Exploring Wines of Adelaide Hills, Adelaide, SA, Australia


The Adelaide Hills wine region is located immediately outside of Adelaide, South Australia. Its a lessor known region in Australias worldwide wine production that’s often over shadowed by the Barossa, McLaren Vale or the Hunter Valley . Being in coastal mountains, The Adelaide Hills are known for cooler temperatures. They are known for producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The wines here can be of exceptional quality and are exported internationally to countries around the world.

This post is one chapter in our trip to Australia on Air Canada & Qantas Business Class and United Airlines. This trip was booked using British Airways Executive Club Avios and Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) points. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Region Visit: Exploring Wines of Adelaide Hills, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Our second day of wine tasting was a bit closer to home. We spent a day wine tasting in nearby Adelaide Hills. It is a cooler area thanks to elevated mountains going up to a maximum elevation of 710 meters at the peak of Mount Lofty. The wine varietals were much cooler than the hot McLaren Vale Shirazs’ and consisted of mostly white varietals like Sauvignon blanc, Rieslings and lighter chardonnays.

Visiting Anderson Hill Winery:

Most of the approaches to the cellar doors were along twisty roads through hillsides and gum trees well off the beaten path. Our first stop today was at Anderson Hill. In addition to being a winery, the area was also a trail head for nearby mountain biking trail descents.

Anderson Hill Cellar Door
Anderson Hill Vines
Adelaide Hills Vines at Lenswood

We enjoyed a tasting of 5 varietals, including a sparkling, Sauvingon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvingon. Anderson’s Hill is situated on top of the Adelaide Hills and is a popular spot for mountain biking descents and weddings, not necessarily in that order. 

Today’s Tasting Menu
Anderson Hill Tasting
Anderson Hill Labels

We enjoyed the Pinot Noir so much we decided to split a bottle and have a share amongst our group of five, on the picnic tables outside. 

Outdoor Picnic Tasting Tables
Anderson Hill, Lenswood, Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir

Tasting at Pike and Joyce Winery:

We later moved on to Pike and Joyce, which was a large scale winery. On our visit today, they were in the middle of hosting a large lunch party. 

Nearby Cellar Door’s Open for Business
Pike and Joyce Vines
Pike and Joyce Cellar Door
Pike and Joyce Cellar Door and Restaurant
Pike and Joyce Restaurant

We had another great tasting with charming staff. We had a solid white wine tasting. Rose sparkling, Sauvingon Blanc, Grunter Veller, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet. I was still amazed at yet another complimentary stand up tasting with another fabulous view across the valley. 

Pike and Joyce Tasting Bar
Pike and Joyce Tasting Menu
It’s not too often you get “damp forest floor” as a tasting note on the back of a bottle
Pike and Joyce Adelaide Hills Views

The flagship of Adelaide Hills: Shaw and Smith:

We finished up the day with our first paid tasting of the experience at Shaw and Smith. It was an easy $15 for 5 wines with cheese in a formal premium sit down format. Overall, the environment is contemporary and upscale in a small guest experience format. 

Shaw and Smith
Shaw and Smith Cellar Door
A Serene Landscaped Winery
Shaw & Smith Cellar Door
Shaw & Smith Vines

Shaw and Smith are known for their flagship Shaw and Smith Sauvingon Blanc, Shaw and Smith Riesling, M3 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. We enjoyed a sample of these paired with ashed goats’ chevre, triple cream brie, and mature clothed cheddar. It was another fabulous setting again and terrific values completely absent of any other tourists.

Private Wine Tasting Room
Shaw and Smith Wine Tasting Setting
Shaw and Smith Tasting Bottles
Shaw and Smith Bottles
Wine Snacks to pair with Wine Tastings “Take me Home”
Wine Tastings at Shaw and Smith

Shaw and Smith was easily the most luxurious tasting of the group. Although slightly more upscale that the other wineries and cellar doors that we visited on this trip, we were well taken care of and had a really enjoyable experience.

Our day Sipping in the Adelaide Hills:

Overall, I was quite impressed at the quality of food and wine available in this region. It was a terrific food and wine day with great examples of food at Star of Greece. Both areas were must visits if you happened to be in the area.

If you have visited the charming Adelaide Hills wine region, which wineries did you find your best tastings at?

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