On the trail of the vine in Adelaide and beyond: 5 essential stops on the Epicurean Way

Expect fine wine, good food – and kangaroos hopping through the vines…

Peter Moore
14 December 2022
Promoted by
South Australia

If you travel for your taste buds, the Epicurean Way is for you. This culinary adventure will lead you through four world class wine regions easily accessible from Adelaide, calling in on world class cellar doors and restaurants and taking you through the breathtaking natural beauty of South Australia. Expect fine wine, good food ­– and kangaroos hopping through the vines.

1. Adelaide

Hit the market (Lewis Potter)

Adelaide is one of the world’s leading gastronomic cities and it’s not hard to see why. The city is circled by world-renowned wine regions and the hills, ranges and oceans provide incredible regional produce that is invariably fresh and more often than not, organic.

Start your gastronomic journey at the Adelaide Central Market, overflowing with fresh produce and international eateries like La Souk and Lucia’s Fine Foods offering flavours from all over the world.

Next onto the vibrant laneways. Africola is a chic diner dishing up the bold flavours of Africa. Shōbōsho on Leigh Street serves up traditional Japanese yakatori in new and exciting ways. Osteria Oggi is a must try for pasta aficionados, famous for its hand-crafted pasta made fresh daily.

End the day in elegant style at the New York Italian influenced Fugazzi or under the high vaulted ceiling of the Fishbank. Or head deep into the Botanic Gardens for the city’s most unique dining experience, a 20-plate tasting menu at Restaurant Botanic, inspired by the local flora and fauna found in this inner-city including green ants, finger limes and paperbark parsnip pie.

2. McLaren Vale

d’Arenberg Cube (South Australian Tourism Commission/ d’Arenberg Cube)

McLaren Vale is where the bushland meets the vines and the vines meet the coast. Only a 40 minute drive south of Adelaide, it is also Australia’s most sustainable wine-growing region, boasting the highest number of certified biodynamic and organic vineyards in the country.

The trail begins in Willunga, and, more specifically, at the Farmer’s Market, a great place to stock up with delicious, fresh, local and seasonal produce. Further along the main street you’ll find Hither & Yon, a cellar door set inside an old 1860s butcher shop.

Deeper into the Vale, Wirra Wirra Vineyards offer tours of their winery and historic ironstone cellars while Chalk Hill Wines enjoys panoramic views, a vineyard, a distillery and the best pizza in the region.

It is also fitting that such a forward-thinking wine region is home to the d’Arenberg Cube, a five-storey building inspired by the Rubik’s Cube that offers food, wine and art experiences that challenge convention. Expect fine wine, good food and spectacular views across the McLaren Vale.

In keeping with the region’s eco-credentials, you might also want to consider cycling the Shiraz Trail here. This eight kilometre stretch of former rail-trail is a favourite among cyclists for its mostly-flat terrain, incredible vineyard views and cellar doors.

3. Adelaide Hills

Golding Wines (Adelaide Hills Wine Region)

Next, set your coordinates for the fairy-tale villages, fern gullies and world-class wineries of the Adelaide Hills. It’s closer to a capital city than any other wine region in the world and the perfect place to savour some of South Australia’s best produce while taking in expansive views of vineyard dotted hills.

You’ll want to sample its world-famous cool climate varieties, of course. The pinots, shiraz, sauvignon blancs and sparkling varieties are legendary and celebrated each year at the Chardonnay May, Winter Reds and Sparkling Spring festivals. With more than 60 wineries to chose from, there’s literally a cellar door around every corner.

This is also the ‘Land of the Long Lunches’. Alfresco dining is big in the Adelaide Hills with cellars like Longview Vineyard and the Sidewood Estate offering meals at long outdoor tables groaning under the weight of the superb local produce. Or you could just pick up your own basket of goodies at one of fabulous weekend farmers’ markets.

For a little whimsy with your wine, try the NIDO experience at Golding Wines. Nido is Italian for nest, a nod to the winery’s Italian roots, and the experience sees you enjoying a six-course lunch of seasonal dishes paired with award winning wines in a woven egg-shaped nest overlooking the vineyards.

4. Barossa

Hayes Family Wines (South Australian Tourism Commission)

The Barossa lies 50 minutes north-east of Adelaide and is one of Australia’s most venerable wine regions. It was settled over 170 years ago and is home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. Indeed, many of the vineyards here are tended by fifth and sixth generation growers.

The Mediterranean climate here is perfectly suited for red wine, producing shiraz and cabernets that are famous around the world. You’ll want to visit Penfolds cellar door for a ‘Taste of Grange’, regarded by many as the best wine in the world, and to try your hand at making your own blend. Seppeltsfield is another popular winery where you can taste your own birth year of tawny, but with over 80 cellar doors – some traditional, some innovative and exceedingly modern – you’re spoiled for choice in the Barossa.

The food is sumptuous here too. The 10 kilometre-long Seppeltsfield Road is home to some of the Barossa’s most famous eateries including FermentAsian, Appellation Restaurant and Vintners Bar & Grill. The long winery lunch at Hentley Farm is also a real treat. Enjoy a deliciously fresh meal, made from produce sourced from the 150-acre farm and paired with award-winning wines, all in an 1840s cottage complete with an open fireplace, exposed stone walls and wood beam ceilings.

5. Clare Valley

Fresh produce in the Clare Valley (South Australian Tourism Commission)

Just less than two hours north of Adelaide, the charmingly secluded Clare Valley marks the end of the Epicurean Way. It could be said that the best has been left until last, especially if you like your Rieslings. Many of the best Rieslings in the world are produced here. The hardest decision is choosing which of the 50 cellar doors to visit.

Pikes Wines is arguably the number one stop on the Riesling Trail. Pikes are synonymous with Australian Riesling and recently opened the fabulous SLATE restaurant, another reason to linger a little longer. Sevenhill Cellars is set in an old Roman Catholic Church and was first set up by Jesuits in 1851. And the Watervale Hotel offers an extensive winelist of wines produced in the region and pair them with an innovative street-food style tasting menu.

Cycling the Riesling Trail has become increasingly popular, especially when combining it with a ‘winery sleepover’, a stay in boutique accommodation set amongst the vineyards. CABN Mini, just 10 minutes from the main street of Clare, is a popular choice, as is the quirky ‘Bed In A Shed’ in Leasingham.

Make it happen

Qatar Airways

Fly to Adelaide with Qatar Airways, named World’s Best Airline at the 2022 Skytrax Awards. Stretch out in comfort, onboard one of the youngest fleets. While you dine, sleep or watch some of the 4,000-plus entertainment options, you’re sure to enjoy the inflight experience.


A 12-night holiday to Australia with Trailfinders including flights, 9 days car hire, 3* and 4* hotels in Adelaide, Barossa, Clare Valley, Victor Harbor, Kangaroo Island and Sydney costs from £2,799 per person (based on two sharing). Includes Adelaide city tour, Ultimate Winery experience and ferry transfers to Kangaroo Island. Call Trailfinders on 020 7368 1354.

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