Travel Wine

The best South Australian winery stays

Words by Georgie Young

14 February 2022

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Luxury retreats and off-grid cabins – here’s where to sip and stay in Australia’s wine capital.

For years, South Australia has been at the cutting edge of New World wine. Its capital, Adelaide, has been named a World Wine Capital, and there are over 150 vineyards growing in internationally renowned wine regions. Better still, many winemakers now offer luxury accommodation, so you can sample their produce and then sleep it off on site. From off-grid cabins in a tangled shiraz grove to decadent suites in the heart of the Barossa Valley, we’ve chosen five vineyards to bed down in.

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CABN Xs at Gemtree, McLaren Vale

CABN Xs at Gemtree, McLaren Vale

The top priority at this family-owned vineyard is preserving the land for future generations. All wines are grown organically and biodynamically – including one of the region’s finest Grenaches – and its solar-powered tasting room is crafted from recycled materials, too. Accommodation follows suit, with two new eco-cabins created by the experts at CABN X. Each puts the natural landscape front, centre and even above, with floor-to-ceiling windows giving way to a custom glass roof. Round off a day’s tasting by watching the sunset from the sunken outdoor bath – with a glass of wine, of course. $595/night

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Hillenvale by Hither & Yon, McLaren Vale

Hillenvale by Hither & Yon, McLaren Vale

The only decision you need to make at Hillenvale is which wine valley to visit first. The properties overlook both the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale – the latter of which is home to Hither & Yon’s award-winning vineyards. Usually, the carbon neutral winery – South Australia’s first – runs intimate tastings out of an 1860s cellar door, but its new luxury accommodation takes you out of town and directly amongst the kangaroo-populated vines. Currently, you can stay at the cosy Coach House after a vineyard tour but keep an eye out for The Homestead – a carefully restored 19th century farmhouse opening this year. From $500/night

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The Old Chaff Mill Retreat, McLaren Vale

The Old Chaff Mill Retreat, McLaren Vale

This retreat is so private that you can take a dip in the outdoor bath and there’s not even a kangaroo about to bat an eyelid. There are just the two suites (one sleeping two and the other four) poised amongst organic shiraz vineyards – the fruits of which you can sample in liquid form alongside local nibbles. There’s no shortage of excellent views, but perhaps the most intriguing is inside the just-for-two Granary, where breakfast is taken on top of a lit floor display filled with historic artefacts. From $495/night

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Kingsford The Barossa, Barossa Valley

Kingsford The Barossa, Barossa Valley

Built in 1856 by Stephen King – no, not that one – this recently-refurbished retreat sits on 225 acres of shiraz-producing Barossa Valley. Suites are decadent; book the Matilda for four-poster beds, marble bathrooms, and double doors opening onto a private veranda. If you can drag yourself out of the property’s alfresco bush bath, spend the day exploring the valley (keeping an eye out for wedge-tailed eagles) before sampling its produce in fine dining restaurant, Orleana. To drink, it’s got to be a Barossa shiraz – best enjoyed by candlelight in the huge subterranean wine tunnel. Suites from $990/2 nights; Matilda Suite from $2600/2 nights

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Hotel California Road at Inkwell, Fleurieu Peninsula

Hotel California Road at Inkwell, Fleurieu Peninsula

There are a few architectural anomalies in the Fleurieu Peninsula, including the Hotel California Road, owned by Inkwell Wines. The cuboid hotel was built using shipping containers and upcycled materials, but inside, each suite is meticulously designed with floating king beds and deck-facing tubs. Either stick to an Inkwell tasting – the 2013 Shiraz is excellent – or head to nearby d’Arenberg Cube. Inspired by the puzzles of winemaking, this floating Rubix Cube-style building offers tastings from the d’Arenberg estate as well as the opportunity to visit a Salvador Dali exhibition in its ground floor museum. From $390/night

To make a booking or for additional travel advice, please contact Quintessentially Travel.

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