There is nothing better than getting a little day haze on a Friday, a hint of sunkissed goodness and a few wines in your system to finish off a hard week. The best thing about it? With an eclectic and beautiful cacophony of wine regions surrounding the main cities of Australia, there’s bound to be a region close by that’s going to deliver a killer time and some damn good wines.
But for now, we’re looking at winery lunches in Mclaren Vale. Arguably one of the most famous regions in the country and certainly that of South Australia.
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We’re going to be honest here: if you haven’t visited McLaren Vale before or experienced their wineries, you haven’t lived, plain and simple.
The McLaren Vale wine region is located just 45 minutes south of Adelaide in South Australia. It has a long history of viticulture and wine production, with its early origins beginning after the first settlers discovered the area during the early 1800s. As a major contributor to South Australia’s viticultural beginnings, the Mediterranean climate continues to drive unique wine styles and diverse food culture.
Best known for Shiraz, Mclaren Vale’s award-winning wines are tawny coloured with strong tannins and characteristic aromas of mocha, mulberries, chocolate and spice.
For more info on the region check our article on Mclaren Vale Wineries: 6 Highly Rated Vineyards.
The Best McLaren Vale Wineries for Lunch
There are many ways to experience the McLaren Vale Wine region. It’s one of our favourite spots in South Australia and we love it for a variety of reasons, including its local produce and the way that regional restaurants craft their menus, working seasonally with available ingredients… Restaurants easily run rabid butchering a perfectly good dish with molecular restructuring, cooking with laser beams and other sciency culinary techniques the kitchen lab can think of.
The restaurants we’re about to detail… you’ll find nothing but a demonstration of fresh ingredients paired with utter perfection.
We’ve collated a list of the 5 best wineries in McLaren Vale for lunch. We wanted to pick something for everyone so we’ll include casual dining, picnic and grazing, and then something a little bit fancy-schmancy with some fine dining.
Located at the centre of McLaren Vale, d’Arenberg is a combination of the old and new. Established in 1858 by German immigrant Johan d’Arenberg, it has now been taken over by fourth-generation family member Chester Osborn (who is known as the ‘mad winemaker’).
People say to you eat with your eyes before your stomach so much is true as the cube comes into sight. Somehow you just know that you’re in for a culinary treat.
The restaurant is casual with an emphasis on family-friendly dining. The Cubes Tasting Kitchen provides a relaxed atmosphere for you to experience the five senses by way of food, wine and art.
5 Trip Advisor from 790 reviews
4.5 Google Review from 850 reviews
The Currant Shed
You can’t help but think there’s something very serene about The Currant Shed. We’re sure if we were ever to find ourselves in heaven this would feel very much like it.
The Currant Shed is a café and bakery which sits idyllically in the picturesque town of Blewitt Springs, South Australia. Nestled amongst wildflower farmlands between McLaren Vale and Aldinga, The Currant Shed offers morning mists, gentle breezes and rustic charm close to all that’s going on in the region, while still being a world away.
We’ll leave one of our favourite dishes here:
Cured and smoked port lincoln kingfish, wombok and radish salad, ice plant, beach bananas, finger limes, soy gel, micro coriander, togarashi, aromatic coconut sauce.
What did we tell you… an integral display of honest and innovative ingredients and certainly a contender for one of the best winery lunches in McLaren Vale.
5 Trip Advisor from 905 reviews
4.8 Google Review from 353 reviews
Maxwell Wines is famous for its restaurant. It’s had multiple awards, including the prestigious James Halliday Best Winery Restaurant in Australia.
Their motto of “Wine, Art and Soul” represents their commitment to producing great wines with a strong focus on community involvement. Their winemaker’s cellar door also boasts the finest bottles of Shiraz you could possibly sample through this blessed wine country.
Maxwell Wines is so much more than just a wine producer, it’s become somewhat of an art gallery for the region. The Maxwell family are very passionate about art and have collected many works over time. The cellar door features their own paintings as well as those from other talented Australian and International artists.
Head chef Fabian Lehmann sports nothing but the finest quality using innovative and fresh ingredients sourced from around the magnificent wine region that is McLaren Vale.
4.5 Trip Advisor from 347 reviews
4.3 Google Review from 167 reviews
Star of Greece
The sea surge grinding against the sand, the transition of silence only broken by enthused conversation owned by excited guests and respectful staff. The menu is a culinary display of the sea’s smorgasbord with emphasis on fresh add local components cooked in a fashion that compliments both the flavours and the skills of a chef that has trained for a lifetime.
Fish and chips at the kiosk for the kids after a solid beach session. But if a 4-course meal matched with delicate wines from the region’s finest is more your flavour then we suggest the Chargrilled wagyu eye fillet with pumpkin puree, local oyster mushroom, broccolini, macadamia, and jus.
Although this isn’t a ‘WINERY’ Lunch in McLaren Vale per se, we’ve added it to the list anyway, sorry ’bout it.
4.4 Google Review from 827 reviews
4 Trip Advisor from 718 reviews
Woodstock McLaren Vale
A lavish garden setting, glasses half full with bold reds that reciprocates the clear benchmark of quality that McLaren Vale consistently supplies. Nibble plates, grazing platters, and FlammeKeuche – a german styled flatbread pizza that is topped with ingredients and covered in cheese just the way we likey. There are more carbs than you can poke a stick at on this menu, but leave the underlying guilt and dread of Monday’s treadmill sesh behind and have a crack.
Woodstock is a great function and family venue. There’s plenty of room to run around and even entertain the little native hoppers that quite often accommodate eager patrons.
If drool has begun cascading from the mouth, add this jewel of Athens to the list of the best winery lunches in McLaren Vale.
4.5 Trip Advisor from 103 reviews
4.1 Google Review from 136 reviews
McLaren Vale Wineries – The Best Lunch in Town
The McLaren Vale Wine Region in South Australia is a beautiful and serene place in which to avoid wine tasting and joining in the festivities would be an absolute travesty. However, during the day when not much transpires, it can be rather expensive to tour by yourself, especially if you’re on the glorious wine train and driving isn’t in question. So jump on a wine tour, it’s 100 % the best way to see more than one winery and try more than 2 varieties.
We’ve written a wee little article on McLaren Vale Wineries that have tickled our fancy and it’s definitely an insight that you’ll want to gain before heading to the region. McLaren Vale wine region – vast as it is beautiful. Be sure to have a wine on us, drink responsibly, and support local tourism! Drink, be merry, and Enjoy!!
If you’ve enjoyed our take on ‘Winery Lunches in McLaren Vale’ but another region in South Oz would suit you better, We’ve covered a few regions worth visiting or at least reading about!