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SmartBus Adelaide Hills Winery Tours

We’ve previously blogged about how there are lots of great wineries just a short drive from Adelaide. We’ve already talked about the Barossa Valley Wine Tours in the north and McLaren Vale Wine Tours south of Adelaide. Today, we’re going to look at some of the wineries in The Adelaide Hills to the east of Adelaide city. This may give you some help selecting the wine tour to suit your group when you book a wine tour with us.

The Adelaide Hills Wine Region

The first South Australia vineyard was planted in 1836 in Chichester Gardens, North Adelaide by John Barton Hack. In 1840, Hack pulled his vineyard and transported it to Echunga Springs near Mount Barker. Many more wineries followed over the following years throughout the hills including Penfold’s ‘The Grange’ at Magill. In the early 1900s, many vineyards and wineries went bankrupt due to the removal of Imperial Preference. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that a revival took place in the region and since then it has become a mecca for small artisan winemakers.

The clean, high altitude environment produces distinctive and elegant wines. The region is arguably Australia’s most sophisticated and beautiful cool climate wine region. There are approximately 50 cellar doors throughout the varied landscape while the region itself comprises around 100 youthful wineries. Many are willing to experiment with new methods and varieties. The region is renowned for Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling wines and is now a leader in ‘new wave’ Chardonnay, zippy crisp Rieslings, award-winning Pinot Gris and lesser-known spicy Grüner Veltliner. Not just whites are receiving attention as the Adelaide Hills Shiraz is winning awards all over Australia too.

Bird in Hand Winery

With the ambitious goal of making wines that rank among the world’s finest, Bird in Hand began in 1997. That goal was achieved within a generation with their four tiers of wines for every occasion. There are many varieties to choose from including Rosé, Sparkling Pinot Noir, Arneis, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Merlot and many more.

Nepenthe Wines

The name Nepenthe is taken from The Odyssey by Homer. Nepenthe is described as a herbal drink so powerful that it eases grief and banishes sorrow from the mind.

The Nepenthe Winery land was purchased in 1994. when it received approval to build the winery in 1996, it was only the second winery in the Adelaide Hills. Within the first few vintages, recognition was already being garnered from James Halliday’s Top 100 and The International Wine Challenge as well as others. Due to continuing recognition and a rise in demand, additional properties and vineyards were acquired and the winery expanded.

Several grape varieties are available, including Arneis, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rosé, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Zinfandel Rose and more.

The Lane Vineyard

While having dinner in a French farmhouse restaurant and drinking local wine, John Edwards mused “One day I want to make wine like this.” In 2005, John seized the opportunity to fulfil his dream and built his own winery, cellar door and restaurant.

There is a range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sauvignon Semillon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Rose and Sauvignon Blanc.

Hahndorf Hill Winery

Hahndorf Hill Winery is located near the edge of historic Hahndorf, on the slopes of a gentle hill. This winery has soil with a diverse range of mineral components which benefits their Austrian varieties – Grüner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt and St Laurent.

Hahndorf Hill Winery offers the unique chocolate and wine matching experience at ChocoVino. Here they match their boutique wines to the world’s most acclaimed chocolate. If this is something you want to try then make sure you let us know so we can book ahead.

The wine varietals available here include Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, Shiraz and a Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend.

K1 by Geoff Hardy

Located in the Kuitpo region and the first commercial planting of vines there, K1 was founded by Geoff Hardy in 1986. Geoff left his family’s company, Thomas Hardy & Sons to make his own way in the Australian wine landscape in 1980 and now has founded three South Australian wineries including K1. K1 and Wines by Geoff Hardy are two times winners of Winestate magazine’s Australian Winery of the Year and was also rated a 5-star winery by James Halliday in his Wine Companion.

K1 wine varietals include Sparkling, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend using an ancient technique called Tzimmukin and a Riesling called Autumn Harvest (not your normal style Riesling).

But that’s not all!

This is just a small taste or the wineries that are present in the Adelaide Hills. Maybe you have your own favourite winery you would like to visit. If so just tell us when you make your booking and our journey co-ordinators will make sure it is on the tour.

But maybe you’d like a change of pace part way through your tour. If so, why not visit Melba’s Chocolate Factory, Beerenberg Farm or a visit to Mt Lofty Summit to name but a few. Ottos’s Bakery in Hahndorf is highly recommended for lunch.

Want to do a wine tour of the Adelaide Hill region and visit some of the wineries mentioned? Book now with SmartBus and have a great day out!