazing views over the Adelaide Hills. Pure Luxury!
- Longview Winery – vineyard B&B accommodation with sweeping views and a delicious breakfast.
- Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park – family accommodation right in the heart of Hahndorf, ranging from self-contained cottages to camping areas
Visiting more great South Australian wine regions? These posts might help
Things to do in the Barossa Valley that Aren’t Wine Tasting
Barossa Valley Wineries You’ve Never Heard Of
Best Coonawarra Wineries for a Wine Tasting Weekend
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.