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A hungry drinker’s guide to South Australia

Few places on Earth are more spoilt for vineyard pleasures than Adelaide. The diversity of several distinct and different wine regions all within striking distance of the city has to be experienced to be believed. Here are a few tips from a man who should know, wine writer Nick Ryan.


Clare Valley


Chef Guy Parkinson came from the Hunter Valley but Clare’s winemakers have never let him go back. A brilliant bistro, rocking rooftop bar and life-saving deli. A gem.

268 Main N Rd, Clare


Exciting food with a native bent paired with a panoramic view of the Polish Hill River valley. Try the ground-breaking ‘Riesling Degustation.’

752 Jolly Way, Polish Hill River

Sevenhill Hotel

Award-winning pub food, perfectly poured Coopers Pale Ale and a massive cellar stocked with local gems, including, if you look hard enough, rare bottles from the mythical ‘Wendouree Cellars.’

Main N Rd, Sevenhill

Barossa Valley

Vintners Bar & Grill

Consistently great over a long period of time. Every wine region should be so lucky to have a
‘happy place’ like this.

752 Stockwell Rd, Angaston

Fino at Seppeltsfield

One day they’ll erect statues to David Swain and Sharon Romeo for services to great wine region restaurants. Sharon’s will only need a small slab of marble, but somehow it will still talk.

730 Seppeltsfield Rd, Seppeltsfield


A new wine bar venture in the heart of Angaston from winemaker, classical musician and wine list magician, Grant Dickson. Like the man himself, it is considered, compelling and full of class.

38 Murray Street, Angaston

McLaren Vale

The Salopian Inn

One of those rare places where you walk in for lunch and almost immediately start planning to stay for dinner. Karena Armstrong’s food is shaped by seasons, driven by the proximity of produce and almost emotionally delicious. Her hot sauce is deservedly legendary.

Main Rd, McLaren Vale

Our Place

The Sunday lunch of your dreams. Lamb, beef and goat raised on the property, often roasted whole, fruit and vegetables grown locally and the cannoli they eat in heaven. The very essence of hospitality. Sundays only.

1980 Brookman Road, Willunga Hill

The Victory Hotel

Locally caught whiting and squid on the menu and impeccably maintained beer taps would be enough to set this classic pub apart. But when you discover it’s home to one of the best cellars in the country - especially strong on the great Domaines of Burgundy - you’ll be looking at real estate to make this your local.

Old Sellicks Hill Rd, Sellicks Hill

Adelaide Hills

Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard

A beautiful dining room perched above steep sloped vineyards with a great line up of the estate’s cool-climate wines matched to some of the most cleverly conceived and carefully executed dishes.

166 Harris Rd, Lenswood

Stanley Bridge Tavern

That rare renovated pub that brings new life without every losing the soul that was already there.
A sprawling beer garden to catch the gentle Hills sun and a brilliant take away bottle shopped stacked with the region’s best labels.

41 Onkaparinga Valley Rd, Verdun

And a couple of Must-Do’s in Adelaide

The Exeter Hotel

The down at heel epicentre of South Australian booze culture. A place where the wine list is as good as the toilets are bad and bottles of Krug - so many bottles of Krug - are drunk in 7oz beer glasses. A pilgrimage.

152 Semaphore Rd, Exeter


There’s nowhere quite like Africola. She’s a wild, snarling harridan who really just wants
to feed you and make you feel loved. Ask for a ‘Dirty Rhino’ and prepare to be changed forever.

4 East Terrace, Adelaide

Words Nick Ryan, Image Adobestock

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