That’s right, wine tasting Adelaide – not Adelaide Hills, nor the Barossa Valley, nor McLaren Vale, but wine-tasting experiences right here in the metropolitan area of the city. Yes, they do exist, and they are a great way of enjoying a small taste of South Australia’s amazing wines without the travel. Here are the Adelaide winery cellar doors right here.
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Feature image photo credit: Penfolds Magill Estate, Penfolds Magill Estate Tasting Bar, Adelaide
TL;DR? Here's the outline
National Wine Centre of Australia
If you are really pressed for time but still want to try a range of wines from lots of different South Australian wineries, you can do it right on the fringes of the Adelaide CBD (central business district).
Located on the corner of Hackney and Botanic Roads, it is an easy walk from the tourist areas of the city.
Visiting the National Wine Centre of Australia is a good way to start your South Australian wine experience, whether this is your only stop or you are spending more time in the wine regions.
The Wine Discovery Tour takes place every day at 11am and will give you a good overview of Australian wines.
Wine tasting here is a fun experience. There are around 120 wines from 55 wine regions available for tasting.
Grab a glass, decide on your wine and choose the amount of wine you would like to buy, from a small tasting size to a full glass. You can stick with a favourite or you can try a range of wines.
If you are well versed in the subtleties of wine, try the blind tastings, where you can try to guess the wine you are tasting. Or if you don’t know which wines to choose, go for one of the wine flights that suits your tastes.
If you are hungry while at the National Wine Centre, there is a great restaurant here too. Wined Bar serves main meals, brunch and shared platters. The have a “feed me” option if you can’t choose, and plenty of vegan choices too.
There is even a children’s menu. The food is delicious and goes perfectly with the recommended wines. Sit inside in the beautiful building to eat, or if the weather is nice, enjoy views over the small vineyard that is right outside.
Look out for events held at the National Wine Centre of Australia. There could be brand tastings, after work drinks often on a Friday afternoon or arts shows – anything is possible.
Penfolds Magill Estate
As soon as I think about a winery in Adelaide, this is the one that comes to mind. Penfolds is an iconic wine brand known all over the world for its Grange which sells for over $1000 per bottle.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of other wines here that fit any budget if Grange does not!
The first vines were planted here at Magill in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs in 1844 by Dr Christoper & Mary Penfold, and the Penfolds wine company was formed.
Interestingly for the times, Mary mostly ran the vineyard herself as Christopher had a thriving medical practice to run.
Even when Mary retired, the vineyards were handed over to their daughter Georgina – both pioneer women in the wine industry.
Since then, Penfolds has expanded its vineyards all over South Australia, and recently have even begun a venture into California. Still though, the vines at Magill Estate provide grapes for some of the best wines, including Grange.
The Penfolds Magill Estate Cellar Door is a lovely mix of old and new. While the facilities are state of the art, there is also the opportunity to explore older parts of the winery too, with tours into the old cellars available.
There are a range of tastings available, from a base range tasting to special wines, fortified wines and brandy. You can even do a vertical tasting of the Magill Estate Shiraz, which comes from the vines surrounding the cellar door.
If you get hungry, there are two restaurants here at Penfolds Magill Estate. The Magill Estate Restaurant is fine dining at its best and ideal for that special occasion – or just because you love good food and wine.
The more casual (but still quite upmarket) Magill Estate Kitchen is perfect for a laid-back brunch or long lunch before or after your tasting.
Once you include an experience such as the cellar tour, tasting and lunch, it is very easy to spend half a day here at Penfolds Magill Estate, and you will have one of the best wine experiences in Adelaide.
Want to book a tour that incorporates everything – click here to see the Penfolds Magill Estate Iconic Experience.
Patritti Cellar Door
This is another cellar door hidden away in the suburbs of Adelaide. This time you will be able to do some wine tasting in the southern suburb of Dover Gardens, just ten minutes from Glenelg.
Patritti is almost the complete opposite to Penfolds. Rather than a huge internationally-known company, Patritti is family owned and run, with the current winemaker the third generation of the family.
It was started in 1926 by Giovanni Patritti with vineyards planted around the Marion and Brighton areas. While these vineyards no longer exist, Patritti own the lease to three small historical vineyards in the Marion area.
One, the Marion Vineyard (on Oaklands Road) is believed to be the oldest surviving urban vineyard in the world, planted in 1907.
Patritti also own two vineyards in the McLaren Vale region, which is where they source most of their grapes.
The cellar door is open almost every day of the year for tastings, and on the weekends you can find food trucks, antipasto platters and sometimes live entertainment to allow you to linger for a while in the beautiful surroundings.
There is another cellar door in the suburb of Unley, just a few minutes south of the city centre, for Tomich Wines.
The actual winery is located in the Adelaide Hills, near the town of Woodside, so they produce mostly cool climate wines, like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The wines produced by this family vineyard are made with a focus on sustainability and best environmental practice.
You can visit to do a wine flight tasting, which is paired with local cheeses. Bookings are available from Monday to Friday and are required to be made in advance. They can be made on their website here.
There are dozens of wine bars around the Adelaide CBD that have extensive ranges of local wines. One of the best is the East End Cellars, located on Vardon Ave just off Rundle Street.
They are well known for stocking some of the lesser known wines from smaller producers, and they have knowledgeable staff who will happily recommend something new and fresh for you to try.
Another option is to visit the Adelaide Central Market and see what is on offer there. There are regularly producers offering up tastings of their food and beverages, so you might come across some great new wines.
You will find wines at the Kangaroo Island stand and at The Olive Tree Food & Wine, and possibly other places as producers come and go. There is also a wine bar here too.
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