From shopping and galleries to restaurants and hair salons, there’s a lot to explore in iconic McLaren Vale.
Stretching through the heart of the wine region, the McLaren Vale main street is packed with things to see and do. Whether you need an afternoon hot chocolate stop between wine tastings, supplies for a picnic lunch, or a spot of retail therapy, the street is sure to surprise and delight.
With a collection of parks and reserves just off the main street, it’s easy to stroll or cycle with hire available from Oxygen Cycles, McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre and Serafino’s. Cycle at your own pace, stopping to smell the roses (quite literally) whenever you please. There are also great places to stay including the McLaren Vale Motel and Apartments, Casa Vino Villas and Wine and Roses B&B.
Chocolate, coffee, breakfast or dinner – whatever you fancy, there’s something to tempt your tastebuds. Mullygrub, the Tin Shed Cafe and Blessed Cheese have you sorted for brekky and lunch, while The Barn, Oscars, Ind”O”Mex, Carmel’s and The Barn will keep you going into the evening. The Menz Fruchocs Shop and Bracegirdles are favourites for sweet tooths, while Meeting Place McLaren Vale and The Almond Train will ease those caffeine cravings.
Don’t forget McLaren Vale Foodland. The store boasts its own sushi bar and sushi chef and is famous for an extensive range of gourmet meat, antipasto products and South Australian cheeses. They regularly host cheese and gourmet food tastings which complement the region’s wines.
SIPS TO SAVOUR
Hardys Tintara is one of the region’s oldest, most iconic wineries. Their impressive grounds, arthouse and recent renovations are well worth exploring. Make sure you visit Penley Estate’s stunning new cellar door and enjoy the quality wines and liqueurs at Australian Boutique Premium Wines.
EYE FOR ART
When it comes to artwork, you can’t miss the Fleurieu Arthouse and The Gallery at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre. There’s also the Board Room Gallery which showcases the work of one local artist each month, in an intimate exhibition space. Meet the artists, browse the exhibitions and take home a work of art or two.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
Whether you’ve got a shoe obsession, a love of homewares or a passion for beauty products, there’s a collection of shops and boutiques dotted along McLaren Vale’s main street to suit every shopaholic.
Gorgeous Soles is packed with clothing and footwear that’ll have you clicking your heels happy. Country Life Fashions has all your casual, comfy essentials, while the Bloke Shop has male shoppers sorted. McLaren Unvaled is a treasure trove of homewares, jewellery and more, while Cactus Creations (just off the main road) is a fun little hideaway full of prickly critters – great for the kids. Another gem for little ones is the McLaren Vale Garden Centre, with its own established garden to explore (spot the animal statues). To finish, enjoy a beauty treatment at Glow Beaute Room.
PIZZA, PASTA AND PASSATA!
There’s no doubt that Italian cuisine goes hand in hand with a glass of wine, so it’s no surprise that the McLaren Vale Wine Region is home to incredible Italian eateries. We are spoilt for choice with Italian winemaker families, bringing authentic cuisine to the table, just the way their nonna made it. With secrets and tips passed around in this foodie community, here are a few favourites.
Pizzateca – A local favourite in the region, this funky shed surrounded by vines serves up simple pizza, pasta and aperol spritz in a fun, casual style.
Beach Road Wines – Wood oven pizza and wine are a perfect partnership at Beach Road Wines, the wood oven is always on, and the wine is always flowing. Lazy Sunday Sessions here are the best kind of stress relief.
The Redwood Oven – This bustling little pizza place in Willunga is the perfect pit-stop for wood-oven pizza on the go. Bellissimo!
Oscars – A McLaren Vale stalwart, Oscars provides accessible Italian for the whole family. The little ones even get their own menu too (who doesn’t love a mini carbonara?).
Vasarelli Cellar Door Restaurant – With everything from per cominciare (starters) and dolce (dessert), their Italian fare is based on the traditional recipes of the owners, the Vasarelli family, passed down for generations.