Sea & Vines Food and Wine Festival
The annual McLaren Vale BankSA Sea and Vines Food and Wine Festival is a highlight of the area's June calendar, with previous events attracting visitors from all over the country.
The annual festival celebrates the culinary expertise, flavours and craftsmanship of the McLaren Vale region. The South Australian area is one of the world's most geographically diverse wine regions, with its blend of soil, geology, elevation, rainfall, slope and climate helping to produce some of the finest wines Australia - and the world. It's committed to water efficiency and environment suitability, resulting in a green wine region that has an increased focus on organic products.
Along with an outstanding wine culture, the area is blessed with beaches and beautiful scenery, not to mention a thriving food scene. If it's gourmet foods made from fresh local produce you're looking for, the McLaren Vale BankSA Sea and Vines Food and Wine Festival is the event for you. It is a veritable smorgasbord of the area's finest flavours and products grown and made locally, and the stunning coastline and gorgeous vineyard atmosphere make for a visually appealing experience.
About the Festival
Held across the long weekend each June, the Sea and Vines Food and Wine Festival is one of the nation's most popular and longest running food and wine festivals, having been celebrated for the past 22 years. Each year it attracts around 40,000 people to the region to meet McLaren Vale winemakers and food producers and sample their wares. Seasonal fresh produce from the Fleurieu Peninsula can also be enjoyed, and the live entertainment is brought in from around South Australia to entertain the crowds.
Each day holds different events that fall under different categories. The 2014 festival celebrated themes of Experience, Relish, Zest and Delight across its four-day weekend, kicking off on the Sunday with tickets inviting guests to visit three venues or wineries throughout the day. At each of these venues was regional food, wine and music to entertain the guests, with sessions held at different times throughout the day to ensure everyone made the most of it. The party atmosphere and live music of Experience days are designed to get attendees dancing and having fun. The 2014 session saw events held at Maxwell Wines, Bent Creek, Middlebrook Estate, Swell Brewery Co and many more, with an outstanding selection of sumptuous wines, decadent meals and live musical guests. Think of this as the party day to kick your festival experience off with a bang.
Relish is a smaller, more relaxed line up of events where restaurants, wineries and other venues organise a lunch, dinner or breakfast complete with food, wine and entertainment. With these festivities spread across the four days, it's easy to fit in several to your schedule.
Zest is typically a family-friendly day where guests can wander between participating venues as they like. The grown ups can enjoy feature wines from their specially-purchased Zest glass, while the little ones enjoy delights such as petting zoos, bouncy castles and morsels of delicious food. At the 2014, venues such as Oliver's Taranga Vineyards, d'Arenberg and Bent Creek all hosted special Zest events. Kid-friendly meals and snacks feature heavily on the menus for Zest events, along with a range of entertainment activities to suit the whole family.
Delight events are ticketed and include everything from dinners and degustations through to cheese and wine matching and master classes. These unique, one-off experiences aim to give guests a chance to sample a rare flavour or indulge in a feast. Try your hand at wine blending, listen to discussions and informative talks about the processes behind the wines, or simply sink your teeth into a relaxed, leisurely meal in some of McLaren Vale's most stunning locations.
What's more, there are also plenty of secret and exclusive events that are revealed closer to June, so it pays to keep a close eye on social media for updates on what's coming up.
If you're driving, you'll find McLaren Vale around 40 minutes away from Adelaide, making it the perfect event for those capital city dwellers who want a convenient weekend escape. Guests from out of state can fly in to Adelaide Airport and drive from there, or stretch the long weekend out further with a road trip.
Holiday accommodation can be found throughout the region and further afield, giving you plenty of options for your travel group. You may not bring your own food or alcohol to any of the festival events unless stated by organisers, so plan your trip accordingly.