Onkaparinga Visitor Guide : 2013 14 McLaren Vale, Hills Valleys and Beaches
23 McLAREN VALE A40-minute drive from Adelaide will have you in one of South Australia's top internationally-recognised wine regions. A proud and esteemed winemaking history is fostered in McLaren Vale, where the first vines were planted in 1838. The region's climate generates great full- bodied reds, especially Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with crisp whites, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Interestingly, Shiraz accounts for 50 per cent of the region's total crush. The food and wine experience doesn't end in McLaren Vale though; keep heading east towards McLaren Flat, which is also home to a number of wineries, cellar doors and food producers. Visitor information For all your visitor information, brochures and bookings call into the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre at the edge of town. You can start your art trail experience with a visit to the Stump Hill Gallery, try a tasting at the small winemaker's cellar door or relax with a coffee at the café while the kids play in the safe playground area. Accommodation There is plenty of accommodation in McLaren Vale, including cute hosted bed and breakfasts, luxurious self-contained E e McLaren Vale Including McLaren Flat & Tatachilla Home to over 70 cellar doors, picturesque McLaren Vale is synonymous with world-class wines, fine food and local produce. apartments, a family-friendly caravan park, motels, heritage cottages and a 4½ star resort. Cellar doors You can easily spend a week in McLaren Vale wine tasting, with over 70 cellar doors operating out of interesting and unusual settings; whether it's an old church, old barn or contemporary cellar door, it all adds to the experience. At some cellar doors you have the opportunity to taste reserve wines and back vintages (for a fee), while being rewarded with scenic views over the Onkaparinga Valley and surrounding countryside. The Italian influence is evident, with warm hospitality and many cellar doors are family run -- it's not uncommon for even the winemaker to make an appearance. Tours A variety of tour options exist in McLaren Vale and surrounds, including speciality tours and intimate gourmet wine and food tours in out of the way places. Beer The region is slowly growing its reputation for boutique breweries, so if you're not a wine drinker and prefer your beer make a stop at the Goodieson Brewery, McLaren Beer Company or Ekhidna Brewery, where you can try the local brew. Food and produce McLaren Vale is equally famous for its produce, and you don't have to stray far from the beaten path to uncover why. Artisans here are passionate about their food, with olives, cheeses, almonds, chocolates, bread, relishes and sauces all among the most common finds. Why not pick up a picnic hamper from a local providore or gather your own and settle down for a picnic lunch in the beautiful gardens at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre or a quiet spot along the Shiraz Trail. Eating out There's plenty of choice when it comes to top dining experiences in McLaren Vale, with world-class chefs making the most of regional produce, showcasing a unique culinary interpretation of McLaren Vale. Enjoy a rustic breakfast, café lunch or five- star meal. Arts Follow the Fleurieu Peninsula Art Trail through McLaren Vale, McLaren Flat and surrounding towns discovering a dozen galleries located among the picturesque hills and vineyards, and some even in cellar doors. Be sure to start your journey at the Stump Hill Gallery at the Visitor Information Centre, where you can pick up a copy of your Fleurieu Art Trail guide. McLaren Vale Heritage Trail Experience the rich history of McLaren Vale by walking the McLaren Vale Heritage Trail located along the Main Road. The trail was developed by the McLaren Vale Business Association, with a Federal Community Project Funding Grant and in conjunction with the City of Onkaparinga. The trail, which was opened in March 2001, identifies 25 sites of historic significance to the town providing an interactive look at McLaren Vale's history. Brochures are available from the Visitor Information Centre.