Food and Wine Touring South Australia

South Australia is deservedly known as the "Wine Capital of Australia". The State produces 70% of Australia's exported wines, is home to 17 different wine regions including the Barossa and Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Coonawara, and has over 300 cellar doors including world famous names like Jacob's Creek, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Peter Lehmann. Food and wine themed touring ideas include, in no particular order:

BAROSSA EPICURIAN TOURS offers personally tailored wine tours showcasing the best of the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. All tours include both well known estates as well as small family run boutique wineries offering internationally acclaimed, award winning wines and regional food. Departures are from Adelaide or the Barossa with flexible pick up and drop offs. 

LIFE IS A CABERNET specialises in customised, guided wine tours in the premier wine growing regions of the Barossa, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. Tours are tailored to budget, taste and interest and can include Kangaroo Island, famed for both its wine as well as its wildlife. 

WINERY TOURS AT PENFOLDS MAGILL ESTATE - One of Australia's most famous historic working wineries, just 15 minutes from the centre of Adelaide, operates a selection of guided, behind the scenes tours. The daily "Heritage Tour" includes the Bluestone Vintage Cellar where Penfolds Grange and Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz are made. A tutored tasting session of six Penfolds wines takes place in the Still House. The "Great Grange Tour" takes an exclusive look around the original Penfold family home built in 1845 where guests taste six Penfolds Super Premium Wines and Penfolds' 20-year-old Bluestone Tawny from the barrel.

BAROSSA CLASSIC CYCLE TOURS allows visitors to experience delicious food and regional wine whilst cycling around a landscape filled with vine valleys, coastal scenery, river wetlands, ranges and gorges. These small group tours explore a network of quiet back roads with knowledgeable tour guides, whilst support vehicles ensure the ride is safe, enjoyable and hassle free. For example, the Red Ochre to Red Wine Tour is a fully catered, eight day, 700 kms road tour starting and finishing in the Barossa. 

BAROSSA DAIMLER TOURS offers luxury, small group, behind the scenes wine tours incorporating first class tastings of 26 premium wines including the remarkable 100 year old Para Liqueur Tawny (Liquid History). Not normally open to the public, Kalimna Vineyard is home to Shiraz grapes used in the world renowned Penfolds Grange, as well as the famous 'Block 42' Cabernet Sauvignon vines thought to be the oldest in the world (1880s). All tours are conducted by a knowledgeable local wine guide in a 1962 Majestic Major Daimler.

The "Luxury Liquid Tour" visits a number of renowned wineries with highlights that include a private tasting at Penfolds Barossa Winery, first class wine tasting at Wolf Blass Visitor Centre, structured wine tasting at Saltram Estate, a winery and museum tour at Seppeltsfield plus fortified wine tasting, morning tea, lunch with wine at Salters Restaurant and 20% discount on wines purchased during the day. 

BEHIND THE SCENES AT SEPPELTSFIELD - Seppeltsfield, Australia's leading fortified winemaker and home to the world's largest stocks of fortified wine, offers behind the scenes tours of its historic 1851 winery. The daily 'Heritage' tour takes visitors through the winery's gardens and heritage buildings, and 'The Legend of Seppeltsfield' tour features tastings of sparkling, table and fortified wines, including the 100 Year Para Liqueur Vintage Tawny. 

PRIME MINI TOURS, whose trademark value for money tours include a guided cheese and wine trail through the McLaren Vale. Visitors enjoy a progressive four-course picnic lunch as they taste their way through pecans, brazil nuts and mild goats curd cheese washed down with a dry white wine, finishing the day with cheddar, smoked meats and pickled vegetables accompanied by a full bodied McLaren Vale Shiraz.

THE BAROSSA CHEESE AND WINE TRAIL comes from the Barossa Valley Cheese Company in Angaston who sell (A$45) cooler bags containing cheese knife and board, four locally made cheeses, with crackers, and a trail map that matches specific wines to specific cheeses. There are six possible routes to be savoured, each one including five wineries within close proximity. There is also an opportunity to value-add to the bag by purchasing other local produce including olives, pates and chocolates.

ADELAIDE'S TOP FOOD & WINE TOURS offers "Market Adventures", a walking tour of Adelaide Central Market and "Grazing on Gouger", a progressive four-course dining tour along Gouger Street renowned for its Asian cuisine. Regional wine tours include "Fruits of the Vine", a day trip to the Barossa's boutique wineries.

A TASTE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA offers personalised group and individual tours providing visitors with the opportunity to meet the personalities behind some of SA's most famous wineries. Any or all five main wine regions can be visited with special interest tours and cooking schools all available. 

RICH & LINGERING, named the Best Tour Operator in South Australia 2008, offers private, bespoke food and wine tours of the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, and takes pride in its premium service, high levels of knowledge and individually tailored experiences. Tour options include "A Gourmand's Delight", a full-day private tour of McLaren Vale, during which participants are transported in luxury to one of the region's newest cellar doors, Olivers Taranga, home to exceptional small batch wines. During the day visitors sample the best of local produce - a sumptuous range of olives, cheeses and oils at Coriole, tapenades, pestos and relishes at The Olive Grove and the wines of Primo Estate and Wirra Wirra wineries. Other options include cheese or wine master classes, Adelaide Central Market and farmers' market tours, cooking classes and gourmet picnics. 

THE LOUISE, the Barossa's premier vineyard retreat, offers guests a range of exclusive private "Signature Barossa Experiences" . Nine of the region's top boutique winemakers open their doors exclusively to the hotel's overnight guests providing an unparalleled opportunity to meet the families and artisan individuals responsible for making some of Australia's most prestigious wines whose distribution is limited to small volumes. Each tasting provides a different insight - organic and biodynamic wines, alternate varietals, barrel tasting, specific and inspired food pairing, rustic heritage and old vine. 

HILTON CHEF PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO HIS CULINARY EXPERTISE - Chef Cheong Liew of the Hilton Adelaide's internationally acclaimed Grange Restaurant, has been described as an innovator, the founder of East meets West cuisine and one of the world's top ten contemporary chefs. By special arrangement, hotel guests can join Cheong Liew on a personalised tour of the city's famous Central Markets, visiting his favourite stalls and shopping for fresh produce. A limited number of guests can also enjoy dinner in the hotel kitchen watching the genius at work, preparing the evening meal. 

FOOD TOURS OF ADELAIDE CENTRAL MARKET - Adelaide's 135-year-old Central Market is a must for visitors. Mark Gleeson, a respected food expert, conducts guided market tours explaining the huge range of fresh produce featured on 80 plus specialist stalls that attract over 1.3 million visitors per month. Co-owner of the Providore (market stall 66 selling premium gourmet food), Mark has over 25 years' experience in the hospitality industry and a knowledge of South Australian food.  Central Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and a range of tours are available with Mark on these days, such as an "Early Riser" including a market breakfast and lunch with a two-course gourmet meal. Each option provides the opportunity to visit stall holders, taste many foods and experience the exciting buzz of the market.

TASTING AUSTRALIA, Australia's premier food, wine and beer festival, will take place from 6th - 13th May 2010, giving media, food and drink professionals, as well as the general public, the opportunity to experience the best SA has to offer. In the eleven years since its inception, Tasting Australia has hosted hundreds of the world's top chefs, including our own Rick Stein, Antonio Carluccio, Sophie Grigson and Madhur Jaffrey, as well as sommeliers, restaurateurs, food, wine and travel media, plus millions of food lovers. The last event alone attracted some 50,000 people over eight days. 

CELLAR DOOR PASS, the first product of its kind in the world, allows visitors to experience as many as six cellar doors from over 50 participating South Australian wineries located throughout the State, with world famous names including Wolf Blass, Penfolds and Seppelt. The pass enables each card holder to obtain six free bottles of wine with a retail value of A$20, whilst premium wine tastings, tours and special gifts can also be claimed for up to two people. The Cellar Door Pass (A$99) can be purchased from various retail outlets in South Australia (SA) including information centres and online. 

FROM GRAPE TO GLASS, a tour from leading city specialist tour operator Tourabout Adelaide, aims to teach visitors the basics about wine - how it is made, picked, aged, bottled, as well as how to taste and select wines. Tour highlights include a private personalised tour with a specialist wine guide, visits to the National Wine Centre, Jacobs Creek Visitors Centre in the Barossa Valley, as well as private tastings. 

THE CLARE VALLEY RIESLING TRAIL visits beautiful country towns and up to 30 local wineries and is a walking and cycling route following a disused railway line through the heart of the valley from Clare to Auburn. Cyclists can traverse the 33kms. trail in either direction and can start the journey from a number of clearly signposted side roads. The entire route can be cycled one way in about two hours. The trail starts in Auburn, around 90 minutes drive north of Adelaide, while bikes are available for hire in Clare. 

PADDOCK TO PLATE is a food safari tour from Exceptional Kangaroo Island focussing on the island's diversity of produce and the passion of the producers. A full day can incorporate seafood, artisan cheese, olive oil, honey, marron (an Australian freshwater crayfish), native spices, yoghurt and wine. For example, Sue and Dan Pattingale are renowned olive oil producers - their herbaceous, peppery oil is harvested from ancient, gnarled tress from across the Island. 

THE EYRE PENINSULA'S SEAFOOD & BEYOND REWARDS CARD provides visitors with AUS$100 worth of tours when the card is purchased for AUS$69. The Eyre Peninsula is also home to the self-drive Seafood and Aquaculture Trail which showcases the best the region has to offer - southern bluefin tuna, abalone, oyster, prawns, scallops and murray cod.

BOOKABEE TOURS AUSTRALIA offers the Botanic Gardens Bush Food Trail in Adelaide in which participants learn about Aboriginal bush foods and plant uses, traditional duck hunting techniques, food gathering practices, where to find bush medicines as well as the opportunity to try some native bush food. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Half of Australia's total wine production comes from South Australia
  • South Australia has the nation's largest area of vineyards (70,302 hectares) producing more wine than any other state, manufacturing almost 700,000 litres annually.
  • In 2003, a record A$71,040 was paid for an Imperial (six litre) bottle of 1988 Penfolds Grange - the most ever paid for a single Australian bottle of wine in Australia.
  • South Australian wines have the most awards in Australia, winning the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for best wine in Australia, 37 times out of the 43 competitions.