The McLaren Vale: Our Guide

World-class wine, a plethora of gourmet restaurants serving up fresh, local produce, decadent and boutique accommodation options to suit every traveller, plus 30 kilometres of pristine coastline just waiting to be discovered in The McLaren Vale.

luxury getaway

Located in the Sellicks foothills is a spectacular piece of the mid-nineteenth century that has been lovingly restored into a luxury accommodation experience. The retreat comprises two unique suites – The Millery and the Granary. These impressive countryside stays are fully equipped with cosy king beds, plush armchairs to relax in, European kitchen appliances and smart TVs. Bathrobes and slippers are also provided, along with full English breakfasts for an additional cost. Book in for a relaxation massage at the onsite Hidden Beauty salon, or just eat, drink and unwind while taking in the incredible views. 

The Old Chaff Mill Retreat
371 Plains Road, Sellicks Hill
0412 186 33

panoramic views

Situated high atop a private hill in Kangarilla, you’ll find the picturesque McLaren Eye. The name was inspired by the sweeping rural vistas that will surround you during your stay and, only a mere 13 kilometres from McLaren Vale, you’ll find some of the country’s best wineries and restaurants on your doorstep. An ideal getaway for two couples, the luxe home boasts two king bedrooms, ensuites and private balconies on each side. In the middle lies the living pavilion surrounded by 180-degree panoramic views. Take a romantic soak in the free-standing bath or visit the Willunga Markets and cook up a storm in the kitchen using fresh local produce. With a helicopter pad on site, travel from Adelaide Airport or day trip to Kangaroo Island (or anywhere along the Fleurieu Peninsula). 

McLaren Eye
36A Peters Creek Road, Kangarilla 
08 8383 7122 / 0409 430 949

sustainable dining

Serving modern Australian cuisine based on the best available ingredients, Leonards Mill proprietors Hayley Pember-Calvert and her husband Iain have created a food destination on the Fleurieu Peninsula that doesn’t just talk sustainability, it lives it.

Housed in what is now a 163-year-old former flour mill, the pair’s ethos goes well beyond a farm-to-fork philosophy and is more accurately described as nose-to-tail, root-to-leaf.

“We buy whole animals and whole plants and use everything, so nothing is wasted. Even our seafood is caught by a local fisherman off nearby Cape Jervis,” explains Hayley. “We only buy what is in season and what grows well in our supplier’s soils, so our menu changes all the time.”

That said, it’s not unreasonable to expect prime cuts of venison, lamb or sirloin beef from just over the road, not to mention Kangaroo Island oysters and the freshest artisanal veggies from their very own permaculture garden. 

Backed up by a wine list boasting SA’s best small-batch family-owned labels, the split-level restaurant — there is also an outdoor area — is open for two or three-course set lunches from Wednesday through Sunday, all year round. 

Alternatively, if a Fleurieu food journey sounds right, the Leonards Mill Experience is a five-course degustation that will only leave you wanting more every Friday and Saturday night.

From there, you can even make a stay of it, but their luxe country cottages do book out in advance, and with good reason.

Leonards Mill 
7869 Main South Road
Second Valley

italian flavour

Well-known around the world for their award-winning Shiraz and Cabernet blends, Serafino Wines is a complete destination for lovers and lovers of wine.

Offering an epicurean romance set on one of the most stunning properties on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Serafino’s Italian heritage permeates their visitor experience. 

First arriving in Australia in 1964, Serafino, aka Steve Maglieri, planted his first McLaren Flat vines in 1968. Soon making his mark as the man behind Lambrusco — the ubiquitous sweet red bubbly of the 1980s and 90s and the number one wine during this time.

Bringing little more to Australia than his knowledge of viticulture and a passion for making great wine, Steve had the foresight in 2000 to plant ten grape varieties native to his place of birth. Taking advantage of a McLaren Vale climate similar to the Mediterranean coast, the result twenty years on is one of the most authentic tastes of ‘the old country’ right here in South Australia!

This year, the 2020 vintage of the much-loved Fiano (perfect with seafood) has already sold out, while the Bellissimo Montepulciano has won ‘Best Mediterranean Wine’ five times in a row at the McLaren Vale Wine Show. 

It’s the type of success that has attracted the best in the business to the winery, and in winemaker Charles Whish and vineyard manager Andrew Godfrey they certainly have that. Steve’s daughter, Maria Maglieri, has also taken the helm as CEO.

Featuring 30 rooms of up to four-star accommodation and a lake surrounded by magnificent Australian gums, the Serafino property oozes La Dolce Vita. Add a world-class restaurant, which is helmed by a genuine Sicilian, Alberto Occhipinti (the winner of two Chef Hat’s awards) and it’s no surprise that their range of experiences are in high demand. 

To start, we recommend you take the short drive on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday and try one of their premium paired food and wine flights. Featuring five of Serafino’s iconic McLaren Vale wines – think oak barrels, chocolate and red currents – paired with a tasting plate of delicious regional flavours, and you’ll be soaking up the spectacular views and the (very) good life in no time.

Serafino Wines
39 Kangarilla Road, McLaren Vale

08 8323 8911