The Southern Vales draws wine lovers from all over the world – but if you’re done with the cellar door, we’ve found some destinations that will add a different vibe to your visit. From intriguing artefacts to inspiring artworks, McLaren Vale’s main drag offers some great places to browse or even buy a unique piece of the Fleurieu to take home with you.
Vintage is the busiest time of year for Southern Vales winemakers, with tens of thousands of tonnes of grapey goodness plucked from the vines at the critical moment, on their way to becoming the wine of world renown. Timing is everything. But there’s another kind of vintage you can pick over all year round, right in McLaren Vale’s main street at the Littlest Vintage.
Co-owner Matt Johnson loves getting out on the road to fossick in old sheds and yards for treasure to bring back and says a lot of people just like to wander around the store and reminisce.
Matt and his partner Lauren Lovett run Littlest Vintage as a shop, and also offer hire and styling services for events. But many visitors just drop by to meet their gorgeous dogs – Johnny and June. Named after country music legends, these four-legged social media stars feature in all the Littlest Vintage branding.
Just down the road, we find another McLaren Vale must-see. Fleurieu Arthouse sits in the Hardy’s Tintara grounds – an impressive repurposing of an old winery building.
The enormous retail space features work by local painters, printmakers, sculptors, jewellers and ceramic artists, with a constantly changing range on offer. Visitors can wander in and watch artists at work in any of the 8 mini-studio spaces attached. And while working with an audience might sound a little intimidating, most of these artists say the interaction with visitors, and their fellow creators is something they enjoy.
And if all this creativity inspires you, well the Fleurieu Arthouse offers regular kids’ classes, and art and wine events, like the hugely popular acrylic, pour evenings. Have a look at the website for more details, and to check the Arthouse opening hours. And although this is not strictly another cellar door, it is in McLaren Vale… so you know good food and wine is always close at hand!