It’s no secret that Adelaide is in the food and wine A-Team. It’s hard not to love a city who has a festival dedicated to cheese or whose chefs change the way you experience food. The fact that South Australia’s wine region has been officially named a great wine capital of the world is also a rather major mic drop.
Home of the houseboat, the welcoming cellar door and the ever-passionate winemaker, Adelaide is bursting with locals who are passionate about their grapes. You could even say they’re the godfathers, or rather parents, of Adelaide’s ever-growing food scene. As your romance with the impressive area becomes less of a fling, and more of a thing, it’s time you met them.
Hop aboard a houseboat on the Murray River and begin your journey of meeting the parents (or rather rockstars) of Adelaide’s wine country, stopping by some of Australia’s best vineyards.
House boating on the Murray River
You’re already on the love boat but it’s time to board another vessel – a houseboat. The Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region just an hour from Adelaide and further north, the Riverland region are a fount of natural beauty, boasting a wealth of native produce, breathtaking scenery and Australian wildlife. A houseboat is the perfect way to experience it all, staying in the lap of luxury, experiencing the finest food and wine the Riverland region has to offer along the way.
Here’s where we recommend tethering your tug and jumping off to meet the locals…
If you’re looking for an outstanding wine, food and nature experience, Banrock Station is a great stop to make. Situated in the heart of the Riverland, Banrock Station features scenic walking trails, the Wine and Wetland Centre overlooking the vineyards and panoramic wetlands. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy lunch from their menu; showcasing outstanding local produce, complimented of course by a glass of great Banrock Station wine.
Specialists in sustainability, 919 Wines are a family-owned wine company who are dying to meet you. They aim to make wines you thirst for, and provide an honest expression of the vineyard, the varieties and the environment. Their wines reflect some good old-fashioned values, such as purity, integrity and sustainability. Specialising in high-quality wines from non-traditional varieties, such as Petit Manseng, Durif, Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional, they excel at making fortified wines, from super dry and appetising to long and luscious. If that doesn’t make you want to join the family, we’re not sure what will.
Another family run wine business, Salena Estate, should be at the top of your itinerary. If you’re after premium wines that wow your palette and redefine the standards for quality and value, this is the vineyard for you. Since its first vintage in 1998, Salena Estate has harvested a total of two Trophies, fourteen Gold medals, twenty-nine Silvers and over one hundred and ninety Bronze and other awards. Another win is that the area is known for its sunshine; so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a delicious glass of wine while soaking up some rays.
If you’d rather something of a different alcoholic variety, it’s time to branch out and make the next step. The Riverland has you covered in this area too. The Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery offers a great range of craft beers and a variety of apple and pear cider as well. If you’d rather a sangria, try Caudo Vineyard. It’s perfect for a group as they offer excellent wine and lager too – so it should tick all taste boxes. For some of South Australia’s best locally-made spirits, the Riverland’s 23rd Street Distillery is a must-visit.
With Air New Zealand’s ease of access to Adelaide with non-stop flights (4 non-stop flights per week from Auckland), the houseboat tour of local wine heroes is at your fingertips. So go on, take the leap, and allow your romance with Adelaide go to the next level. Click here to book.