South Australian // Freelance writer // Traveller // Beach-obsessed // Wine-lover // Foodie //
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Published January 12th 2017
The wine region has it all this summer season to unwind and relax. Nestled just 45 minute drive south of Adelaide CBD it is a place not to be missed. The whole area has a wonderful community feel centered around supporting locals, be that growers, producers, musicians, shop owners and more. It has this vibe based on health, yoga, sustainable living, and fun. Not to mention it also offers some of the best food and wine in the state.
Let's start with Friday night. Head on down to Aldinga for the 'Fridays After Five' Market. Here you can enjoy a boogie to the live music, wine in hand from Down The Rabbit Hole winery, and an array of dinner options. For those shopping addicts, there are 30-50 stall holders with displays each and every Friday through December. If you're done with dinner and dancing, then head on down to Fall From Grace to try wines from the feature winery of the week.
Every Saturday morning there is the Willunga Farmers Market where you can get up close and personal with the best of the best in the area. There is everything here from coffee or flowers, to honey and delicious lavender brownies (tasters always included). My personal favourites (other than the brownie stall) are the Little Acre Foods for breakfast, then Humble Grounds for coffee, and followed by the Garden Farmer for my green juice (Yum!). If you happen to visit on the second Saturday of the month then you can also visit the Willunga Quarry Market situated in the sports oval carpark. This market is tending more towards arts, crafts and interesting nick-nacks. For those foodies out there, there is still an assortment of delicious items there for you to taste.
These markets finish at midday on Saturday, a perfect time to start a bit of wine-tasting. You never have to go too far to find top-notch wineries and an abundance of cafes. Most wineries do tastings, glass and bottle sales; enough to get your Saturday ticking along. For those sweeties out there, there's Four Winds chocolate shop in Willunga. It's perfect for your chocolate fix in between the many glasses of wine.
For dinner there so many choices, however some of my favourites are Salopian Inn (McLaren Vale), The Victory (Sellicks Beach), or for something a bit fancy there's The Star of Greece (Port Willunga). With a full belly you will sleep like a baby in one of the many cute B&B cottages in the area.
Depending on what you fancy, on the Sunday you can play a spot of golf on the 18 hole Willunga course, or you could hit up more wineries and cafes, or maybe venture out to one of the many breath-taking white-sand beaches. You can drive onto Aldinga beach, go squidding at Sellicks, kayak to the shipwreck at Port Willunga or play a game of cricket at Maslins. For those wine lovers, keep your eyes peeled on the wineries as they quite often have events on weekends throughout the summer season. Come down and give McLaren Vale a shot, it will no doubt win you over as it has done to many.
The McLaren Vale wine region is a truly remarkable destination.