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Where's the Best Cellar Door in McLaren Vale?

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by Gill Oscar (subscribe)
'So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be'. (Tennyson)
Published November 2nd 2013
The McLaren Vale Winemakers Association has presented a Cellar Door of the Year Award for the past four years.

I'd love you to post a comment about your favourite McLaren Vale winery experience. Let's see whether Weekend Notes readers agree with the professionals.

Here are the four official winners to date.

2013 Winner: Wirra Wirra

My visit to Wirra Wirra

What's special about Wirra Wirra? The sheer size of the complex, the massive log fence, the 'big wine bottle', the expansive tasting room, the outdoor lawns and BBQ area, the range of entertainment and visual delights on offer, and the party atmosphere on a busy day.

You can make up a grazing platter from the well-stocked fridge, enjoy the BBQ area or enjoy the frequent entertainment and events put on by the winery. Children, dogs and cyclists are all warmly welcomed, and there is lots to look at.

Address: 463 McMurtrie Rd, McLaren Vale SA
Phone: 61 8 8323 8414
Hours: Check Wirra Wirra website for up-to-date information.

2012 Winner: Oliver's Taranga

Oliver's Taranga
My visit to Oliver's Taranga

What's special about Oliver's Taranga? The expansive views over the Vale as you approach it; the old stone cottage housing the tasting room; the historical links with fifth and sixth generation Olivers working land their forebears settled in 1841; and the large deck and woodfired oven at the rear.

Those in the know enthuse about occasional events held on the deck - like their Porchetta Party: a three course Italian style lunch with matched wines, featuring pig cooked in the wood oven. Get on the mailing list if you want to receive details.

Address: Seaview Rd, McLaren Vale SA 5171
Phone: 61 8 8323 8498
Hours: Check Oliver's Taranga Vineyard website for up-to-date information.

2011 Winner: Hugo Wines

My visit to Hugo Wines

What's special about Hugo Wines? The unique cellar door building, the expansive views across the vineyards to the hills, a wide range of award winning wines, award winning olive oil, art to admire and purchase, and a gorgeous private dining room (by arrangement).

Hugo Wines is on the Fleurieu Art Trail, and the Wine and Cheese Trail. You can enjoy a platter prepared by Blessed Cheese in McLaren Vale along with a vertical Shiraz tasting in the lovely private dining area or on the wide verandah. Alternatively Blessed Cheese arrange progressive wine and cheese picnics that take in Hugo Wines.

Address: Elliott Rd, McLaren Flat SA 5171, Australia
Phone: 61 8 8383 0098
Hours: Check Hugo Wines website for up-to-date information.

2010 Winner: Woodstock Wine Estate

Woodstock Winery
By the time I got to Woodstock ...

What's special about Woodstock? The bush and garden setting, the intimate tasting room, the well-regarded restaurant, serving lunch and dinner, and plenty to keep the kids amused, like play equipment, old machinery and a wildlife sanctuary. Did I mention the wines? It's a great place to buy an aged red for someone special, with back vintages on offer dating as far back as last century.

Friday nights are a big attraction at Woodstock. They fire up their outdoor pizza oven for casual diners, offering a a small starter, loads of pizza and something sweet, with live entertainment, for $35. Ring for details and to book.

Address: Douglas Gully Rd, McLaren Flat SA
Phone:08 8383 0156
Hours: Check Woodstock website for up-to-date information.
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Sellicks hill winery is fantastic. Paul,the owner/ winemaker/ well jack of all trades, is one in a million. His enthusiasm for the sensational wines he makes is infectious!
Also Goodiesons Brewery ( ok, beer not wine, but a cellar door all the same) Mary and Jeff are salt of the earth people who make excellent beer. The outdoor tables under the hops vines are a lovely place to sample a brew or two with views to die for. The challenge is leading yourself away from such a gorgeous place.
by nicky (score: 0|5) 2312 days ago
Samuel's Gorge. I kinda don't want to tell everyone, but oh well, they deserve it
by russ_ (score: 0|4) 2315 days ago
Great question! Wirra Wirra is definitely a fave of mine, but I love spending an afternoon in the Lazy Ballerina gardens too.
by Hayley (score: 3|1016) 2340 days ago
Samuel's Gorge. Beautiful reds and an awesome view
by anke. (score: 0|3) 2335 days ago
by adria (score: 0|4) 2337 days ago
There are so many fantastic Cellar doors in McLaren Vale, it is really hard to decide, which one is the best. In addtion to the mentioned I also like Primo Estate and some boutique wineries as Maximus Wines and Minko Wines. Just give them a try as well!
by Bettina Buechel (score: 1|72) 2336 days ago

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