Wine tasting with kids–McLaren Vale, South Australia

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Do kids and alcohol mix? They do in McLaren Vale, South Australia. I’ve often heard people say they bypassed vineyards while they were on holidays because they had the kids with them. I always ask… why? Family holidays are about the whole family, parents included. McLaren Vale is home to some of Australia’s premium winemakers. So when we were in SA recently, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to sample a couple of the good local vinos.

We made a visit to the local tourist information centre first and asked their advice on the cellar doors that were especially child friendly. We were given a small list and chose from that. Our notable mentions were:

Woodstock is “the ideal winery to visit with the family.” Let’s just say it hasn’t got a great deal of competition in the area. But it does have a kids’ playground, and a wildlife area where we saw a kangaroo.  There’s also a wonderful place to leave the kids while you’re sampling the wines…

I joke, I joke… The kids were more than welcome with us inside. There was even a basket of toys in the corner. (Although a bit young for our boys) Best of all, Woodstock has an excellent Cab Sav… and let’s face it, that’s what we were there for.

The boys were beyond excited to see this winery below. We’re releasing a new series of books in a couple of weeks called Bella & Burton’s Misadventures. Fancy Burton having his own vineyard!!!

Our favourite stop was the B&B/café/gallery Red Poles. While not a winery they have a Brick Kiln cellar door. We’d heard great things about the food at Red Poles, so stopped for lunch. And it was lovely. The ambience and service were great. The food was fantastic. It was the perfect place for a relaxed family lunch.

We were also lucky to be in the area for the Harvest Festival, a great day of local food, wine music and arts.

One final note: Choose a designated driver when visiting wineries. (And no, not one of the kids.) Wineries and kids might mix, but wine and driving doesn’t.