Secret Cellar Doors of McLaren Vale
Whether you’re well-versed in the world of McLaren Vale wineries or new on the scene, there’s more than meets the eye with many secret hidden gems amongst the ‘well known’ big players in the industry.
With over 75 cellar doors in McLaren Vale, many remain well-kept secrets, hiding some of the best examples of South Australia’s wines. If you’re looking to go off the beaten track it will definitely pay off as you’ll come across some unique and fabulous cellar doors that McLaren Vale has to offer.
So, consider this our list of the top 10 secret cellar doors in McLaren Vale. Many of these cellar doors offer boutique varietals, an intimate tasting experience, and picturesque scenery that’s not to be missed.
Keep in mind some of these cellar doors are smaller so we recommend booking ahead especially for larger groups, then sit back, relax and sip away.
10 Secret Cellar Doors of McLaren Vale
Bec Hardy Wines
Hours: 10am-4pm, daily
Known for: The Next Generation of Hardy Family Winemakers
Enjoy the serenity while admiring the native flora and fauna, paired with stunning views across the vineyards and great wines that reflect 170 years of SA winemaking heritage.
Enjoy a longer stay at the cellar door by visiting ‘The Kitchen at Bec Hardy’, an elevated casual dining experience that celebrate fresh, local and seasonal produce.
Bec Hardy Wines really offers one of the most private and peaceful pockets of South Australia’s iconic McLaren Vale.
Hours: 10:30am-4:30pm, daily
Known for: A down-to-earth tasting experience.
Graham Stevens is a family-run business that offers a small selection of award-winning wines. Owners Graham and Marie opened this tiny cellar door off Ingoldby Road with the intention of retiring from the industry. Clearly, things didn’t go as planned.
Graham focuses on a small number of varietals, namely Shiraz, Cabernet, and a few liqueurs. Most of his wines have won a host of awards, though you’ll likely hear all about that since he makes a regular appearance at the cellar door.
Hours: 12-6pm, Friday-Monday
Known for: Wine barrel tasting pods
The story of Berg Herring’s cellar door dates back to the mid-1800s when it was originally a sandstone chapel. Since then, it’s been converted into a boutique cellar door pouring everything from Italian wines like Nero d’Avola and Vermentino to Grenache and Shiraz.
If you’re travelling with a group of four or fewer, you’ll definitely want to book one of their vintage wine barrel tasting pods. They offer unique tasting experiences throughout the year featuring minimal intervention wines alongside local artisan foods.
Hours: 12-5pm, Thursday & Friday, 12-6pm, Saturday & Sunday
Known for: Trendy vibe, live music & food trucks
When you visit Big Easy Radio, you’ll wonder how it slipped under your radar for so long. One step inside this trendy spot, and you’ll immediately notice the ample seating and wide outdoor space. They also offer live music and food trucks on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
The wines at Big Easy don’t disappoint. They have a wide selection of bodacious reds, refreshing whites, and a youthful rosé that’s not to be missed.
Hours: 11am-5pm, daily
Known for: Large outdoor space & the historic graveyard
Perhaps it’s a theme, but Samson Hall is another boutique winery curiously housed inside an old church dating back to 1854. It may be unassuming from the outside, but once you step in, you’ll be instantly greeted by friendly staff and a premium selection of wines.
The outdoor space is ample, so it’s perfect for a picnic or a large group looking to bask in the sun. There’s even a historic graveyard and bits of history scattered throughout the property. Samson offers a host of varietals, from refreshing white blends to rosé and robust reds.
Hours: 11am-4pm, Thursday-Monday
Known for: Vineyard landscape & grazing boards
Shirvington is a winery known for its outrageous hospitality. Their cellar door is modern but comfortable, and their wine selection is diverse. When you sit for a tasting, you’ll notice the backdrop of gorgeous vineyards, giving you all the Instagram content you could ask for.
If you’re feeling peckish, Shirvington also offers build-you-own grazing boards, where you can choose from their range of local produce, cheeses, and charcuterie goodies.
Hours: 11am-4pm, daily
Known for: Complimentary tastings & full kitchen next door
Hither & Yon is housed in the old Willunga butcher’s shop, retaining the original slate flooring and limestone walls. Their cellar door offers an intimate experience and a chance to try their delicious wines free of charge, though you should plan on buying a bottle… or two.
If you’re hungry, Hither & Yon offers local cheeses as well as a host of substantial lunch options from their next-door neighbour, de Rose Kitchen. They also offer live music on select Fridays, so be sure to mark your calendar!
Bondar hours: 11am-5pm, daily
Lino Ramble hours: 11am-5pm, daily
Sherrah hours: 11am-5pm, Monday-Friday
Known for: Three wineries under the same roof
You’d never guess that a communal cellar door for three wineries would remain a “secret,” but in fact, visitors of McLaren Vale miss this hidden gem all the time. Within this communal cellar door are three wineries, each with their own niche, style, and outstanding wines.
Bondar offers structured and refined wines best suited for food pairing. Lino Ramble focuses on biodynamic and lesser-known varieties. Sherrah is all about small-batch wines that dance on the palate.