Barossa wine region

Beyond Barossa: Exploring Adelaide’s Underrated Wine Regions

Did you know there are 18 wine regions in South Australia? And it’s not just the sheer quantity but the quality of these wine regions that have earned the state the title of the great wine capital of the world. It sits alongside other notable wine capitals in the world, such as the US Napa Valley, France’s Bordeaux region, and Spain’s Bilbao Rioja. If you’re visiting Adelaide or South Australia, a wine visit is a must-add to your itinerary. 

However, true wine connoisseurs who want to avoid the crowd exploring Barossa and other notable wine regions in Adelaide, will be spoiled for options. You can explore the underrated wine regions instead and indulge in an equally good (if not better) glass of wine! 

Adelaide’s Underrated Wine Regions

Discover this exquisite selection of wine regions that put Adelaide and South Australia on the map.

1. McLaren Vale

The McLaren Vale wine region of South Australia is not a hidden gem, but it deserves a status that is beyond the shadows of Barossa. One advantage to exploring the McLaren Vale wine region is its accessibility; it is only a 40-minute drive from the Adelaide CBD area. This wine region is also adjacent to stunning coastal areas, specifically the Fleurieu Peninsula. It makes an excellent addition to your itinerary if you explore the area.

You can find world-class wine varieties at McLaren Vale, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, you shouldn’t leave without tasting (or a bottle of) the locally produced varieties, such as Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Marsanne.

Wine tasting in McLaren Vale

2. Adelaide Hills

If you don’t like driving for hours to find the best wines in South Australia, head to the Adelaide Hills. This wine region is notable for its cool climate, orchards, and hillside vineyards. It is a picturesque region also home to equally stunning European-influenced towns, including the oldest German settlement in Australia—Hahndorf. 

The best wine from Adelaide Hills is the Sauvignon Blanc, but there are other unique varieties if you want to indulge your senses.

3. Clare Valley

The Clare Valley region is an hour north of Barossa, but it is worth the drive for its world-class Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz. This hidden gem surprises many who visit because there is more to this region than its stunning wines. Its stone cottage cellar doors are the picture-perfect spot for wine tasting and enjoying local produce. However, you can also feast your eyes on scenic hiking trails, green hills, and gum trees.

4. Eden Valley

Eden Valley is an underrated wine region overshadowed by its more famous counterparts in South Australia. However, the quality of its wine is not underrated. The unique soil type in Eden Valley is responsible for the unique grape varieties and specific wine production methods that set it apart from other wine regions.

Book a tour with one of the many wineries in Eden Valley to discover why wine drinkers worldwide are making their way to this wine region.

5. Coonawarra

Although small, Coonawarra is big on flavours and wine quality. Like Eden Valley, it has a unique soil type, specifically a rich terra soil, that is the perfect condition for growing vines. 

No trip to Coonawarra would be complete without taking home a bottle of their famous Merlot, Shiraz, Riesling, and Chardonnay. However, their premium Shiraz is the most popular one.

If you’re willing to drive four hours from Adelaide to get to Coonawarra, you will be rewarded with an authentic country experience and learn about its fascinating wine history.

6. Riverland

A visit to Riverland involves more than just visiting cellar doors and wine tasting. It is a sun-drenched region home to a meandering river that invites you to swim. Make sure to dip in the river during the hot summer days, and remember to pack a bottle of the best-tasting and bold local wines. This wine region is the best destination if your taste buds seek wines that offer edgy and alternative tastes.

7. Langhorne Creek

Langhorne Creek rounds up this list of hidden gems in the Adelaide wine region. It is less than an hour from Adelaide and is close to the Fleurieu Peninsula. This picturesque region boasts old river gums, vast vineyards, and friendly towns. 

If you are looking for the best red wines, this wine region is the place to go. This region produces as many wines annually as the Barossa region.

Enjoying wine tasting tour in Adelaide.

Other Adelaide Hidden Gem Wine Regions

Still cannot get enough of the South Australia wine trail? These are more wine regions that you should check out, especially if you want to discover emerging regions.

  • Southern Fleurieu is situated at the tip of the peninsula, where you can explore boutique wineries that produce exquisite wines. There are also beaches, national parks, and mountains to explore.
  • Mount Gambier – Experience the dramatic scene of South Australia’s newest wine region. It is home to lake-filled craters, coastal countryside, and the best wines in the area. 
  • Kangaroo Island – Combine your love of abundant wildlife, nature, and wine when visiting Kangaroo Island, which is home to intense-flavoured wines.
  • Wrattonbully—This wine region is located north of Coonawarra. You will be in awe of the otherworldly limestone caves and exciting wine tastes. 
  • Mount Benson – This unique wine region boasts a rugged landscape and sandy coastline. But the real highlight of your visit is the world-acclaimed wines from emerging winemakers.
  • Robe—If you’re a seafood and wine lover, make sure to schedule a trip to Robe for some wine tasting and seafood feasting. Robe is a region famous for its delicate white wines. Enjoy every sip of this deliciousness with a stunning view of the white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. 

It does not take a wine connoisseur to appreciate an excellent, premium-quality wine. Whether you’re visiting South Australia for wine or want something unique while exploring the beauty of this region, these wine regions are a must-add to your itinerary.

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