Nine top South Australian white wines & their wineries

August 1, 2020 / By Jacqueline Alanne

Parker Coonawarra Estate Parker Coonawarra Estate

South Australian wine regions are world class, and world famous - but arguably known for their red wines, rather than their whites. If you ask any local however, they’ll be happy to suggest to you more than a handful of delicious local whites for your drinking pleasure! Here are some of the current best South Australian white wines that are making waves, or proving their value, vintage after vintage.

Coriole 2018 Prosecco
A perfectly refreshing local version of the Italian sparkling wine, Coriole’s 2018 Prosecco is made for Australian summers. With delicate floral notes, a bright natural acidity and soft citrus flavours, their offering is crisp, dry and light. making it inoffensive to a young palate, but also a great aperitif for the more dedicated wine drinker. 

Cellar Door 79 Chaffeys Road, McLaren Vale
Open Monday to Friday 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, weekends & public holidays 11.00 am - 5.00 pm

Sidewood 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
Even those vehemently opposed to Sauvignon Blanc on principal will be won over by this bright, fruity wine. The lemony acidity paired with mouth-filling passionfruit notes aren’t weighted down by that familiar Savvy B aftertaste, but rather offset by an intriguing minerality. Best enjoyed at their Adelaide Hills cellar door while smacking a few golf balls at their casual driving range, or at home with fish tacos. 

Cellar Door 15 Onkaparinga Valley Road, Verdun 
Open Wednesday to Sunday 11 am till 5 pm.

Murdoch Hill 2018 Sulky Blanc
This mouthful of fun from Woodside combines Riesling with 15% Pinot Gris for a bit of extra structure and flavour diversity. Part of their Artisan range, each of these wines are named after a different type of horse-drawn carriage, in tribute to their grandfather, an avid collector. Using skin contact techniques, this guy has depth and personality, and hangs around. So many food pairing options on the cards for this guy! 

Sidewood Sidewood

Jim Barry Watervale Riesling
If you haven’t been lucky enough to experience any previous vintages of this wine, never fear - it is a true classic, whetting the palates of South Australians since 1974. One of the best Rieslings coming out of the Clare Valley, who are well-known for the drop as it stands, the Watervale Riesling grows on a particular plot next to the Watervale village, year in and year out. 2018 delivers an array of citrus on the palate with what is becoming trademark blossom on the nose. 

The wine is not only very affordable, at just $20 a bottle, but barely a year goes by that it doesn’t win a Trophy among an array of Gold medals - for 2018 it was a Trophy at the Queensland Wine show. 

Cellar Door 33 Craig Hill Road, Clare
Open Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm, weekends & public holidays 9.00 am – 4.00 pm 

S.C. Pannell 2018 ‘Fifi’ Fiano
Named after the winemaker’s Mermaid-esque, beach loving wife, you’ll want to get your hands on it for the label alone! We jest - this McLaren Vale Fiano is right on trend with the handful of McLaren Vale winemakers daring to produce a warm climate white. The result: A medium-bodied white of moderate acidity and ample length. A real basketful of flavours are layered up in this bottle - you’ll enjoy picking them apart alongside a seafood feast!

Cellar Door 60 Olivers Road, McLaren Vale
Open 11.00 am-5.00 pm daily

Parker Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay
While not every vintage is made using the same techniques, every vintage of Parker Chardonnay is certainly worth a look. Using the same plot of Coonawarra Chardonnay fruit, with varying intensities of time, French oak and malolactic fermentation, the result is invariably a chardonnay with a combined dose of fruity and nutty flavours - without the pineapple lolly vibe that alienates so many of us. Buy a case now and drink a bottle every six months for the next six years, and watch the flavours develop.

Cellar Door 15688 Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra
Open 10.00 am - 4.00 pm every day (except Good Friday &  Christmas Day)

Chaffey Bros Chaffey Bros

Chaffey Bros 2018 TripelPunkt 
These crafty brothers are no strangers to creating whites to stimulate not only the palate, but also the mind. TripelPunkt combines Riesling grapes from three Eden valley plots to create a Trifecta of Riesling flavour, texture and balance. If you like this wine, Riesling lovers rejoice! - and make sure you try their other equally fascinating whites, which in different balances work to champion Riesling and the purity of a well-tended grape vine. Hurrah! 

Collaborative Cellar door Taste Eden Valley 6 Washington Street, Angaston
Open 7 days 10.00 am  - 5.00 pm

Tim Adams Pinot Gris
If you are partial to a little stone fruit, every vintage of this Clare Valley Pinot Gris from Tim Adams is sure to please. Rather than stripping down the colour through the winemaking process, the Tim Adams team choose to retain the natural goldy, pinky hue of the Gris grape, working to accentuate the natural flavour, and provide depth through texture. Rich in fruit, while sessionable, this Pinot Gris is far from spiritless and watery. Enjoy it young with Asian food and spice! 

Cellar Door Warenda Road, Clare
Monday to Friday 10.30 am to 5.00 pm, weekends & public holidays 11.00 am – 5.00 pm

Deviation Road Altair Brut Rosé
Technically it’s pink, but made in the classic Sparkling style with a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Sourced from Lenswood and Piccadilly in the Adelaide Hills, after it’s hand picked in the vineyard and whole-bunch pressed, the undergoes a lengthy winemaking process. Adding a small percentage of the red Pinot Noir to the fermented clear base wine makes for a rose-tinged drop, with extra fruit complexity the result on the palate, with not only the delicious lemon flavours of a Blanc de blancs, but the addition of strawberry and red berries. 

Carefully crafted but with a very accessible price point of just $35, there’s room for this beauty for your next celebration or sashimi feast! 

Cellar Door 207 Scott Creek Road, Longwood 
Open daily 10.00 am to 5.00pm

So there you have it - whites of exemplary quality can be found right across the South coast, if you dare to venture. While we recommend a trip to cover these wineries and taste their wines at the best place, the source, all of these varietals are available at the wineries’ online stores.Try before you visit and create a route based upon your favourites!

We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.

We think you should know

The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.

So much more to explore - McLaren Vale & surrounds