By Julietta Jameson
South Australia is renowned for it's amazing wine regions - namely the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale - but these days, it's not just the adults who get to have all the fun. Many cellar doors now cater for kids with toys, games and child-friendly meals.
Maxwell Wines - McLaren Vale
The southern hemisphere’s largest producer of the ancient drink mead also has one of the most ancient of entertainments, a maze. Both are great, and the maze is as much fun for kids as it is adults.
Take to the conifer hedge labyrinth after a lunch overlooking the rolling McLaren Vale hills.
Corner Olivers and Chalk Hill Road, McLaren Vale; (08) 8323 8200; Maxwell Wines
Fox Creek Wines - McLaren Vale
Fox Creek Wines is relaxed and hospitable, with beautiful lakeside gardens ready for a picnic under eucalypt and olive trees. You’re encouraged to bring your own local delicacies or order a platter at the cellar door. And for the children, there’s a mapped-out treasure hunt in the cellar door grounds with a prize for those who succeed.
Malpas Road, McLaren Vale; (08) 8557 0000; Fox Creek
Pindarie - Barossa
The old grain room and heritage stables that are home to Pindarie’s cellar door, open to a stunning 180-degree view of Barossa vineyards and paddocks. Children are welcome to cartwheel and play on big stretches of lawn while parents watch with a glass of wine. The sense of being on a working farm and out in the open is great for city kids.
And the relaxed Grainstore restaurant offers pies, platters, picnic boards, and even panini for hungry little ones. No wonder this winery has won multiple tourism awards.
946 Rosedale Road, Gomersal; (08) 8524 9019; Pindarie
Penny’s Hill - McLaren Vale
With a ramble of shady trees and stone buildings giving it a storybook farmhouse charm, Penny’s Hill Winery is a favourite for families. Not only are the wines great, but there’s a wide open lawn for kids to run around on, a chook pen where they can meet the girls after whom The Black Chook wine is named, and a paddock of Suffolk sheep to delight in. For wet days, there is colouring-in and a toy box.
281 Main Road, McLaren Vale; (08) 8557 0800; Penny's Hill
Woodstock Estate - McLaren Flat
Wood fired pizzas – need we say more? Woodstock has that, great wines, plus The Woodstock Wildlife Sanctuary, a two-hectare fenced safe haven for Australian native animals including long-nosed potoroos, brush-tailed bettongs, red-necked wallabies and swamp and tammar wallabies. There are kangaroo feeding sessions daily. The pizzas happen at Coterie Restaurant on Friday nights and there’s a beautiful cedar three-bedroom log cabin available for stays. Wallabies and kangaroos visit the doorstep.
215 Douglas Gully Road McLaren Flat; (08) 8383 0156; Woodstock Wine
Jacob’s Creek - Barossa
New innovative winemakers and an outstanding trophy cabinet attract wine aficionados to one of Barossa’s heavy hitters. Here the large, contemporary, glass-walled cellar door looks out over incredible views.
Kids love the big green lawn strewn with beanbags for relaxing and playing. The winery organises seasonal activities and there’s usually a bat and ball waiting for a game in the open spaces. There are bicycles to tour on, paths to wander along, a laidback vibe, and plenty of ice-cream.
Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat; (08) 8521 3000; Jacobs Creek
Golding Wines - Adelaide Hills
A wonderful place run by a large extended family, children are more than welcome to play on the lawns, or even dance when there’s live music happening. On some special days such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and their very popular Paella Day, they do a kids lunch box with child-friendly food and an activity pack.
The Golding Cellar Door is in the Adelaide Hills and overlooks estate gardens and vineyards, perfect for kids to get barefoot and run around.
52 Western Branch Road, Lobethal; (08) 8389 5120; Golding Wines
Stone Bridge Wines - Clare Valley
Woodfired pizzas and a relaxed vibe make this family-run Clare Valley winery an excellent stop when touring with children. A small producer that punches above its weight with awards, this is an old-school cellar door experience, where you can pick up wines you won’t find in stores.
That pizza menu specifies types and sizes ideal for kids – no surprise given the winemakers’ have their own brood to cater for.
Gillentown Road, Sevenhill; (08) 8843 4143; Stonebridge Wines
Pikes - Clare Valley
Pikes’ 1870s cellar door overlooking the Polish Hill River valley is, of course, famous for its Rieslings, some intriguing blends and the amazing Pikes beer range.
It also has a good kids' area, where the younger ones can amuse themselves while parents get on with the serious business of tasting.
The winery also features an art gallery, serves regional produce platters, and there are some beautiful spots to stop a while for a picnic.
233 Polish Hill River Road, Sevenhill; (08) 8843 4370; Pikes
Gemtree - McLaren Flat
The Buttery family, who are behind natural and organic wine producers Gemtree, have a playground right next to their pretty cellar door deck, all of it overlooking the organic vineyards and beyond out to sea. There are swings and climbing equipment and nearby, an enclosed grass area where children can check out the sheep and the alpacas named Gus and Caruso. If it’s raining, there’s a toy box indoors and kids packs available for purchase for $5 with colouring books, pencils and healthy treats.
The lawn area beneath the deck has picnic tables, shady umbrellas and picnic rugs.
167 Elliott Road, McLaren Flat; (08) 8383 0802; Gemtree Wines
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