The Best Wineries in South Australia
Photo credit: Saint & Scholar Wines
South Australia is known for producing some of the best wine in the world, with regions such as Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide Hills being particularly renowned. Some popular grape varieties grown in South Australia include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Chardonnay. The climate and soil in each region contribute to the unique flavour and characteristics of the wines produced there. Join us as we dive into six of the best South Australian wineries that are worth going on your radar, and pick up bottles for your own tasting pleasure with our month-long Discover South Australia’s Hidden Wine Gems special, where you can enjoy up to 30% off selected wines. Some labels are also part of our Straits Wine Discovery programme for the month – so sample away!
A family-led winery located in the famous McLaren Vale wine region of South Australia, Woodstock was established in 1973 by Doug and Mary Collet (fun fact: Founder Doug Collett actually discovered his fascination for vino during World War II, whilst flying a Spitfire plane over the vast vineyards of Europe). The winery produces a range of red, white, and fortified wines, with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon being the flagship varietals. The winery also puts out a range of alternative varietals, including Tempranillo, Nero d’Avola, and Montepulciano, all of which are well-suited to the region’s warm climate and rich soils.
One of the standout wines from Woodstock is the ‘The Stocks’ Shiraz, which is made from grapes sourced from the estate’s oldest vineyard blocks. This wine is known for its rich, full-bodied flavour, with notes of blackberry, plum, and spice. In addition to producing wine, Woodstock is also home to a cellar door, where visitors can taste and purchase wines, as well as enjoy food and wine experiences. The winery also loves keeping things fresh, hosting events such as exciting concerts and dinners throughout the year.
Over in the iconic Barossa Valley lies Glaetzer Wines. Founded in 1995 by Colin Glaetzer – a winemaker with over 30 years of experience under his belt – Glaetzer Wines produces a range of premium wines, with a focus on Shiraz. Their flagship wine is the Amon-Ra Shiraz, which is made from old vine fruit and is considered one of the top Shiraz wines in Australia.
Other notable wines produced by Glaetzer Wines include the Bishop Shiraz, which has a subtle richness with flavours of dark plum and blackberry intermingled with dark chocolate and dried spice; the complex and slightly herbal Anaperenna Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon; as well as the bright and spicy Wallace Shiraz/Grenache. The latter is also available as part of the Straits Wine Discovery programme.
The winery practices sustainable viticulture and uses age-old winemaking techniques combined with modern technology to produce their wines. Glaetzer’s philosophy is to produce wines that are a true reflection of their vineyards and the Barossa Valley region, with a focus on quality and balance.
It’s all about small-batch, handcrafted wines here at Ochota Barrels – a boutique winery nestled in the Adelaide Hills wine region, with special sites spread across McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley. Established in 2008 by Amber Ochota and the late Taras Ochota – a husband and wife team with a passion for natural winemaking – Ochota Barrels champions organic and biodynamic farming methods.
The Ochota belief is that one has to work with the “natural rhythms” of the vineyard, and intervene minimally when it comes to winemaking processes. Here you’ll find a range of options, but for the real Ochota Barrels experience, we say go for bottles like the Texture Like Sun Field Blend 2021 – a careful blend of six varieties to produce a wine that is full of intriguing notes from red forest fruits to white pepper – or the wonderfully earthy, fruity, and spicy Impeccable Disorder Pinot Noir 2021.
Meet one of South Australia’s long standing wineries: Kaesler Wines. A Barossa Valley legend, the winery has been around since 1893 and was bought over by the Kaesler family in 1999, who began major restoration works on the property.
The winery’s vineyards are planted with old vines, some of which are over 120 years old, and the grapes are hand-picked and sorted to ensure the highest quality. The winery’s main star is undoubtedly the Old Bastard Shiraz, a well-loved vino with a brilliant berry-forward flavour – thanks to elements like blackberry, mulberry, blueberry, and raspberry – laced with layers of mocha, coffee, and chocolate. Other not-to-be-missed Kaesler Wines include the Avignon Grenache-Mourvedre-Shiraz, a mouthful but very full, elegant wine, and the award-winning Bogan Shiraz, which features a beautiful, open palate with sweet fruits on the front and middle palate with a delightful tannin and oak mix that takes you through to the finish.
Saint & Scholar
What started as a passion project for winemakers Stephen Dew (aka ‘The Saint’) and Reid Bosward (aka ‘The Scholar’) is now an internationally-recognised wine label from Adelaide Hills in South Australia.
Saint & Scholar is a perfect example of how a small-scale operation can produce wines that can compete with some of the best in the world, with all-time favourites like the Sauvignon Blanc 2021 taking centre stage with its bright fresh aromas of mango, pineapples, and passionfruit combined with delicate floral notes and a nutty, creamy edge.
Another showstopper is the Shiraz 2021. This one’s a stylish, refreshing, elegant Shiraz – a wine with modest alcohol, attractive pepper and spice aromas, fine tannins and acid structures which deliver palate length and ageability. Try it as part of our Straits Wine Discovery programme this April!
Alpha Box & Dice
Talk about going against the grain: the McLaren Vale-based Alpha Box & Dice has gained a cult following among wine enthusiasts for their unconventional approach to winemaking.
The brand was founded in 2008 by winemaker Justin Lane, who wanted to create wines that were outside of the traditional mould. At Alpha Box & Dice, each wine has a unique story and personality. The wines are named after letters of the alphabet, with each letter representing a different wine style and winemaking project. For example, “A” represents the winery’s Aglianico, “B” represents the Barossa Shiraz, and so on. Fog Spring 2021 is one of our top picks, with cherry blossoms, sour cherries, rhubarb, cassia, and raspberry licorice on the nose and bright, juicy berries and a tart acid bursting onto the palate. This wine has heaps of depth, and it pairs extremely well with dishes like a tuna tataki, beef tartare, or a mushroom-based pasta. The Ö Grüner Veltliner 2021 is just as noteworthy, and showcases gorgeous acidic yet balanced notes of delightful fruit, marzipan, and quince.