Adelaide Hills Wine Trail: Cool Climate Wonders a Day Trip Away

Written by: Matthew Raica



Time to read 6 min

Welcome to the Adelaide Hills Wine Country, where pristine nature, excellent wines, and remarkable stories await. With a cool-climate setting that favors the growth of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer, this South Australian region has become synonymous with premium winemaking. 

On this adventure, we'll take you on a journey highlighting the rich history of the Adelaide Hills and delve into the wine styles of some of its most prominent wineries. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or traveler, this guide will help you appreciate the unique flavors and narratives of the Adelaide Hills.

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A Cool-climate adventure through the Adelaide Hills Wine Country: a day trip from Adelaide!

Deviation Road

Aerial of Domaine Chandon, our first stop on your private Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Hamish Laurie, a fifth generation winemaker, established the winery in 2001 with partner Kate joining him later that same year.   The name pays homage to the winding roads that lead to the vineyards. Deviation Road has a reputation for producing stylish and flavorsome sparkling wines that are perfect for celebrations and special occasions. \

The are renowned for their fine bubbles, toasty aromas, and fruity notes. Pick up a bottle of  the Loftia Vintage Brut and you'll see why Deviation Road is a top-rated sparkling wine producer in the Adelaide Hills Wine Country.

Deviation Road is open 7 days a week for wine tastings; the also have beer and non-alcoholic beverages available for the non-winos as well as a delicious grazing menu.  Books are highly recommended as they can get quite busy!


Swirling a glass of Oakridge Pinot Noir, the second stop on our Private Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Tapanappa is a winery with a unique story.  The Croser family  wine story goes back over 40 years as the original owners of Petaluma.  After a dramatic takeover, the Croser family reestablished itself to continue producitng fine wines from the Adelaide Hills.  

Established in 2002 as a  joint venture between Brian Croser, Jean-Michel Cazes, and Bollinger of Champagne, the winery's name is a tribute to its terroir, which features ancient soils and ideal growing conditions. 

Tapanappa produces a range of wines, including chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon. The winery's philosophy is to use minimal intervention in the winemaking process, allowing the grapes to speak for themselves. The result is a collection of wines that are refined, expressive, and timeless. Try the Foggy Hill Pinot Noir or the Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, and you'll understand why Tapanappa is a must-visit winery in the Adelaide Hills Wine Country.

Tapanappa’s Cellar Door is open 7 days a week.  Bookings are recommended.  Add a platter to your tasting to enjoy some amazing cheeses as well.

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.

W.C. Fields


CRFT is a newcomer to the Adelaide Hills wine scene, but it has already made a big impression. The winery was established in 2012 by winemaking team  Candice Helbig and Frewin Ries, who have a reputation creating wines that are both delicious and representative of place.

At CRFT, Candice and Frewin use traditional winemaking techniques combined with a focus on site specific wines that showcase the Adelaide Hills' depth and complexity. CRFT produces a range of wines, including chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, and Pinot Noir.

Try the Mt. Bera Gruner Veltliner, our favorite of the 3 vineyards available; super minerally wine strawberry and lime zest characters.  For something fun and different, try the Schmidt Vineyard Mencía, a unique Spanish varietal wine full of dark berry and tea leaf aromas, contrasting with the bright red fruits and lively acidity on the palate.

CRFT’s Cellar Door is open Friday-Monday and walk-ins are welcome.  Note however this is a small cellar door so it may get busy without a booking.

Some of our favorite products!

Ashton Hills

Sign outside Coldstream Hills, the next stop on our yarra valley wine tour

Ashton Hills is one of the iconic wineries of the Adelaide Hills, known for its elegant pinot noirs and sparkling wines. The estate was established in 1982 by Stephen Gorge, a visionary winemaker with a passion for pinot. George harnessed the cool-climate conditions of the Adelaide Hills to create wines that showcase balance, purity, and finesse. 

Stephen planted his vineyard at an altitude of 570 metres and with a south facing aspect that looks towards Mt Lofty. Determined that this was prime real estate for his winemaking vision, Stephen started with cuttings of pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling and soon established himself as a leader in clone development for the emerging region. 

Ashton Hills'  wines are handcrafted in small quantities, reflecting the care and attention given to each grape. The Estate Pinot Noir stood out to us as our favorite of the lineup.  Composed of 5 different Pinot Clones, this wine is full of strawberry and rhubarb fruity notes but with a backbone of Burgundian wet earth and cedar.  Not far behind as our second favorite (and if you can find it!) is the single vineyard Sprigg Road Pinot Noir.  This is a BOLD Pinot, much more Russian River Valley style with big dark berry and spice notes.

Ashton Hills Cellar Door is open Friday-Monday to wow you with their lineup.  Booking aren’t required, but again highly recommended. 

Watch part 1 of our Adelaide Hills adventure on YouTube!

The Lane Vineyard

Squitchy Lane Vineyard, the next stop on our Yarra Valley wine tour

The Lane Vineyard is a family-owned winery situated on the slopes of the Adelaide Hills. Founded in 1993 by John Edwards, it has since become a leading producer of cool-climate wines, including chardonnay, shiraz, and pinot noir.  With a strong focus on sustainability and respect for the land, The Lane has created a beautiful vineyard and winery site with what was recently ranked as the best winery restaurant in Australia.  Try The Lane Vineyard's crisp and zesty Sauvignon Blanc.  Or dive into our favorite wines from the site , the 19th Meeting Cabernet Sauvignon and the Reunion Shiraz. 

The Lane Vineyard Cellar Door is open 7 days a week.  Bookings are essential, as  the tastings are crafted into storylines and the one-on-one guide creates and extremely personal experience.  The restaurant is open for 2 different menus: the provenance 5 course exploring the fascination of pairing food and wine, or the seasonal Harvest menu available February-October), their a la carte selection showcasing seasonal produce and culinary styles.

Simon Tolley Wines

Ice Cream Cabinet at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, stop in for a snack on our Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Simon Tolley  has winemaking and grapegrowing in his blood.  A fifth-generation grape grower, there’s a bit of knowledge backing his decisions.  Simon worked in vineyards around Australia before returning home to the Adelaide HIlls Wine Country to establish his winery and vineyard management business. 

Simon focuses on making wines in 2 tiers: the Simon Tolley line and the Perfectus line.  Both are punching well above their pricepoint and deserve a spot in your cellar!

See part 2 of our Adelaide Hills adventure on YouTube!

Shaw + Smith

Enjoying our tasting at Yarra Yering, a premium winery on the Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Shaw and Smith is one of the most admired wineries in the Adelaide Hills and has been producing wines since 1989. The winery was founded by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill-Smith, two friends with a shared passion for wine. They grow and source their grapes from some of the best vineyards in the region, and the winemaking respects each grape from vine to bottle.

Shaw and Smith's wines are characterized by their purity, freshness, and complexity. Try the M3 Chardonnay, a restrained style full of florals, citrus, and stonefruit, or the Shiraz, which offers a delightful mix of spice, fruit, and oak.

Shaw and Smith’s cellar door is open 7 days a week with multiple tasting options available.

The Adelaide Hills wine region is more than just a collection of vineyards and wineries; it's a place where history, passion, and artistry converge. The region's winemakers have built their reputations on a commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability. Whether you're a wine lover or a curious traveler, the Adelaide Hills is the perfect destination for discovering exceptional wines and fascinating stories. We hope you've enjoyed our journey through some of the region's most iconic wineries. Cheers to good wine, good company, and great adventures!

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