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Wine regions- North versus South.

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    North V South?? - Wine regions that is?? The Barossa does seem to get all of the hype and advertising. Many interstate and international visitors do not seem to know much about McLaren Vale and make a b line to the Barossa, even though it's a heck of a long drive.

     

    I've passed through the Barossa a few times, tasted the wines of the region and found no difference to McLaren Vale. Is it just the advertising or am I missing something??

     

     

    McLaren Vale is only down the road from us so it's an easy choice for us. <Hic>

     

    Wines are just as good to me!:wacko:

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    What about the Adelaide Hills wine region? Where does that stand? If you plan your time carefully you could do the Barossa, work your way down through the Adelaide hills and then do McLaren Vale. Probably not all in one day though.

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    I like the Barossa because everything is so close together. Just been planning a girls wine trip in the autumn to the Barossa, and despite having been there many, many times, I'm still finding new wineries to try. Have a look at the map of wineries in the Barossa and there are just so many choices...it is proving very hard to pick just 5 or 6 for our day. Love the Hills too but a bit more driving required in between wineries there. You could even walk or cycle between a half dozen of them in Tanunda or Angaston alone if you were so inclined.

     

    I think my impression of the McLaren Vales wineries has been coloured a bit by previous experiences of the Sea and Vines Festival. I think now I would probably try and avoid Festivals for winery visiting as you seem to get a more personal touch on the other days!

    Edited by Diane

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    I like all wine regions but you are right Tyke most of the hype these days is out of the Barossa. The Barossa or McLaren Vale are equidistant from Adelaide city center and take an hours drive either way. The Barossa perhaps is more well known whilst McLaren Vale was probably more noted for it's Almond groves 20 or so years ago. The area is relatively young in the grand scheme of wine regions, with the exception of Hardys, although I must say the range of Shiraz's available leaves me wanting to come back for more!

     

    I do prefer to find boutique and smaller family run wineries and have lately been enjoying tasting in and around Langhorne Creek.

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    There are more than those two regions. We drink wine from others also. There are a few other areas whose wine we've tried.

     

    http://www.southaustralia.com/food-and-wine/wine-regions.aspx

     

     

    One of my hubbys friends family have a lovely winery in Mclaren Vale and he has some good memories from there :cute:

     

     

    From the CBD to the Barossa its just over an hour or so, to Mclaren Vale its 45-50 minutes. Of course, this is traffic dependant too. It isn't like the Barossa region is that much further to get to than Mclaren Vale if you are a tourist staying in the city somewhere (which many do). I like the drive to the Barossa region once we get away from the city. Mind you, we always take the scenic route as any long drive across the city and suburbs in any direction is to me not too pretty to look at. So rural back roads win for us. The back route to Mclaren Vale is lovely to. Just nice to have a change and visit elsewhere a bit further afield for us.

     

    Then you get things like this being run http://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/m-commercial-featuring-nick-cave-promoting-barossa-valley/story-e6frfqa0-1226648783626

     

    It seems that tourism dropped over a decade, so they decided to focus on trying to make it more than a wine region draw, the food aspect is playing a big part now. I've seen ads playing on both the food and wine in this region.

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    Having been to both I find McLaren Vale a bit more relaxed with less of the wine snobbery which can be (in some cases) prevalent in the Barossa.

     

    There was one McLaren Vale winery ( I think alpha box and dice) when our bus pulled up the two guys who looked more like surfers were snoozing outside the winery. When we got in it was full of stuffed animals, old games machines and wines named after David Bowie albums. Quirky but I liked it :biglaugh:

     

    The Clare Valley is an area which doesn't get much hype if any but also worth a visit

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    Most of the cellar doors in McLaren Vale don't record visitor numbers, but a few that do shared them, one being Wirra Wirra, and there has been a massive increase.

     

    There's big calls for all cellar doors to do it to highlight how popular McLaren Vale is as a tourist spot so funding/advertisement for the area is increased.

     

    Halliday's winery of the year is Hentley, so that will no doubt push more to visit North over South. But, Mitolo are currently building a huge cellar door in McLaren Vale and I guess they wouldn't if they didn't think numbers would visit.

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    Agree it's not just a case of McLaren Vale or the Barossa. The Barossa is probably my least favourite region (though still really enjoy it) out of McLaren Vale, the Hills, Clare Valley and Langhorne Creek. For me a big part of the appeal of McLaren Vale is the proximity to the coast - love a summer day doing a wine tasting or two and lunch then finish the day enjoying a bottle of something we've bought on one of the gorgeous southern beaches. I too am a big fan of Alpha Box & Dice for somewhere a bit quirky.

     

    The Hills have some great new (and newish) wineries - in the main street in Hanhdorf there's now Somerled cellar door and also Scott & La Prova which just won prize for most welcoming cellar door in the Hills for this year. You could combine those two with Hahndorf Hill winery and The Lane and not travel more than a couple of kilometres - and combine those wineries with a fabulous lunch - maybe at the Lane itself, or The White House, or one of the cheap and cheerful places in Hanhdorf for something more casual/budget friendly.

     

    Langhorne Creek is a great region and a pretty drive - nice to combine with a potter around the antique shops in Strathalbyn. I prefer days there in winter - seems to suit all the heavy red wines. There's also a great 'communal' cellar door called The Winehouse.

     

    Maybe I just know the other regions better, but I've found fewer small/interesting/family run/boutique wineries in the Barossa. However I do love Yelland & Papps and also Two Hands - fabulous tasting experience.

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    North V South?? - Wine regions that is?? The Barossa does seem to get all of the hype and advertising. Many interstate and international visitors do not seem to know much about McLaren Vale and make a b line to the Barossa, even though it's a heck of a long drive.

     

    I've passed through the Barossa a few times, tasted the wines of the region and found no difference to McLaren Vale. Is it just the advertising or am I missing something??

     

     

    McLaren Vale is only down the road from us so it's an easy choice for us. <Hic>

     

    Wines are just as good to me!:wacko:

     

    Don't know too much about the wines (more into the local beers - Swell and Goodiesons) but I will say I think McLaren Vale is a fairly unique place to live within the Adelaide region - it's a small town, semi rural setting and still near the beach. Hits the spot for us :)

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    I am so fortunate to have McLaren Vale just a few minutes drive away (12 minutes).

    It's one of my favourite places in Adelaide.

     

    Whenever friends visit they always make an issue about visiting the Barossa which is great as it's a stunning place. However, in terms of marketing and publicity McLaren Vale certainly needs to pull it's socks up!

     

    The weekend edition of the Advertiser ran a 4 page spread rating the different wine regions:

     

    McLaren Vale came out tops!

     

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/s...-1227122960480

     

    WHEN it comes to South Australia’s big-top attractions, wine is the crowd-pleaser in the main ring. No other state does it so much or so well. No other capital city is enveloped by it like Adelaide.

    On the foothills to the east Penfolds Magill Estate overlooks the city majestically – but within an hour you can be in any number of hundreds of cellar doors in the greater Fleurieu Peninsula, taking in McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek, as well as the Adelaide Hills and the greater Barossa region.

    Just a little further and Clare beckons, while for greater escapes, the Riverland offers its unique doorstep to the Outback experience, and the Limestone Coast is a serious away game. Even the southern Flinders Ranges and Port Lincoln offer occasional wine moments.

    All of that adds up to close to 75 per cent of Australia’s premium wine production, the total statewide industry generating more than $1.9 billion in revenue in the 2012-13 year.

    The public face of it is tourism gold. In the past financial year, more than 130,000 international visitors to SA visited a winery, as well as more than half a million domestic visitors.

    But what do they get for their adventure? Is it just about the wines? How important is the dining experience? Where do visitors stay? Each of the regions offers its own charms, from unique landscapes to hero wine styles. Some are all about the wine, nothing but the wine. At others, cellar doors take their place in a great tourism package.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    McLAREN VALE

    119871-3c4d0042-6a39-11e4-9f16-015de3bbdad9.jpg

    McLaren Vale lies just south of Adelaide. Picture: SA Tourism Commission

     

    The vignerons of McLaren Vale love to talk about the wind off the sea that cools their grapes on a hot summer day. For the visitor, the proximity of the coast is also what makes this region special, whether it’s spotting that band of deep, steely blue on the western horizon from the crest of a hill or just the air that seems fresher, more invigorating than it is inland. And those nearby beaches – Aldinga and Port Willunga – also mean the kids can have their fun.

    Throw in some of our favourite regional restaurants all just a short trip up the now two-way Southern Expressway and it’s a wonder that it’s still easy to escape the crowds.

    SCENERY

    The best bits of the Mediterranean, without coughing for the airfare, plus the gums and yakka of the Aussie bush. Drive in via Clarendon and the gentle vine-clad slopes and olive groves could be Tuscan. Climb higher and look over the escarpment of Onkaparinga Gorge for the rugged beauty of Provence or even Andalusia.

    The hulking curve of the Sellicks Hill/Willunga range, to the north and east, is a constant presence, wrapping the Vale in its protective embrace. And in the other direction is the sea.

    While the town of McLaren Vale is functional more than memorable, Willunga has a charm all of its own.

    121126-e5049582-6a3f-11e4-9f16-015de3bbdad9.jpg

    Simon Wilkinson (left) and Tony Love with Samuel's Gorge wine maker Justin McNamee in McLaren Vale. Picture: Calum Robertson

     

    CELLAR DOORS/WINE

    The McLaren Vale map is a pin cushion of cellar doors, with close to 70 of them within a 15-minute drive.

    To avoid choice paralysis, limit yourself to a sub-region on each visit, for instance the run along McMurtrie Rd where you’ll find Primo Estate, Wirra Wirra and Hugh Hamilton, as well as the Salopian Inn (see below).

    Another option is Olivers Rd with Chalk Hill, Maxwell, d’Arenberg, hipster favourite Alpha Box & Dice, and SC Pannell where a brand new tasting room and deck has killer views and Spanish-accented nibbles.

    Coriole offers a good introduction to the Italian varieties that seem a natural fit here, as well as a stunning garden that’s a lovely place to linger, while Samuel’s Gorge has a unique outlook, both in scenery and the wines of Justin McNamee.

    121179-aff17684-6a40-11e4-9f16-015de3bbdad9.jpg

    Erin Rogers serves Tony Love (left) and Simon Wilkinson at the Victory Hotel at Sellicks Beach. Picture: Calum Robertson

     

    DINING

    Is this Australia’s best regional dining destination? With at least a dozen brilliant restaurant options to pick from, plus a host of more casual options, we reckon it just might be.

    Passionate chefs seem drawn to the Fleurieu’s backyard bounty of fabulous produce grown by equally passionate farmers and gardeners. If you want to see what they are on about, visit the Willunga Farmers Market on a Saturday morning.

    Fino’s David Swain captures all this potential as well as anyone, his plates a masterclass in seemingly effortless combinations that make you wonder why no one has thought of it before.

    Salopian Inn has a cheerful demeanour that will make you want to hang around long after you’ve finished Karena Armstrong’s delicious blend of eastern and western favourites.

    Coriole, d’Arry’s Verandah, Elbow Room, Ellen Street and The Currant Shed all have their own take on a winery restaurant with gorgeous vineyard settings.

    Or do like many of the locals and head to the Victory Hotel, where you’ll be equally welcome to sip a beer as a burgundy as you watch the sun go down.

    STAYING OVER

    From beachfront properties that will make you feel like you’ve joined the jet set, to cabins in the caravan park, there is accommodation available in all shapes and sizes. In between are a host of B & Bs in a variety of settings with all the competition guaranteed to keep standards up. Make sure you book ahead during festivals or other busy times. If you want to leave the car behind on your travels, Chook’s Taxi Alternative at Willunga is recommended by many locals.

    X FACTOR

    If you want to be reminded just how special this region is, taken an overseas visitor for the first time and watch the reaction. There is a magic about this place you won’t find in many other parts of the world.

    UP SIDE

    The complete package

    DOWN SIDE

    None we can think of

    SCORECARD

    Scenery 9

    Eating 10

    Cellar doors 9

    Staying over 8

    X Factor 9

    TOTAL 45

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    The Coonawarra wine region tops them both IMO, never had a bad wine form down there.

     

    I have been on tours of both Barossa and The Vale, I prefer the vale due to the fact that it does nit seem as commercialised as the Barossa.

     

    Both great wines tho, we are very very spoilt here.

     

    HG

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    Guest Guest75

    A good thread but realistically I did distinctly mean only the Barossa against Mclaren Vale.

    So many of our visitors and guests seem to only have heard about the Barossa.

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    The Barossa is heavily promoted and advertised. Not really surprising other areas are not known to them if they've not looked in to things further.

     

    I don't look at the two regions and stack them up against each other or think of one being better than the other. There are wines I like, wines I don't. I don't really mind where they come from so long as I like the taste. I think the north v south only exists if you make it that way. I don't view the regions like that at all so thats a non starter for me :)

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    A good thread but realistically I did distinctly mean only the Barossa against Mclaren Vale.

     

    And you have been on this forum now...how long? It's really not like us to be off topic :wink: but seeing as you have said so.....I will do as I am told :tongue:

     

    I love the Barossa Valley and I think the distance from Adelaide is part of the appeal. It's only about an hour from where I live and I love the rolling hills, and beautiful restaurants. My family from overseas always prefer to go there but I think next time I will take them to McLaren Vale. I like McLaren Vale but prefer Barossa better - I suppose because I am more familiar with....not such a big wine drinker myself, although I do like the occasional drop but more about the scenery and experience and company.

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    We are lucky to be spoilt for choice.

     

    McLaren Vale is on my doorstep and I love it, so not going to argue with Tamara's post about it being no1!

     

    DSC_0017 (2).jpg

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    A good thread but realistically I did distinctly mean only the Barossa against Mclaren Vale.

    So many of our visitors and guests seem to only have heard about the Barossa.

     

    Why? Why make a thread be about the Barrossa versus McLaren Vale? Why not have a discussion about all the wine areas in South Australia? Why try and create some kind of North verses South that just does not exist? I get that you prefer McLaren Vale over the Barrosa and that's fine but surely if you prefer one over the other that is purely about personal preference and nothing to do with one being "better" than the other? And what is "better" anyway? The reason most people have heard about the Barrossa is because it has been better advertised. The advert they made for the Barrossa just a while ago was a huge hit and got lots of media attention around the world. Rather than trying to do the Barrossa down we should be shouting loudly about all the great wine regions we have here in SA and encouraging visitors to come and see all of them.

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    Was up in the Barossa with family last week and McLaren Vale - they loved the Vale and the local beaches too (and it only took 20 minutes to get home

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    DSC_3011.jpg

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    Guest Guest75
    Why? Why make a thread be about the Barrossa versus McLaren Vale? Why not have a discussion about all the wine areas in South Australia? Why try and create some kind of North verses South that just does not exist? I get that you prefer McLaren Vale over the Barrosa and that's fine but surely if you prefer one over the other that is purely about personal preference and nothing to do with one being "better" than the other? And what is "better" anyway? The reason most people have heard about the Barrossa is because it has been better advertised. The advert they made for the Barrossa just a while ago was a huge hit and got lots of media attention around the world. Rather than trying to do the Barrossa down we should be shouting loudly about all the great wine regions we have here in SA and encouraging visitors to come and see all of them.

     

    Sorry!

     

    My post was based on the fact that so many visitors are perhaps ovelooking McLaren Vale and due to the large amount of advertising think only of the Barossa.

     

    Many interstate guests seem to think this way.It's a personal experience from guests that has made a personal impression with me.

     

    Not trying to do Barossa down at all, I am very sorry if I gave that impression.:cute::cute:

     

    The context of the original post was to discuss why the Barossa is so well known against an equally good wine area.

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    My post was based on the fact that so many visitors are perhaps ovelooking McLaren Vale and due to the large amount of advertising think only of the Barossa.

     

    .....

     

    The context of the original post was to discuss why the Barossa is so well known against an equally good wine area.

     

    Tha's easy. It's better promoted. Which is a real shame because there are so many wonderful places in South Australia that visitors would enjoy and they should all be being promoted far more. SA is a wine buffs heaven with lots of wonderful wine regions and we really should be selling them all much better.

    Edited by NicF

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    I think also the fact that the Barossa is home to Jacobs Creek and Wolf Blass which are often the only two SA wineries UK guests/expats have heard of... there seems to be big appeal in 'going to Jacobs Creek', whereas McLaren Vale doesn't have a huge label like Jacobs Creek that's ubiquitous in the UK.

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    Guest wen66

    My in laws are due to visit us in April, so it will be the Vale for us, as it's a tad closer. So, any recommends on the best easy going local tours would be great. ( My father in law has failing health, so nothing too exhausting, and we'll have the boys with us too....they'll be soo 'I'm bored'...)

     

    I don't get too excited about the vineyards, tbh, we loved beside Denbies Vineyard for 15 years:biggrin:, not quite on the scale of SA :eek:but still beautiful..........the wine is much much nicer here, cheaper too! So am happy.

     

    I love trying different wines, knowing they are made locally and not stinky, sorry Denbies, prefer Australian........x

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    I think also the fact that the Barossa is home to Jacobs Creek and Wolf Blass which are often the only two SA wineries UK guests/expats have heard of... there seems to be big appeal in 'going to Jacobs Creek', whereas McLaren Vale doesn't have a huge label like Jacobs Creek that's ubiquitous in the UK.

     

    I don't like Wolf Blass winery at all! Found it very snooty - mind you, that probably wasn't helped by my father-in-law suggesting to the very hoity-toity woman serving us that she should smell his fingers and guess what he'd been doing ... he'd been gutting a snapper that morning! :err:

     

    I think the Barossa ads are excellent - not sure which agency they used but money very well spent (mind you, I do like Nick Cage's music). Also don't know if it was funded by the SA Government or the Barossa region themselves.

     

    Just googled and apparently it was made by KWP http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-08/south-australian-tourism-ad-wins-international-film-award/5876800

    Edited by Diane

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    I don't get too excited about the vineyards, tbh, we loved beside Denbies Vineyard for 15 years:biggrin:, not quite on the scale of SA :eek:but still beautiful..........the wine is much much nicer here, cheaper too! So am happy.

     

    I love trying different wines, knowing they are made locally and not stinky, sorry Denbies, prefer Australian........x

     

     

    Lived near Denbies too (Epsom Downs) nice walks there and fun when James May built his giant Lego house for a BBC series

     

    James and Lego House.jpg

     

    DSCF5390.jpg

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    Guest wen66
    Lived near Denbies too (Epsom Downs) nice walks there and fun when James May built his giant Lego house for a BBC series

     

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    The lego house was fabulous. One of the site managers gave us a big box of loose bits. They gave loads to my boys primary school, at the time.

    We could see Boxhill from the back of our house. Very beautiful area. :-)

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    I think also the fact that the Barossa is home to Jacobs Creek and Wolf Blass which are often the only two SA wineries UK guests/expats have heard of... there seems to be big appeal in 'going to Jacobs Creek', whereas McLaren Vale doesn't have a huge label like Jacobs Creek that's ubiquitous in the UK.

     

    We did the Jacobs Creek winery a few years ago. We specifically chose it because I'd heard it was child friendly and had other things to do besides taste wine. To be fair to the place they were really good with the kids and they found a ball for them to kick around outside. And we had a lovely walk in the extensive grounds until my eldest saw a sign warning about snakes in the long grass and got scared. The wines they had were much nicer than the ones I buy cheap at BWS as well. We brought home a bottle or two of the Moscato they do, which is far less sweet than most of the others I've tried. I don't really remember much about the other wineries we visited that day other than that the kids got bored pretty quick.

     

    It's been nearly 4 years since I last went to the Barossa, at least 11 years since I went round any wineries at McLaren Vale and I don't think I've ever been to a winery in the hills region so I'm not really in a place to make much comment about any of them really. I have driven past plenty of wineries in the hills and a few in McLaren Vale and can happily say both areas are lovely to travel through. I'd love to be able to do tours of all the SA wine regions but would have to loose the kids for a day for each which isn't easy. Maybe when they are a bit older.

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