A Perfect Holiday–the McLaren Vale Wine Region

Only a 40 minutes’ drive from Adelaide lies a land of breathtaking beauty bordered by Gulf St Vincent beaches on its west end and the Sellicks Hill range on its south. McLaren Vale, one of Australia’s finest wine-growing regions, is not only a fabulous place to go to sample the region’s legendary reds, but it also offers so much more to those who visit. With world-class restaurants, gorgeous beaches, and a boatload of activities, McLaren Vale has become a favourite holiday destination for native Australians and foreign tourists as well.

Next to the beaches, one of McLaren Vale’s most striking features is a broad geographical fault, the Willunga, that cuts through the region, providing a near-barren contrast to the lush green fields that dot the region. Rolling hills tower above sparkling gulf views to create a magical landscape.

With a Mediterranean climate providing an easy transition among the seasons, McLaren Vale is perfect for growing crops—not just wine, but also an abundance of dairy cattle, olives, almonds, pears, quinces, and other fruits and vegetables. Rarely impacted by drought or frost, thanks to its coastal location, it is no wonder that some of the nation’s foremost wineries have located there.

As for the wines themselves, the diversity of the soils in McLaren Vale contributes to the complexity of McLaren wines’ terroir—and thus their own diversity. Sandy in some locations, dark clays on other, fertile brown-red ground, rendzina, and terra rossa in even others, the soils give the region its distinct advantage compared to other regions around the country. Many of the types of soil are perfect for dry-growing, a type of cultivation that allows winemakers to harvest smaller fruits with intense fruit flavour.

Savour the Beach Life: If your perfect holiday involves a few days at the beach, McLaren Vale is your paradise on earth. Sparkling, sandy beaches, some of them that even allow you to drive along the shoreline on the sand, are in abundance here. Explore the coastal villages on foot—buy fish from seaside fishmongers after you’ve had your fill of sun and sea.

Explore the Trails: If on the other hand, you prefer bushwalking or climbing, you have towering 50-metre cliffs and gorges to explore in Onkaparinga River National Park. The river itself is the perfect spot to try your skills at canoeing or kayaking. That’s not the only spot in McLaren Vale that has stunning scenery. Try Hardy’s Scrub Hike, a bushwalk that leads through a forest with rare grey box eucalyptus trees, pink gums, and southern cypress pine. The Coast Park Trail at Sellicks Beach offers spectacular views of the dunes and beaches on an easy one-kilometre hike.

Taste Perfection with Winery Tours: With all the region’s wineries available to show off their wares, it wouldn’t be a McLaren Vale holiday without a day or two spent touring these fruitful vineyards, some of which have grapes growing from their original vines. Be sure to enjoy a tasting at the wineries’ cellar doors. Though known for its Shiraz wines, most vintners have branched out to grow other, equally superb grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc—and many more.

Stroll Through the Galleries: With galleries, cafés, and boutiques galore, you’ll love exploring the shops along the streets of McLaren Vale proper. Peek into the galleries to discover local artists’ work. Channel the spirit of yesteryear as you stroll down the town’s main street, lined with ironstone homes and shops built in the 19th century.

Experience Awesome Modern Cuisine Based on Local Produce: A region so noted for its wines doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its restaurants. Whether you crave fresh seafood at an out-of-the-way beach café, rustic pizzas, or haute cuisine, one thing is sure: you’ll enjoy the freshest of produce, meats, and seafood since chefs obtain their ingredients from local sources.

Let the Magic Continue at Night: In McLaren Vale, even your overnight accommodations are idyllic. Whether you prefer an ultra- modern space of stone and glass, a romantic cottage by the sea, complete with claw-foot bath, wisteria vines, and slate floors, or a vintage Victorian—there’s something for you here in McLaren Vale.

Come Taste the Magic: For your next holiday, try a trip to McLaren Vale. If you can’t come, do the next best thing. Capture the magic in a glass of one of McLaren Vale’s finest Cabernet Sauvignons from Price Wines.

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