The annual Sea and Vines festival kicked off over the long weekend in McLaren Vale and it seemed that just about every bus in Adelaide was carting a load of high-spirited festival-goers down the expressway. If you weren’t able to attend, we’re sure you felt immersed in the festivities anyway via the excess of social media posts and Instagram boomerangs. Nevertheless, we’ve provided a recount for those that missed out and those whose weekend memories are a little… muddled.
What is it?
Sea and Vines boasts three entire days of wine and culinary indulgences to suit a variety of wants and needs. Saturday involves everything from cooking master classes, decadent degustations, and even pizza lock-ins. On Sunday, guests can visit three different venues for the ultimate ‘Sunday Experience’ and enjoy great food, live music, and a variety of delicious wines. Monday events are a little more family-friendly, including bouncy castles, rock climbing, and cheese platters. Over the course of the weekend, you’re sure to find something to suit your desires!
What did The Adelaidian get up to?
We chose to start our day at The Curious Squire with breakfast burgers and espresso martinis. We then got on the bus and travelled to Maxwell Wines where we sat on the grassy hill listening to live music and drinking the Silver Hammer Shiraz. Next, we made our way to Coriole Vineyards for some terrific Greek cuisine including spit-roasted lamb and spice-fried calamari. We also indulged in the delicious Dancing Fig red and grooved to tunes by Full Circle. Our final stop for the day was Leconfield & Richard Hamilton Wines. After having another dance and a Vale Ale, we retired to the garden to sip on cappuccinos and indulge in cake from the Maestro coffee cart.
What Did Everyone Wear?
For the girls, we saw a seemingly endless sea of thigh-high boots. We love this choice because a sturdy heel is an absolute essential for wine-fuelled adventures and a closed-toe shoe means optimal warmth is kept in to combat the chilly winter weather. The ladies experimented with luxe textures like velvet and silk. We saw fur jackets paired with tight mini dresses and leather jackets paired with flowing maxi dresses. Adelaidians nailed the winter winery style, choosing warm and comfy clothes while remaining stylish. Pastel pink was everywhere for the ladies, and creams and blues were the favourites for the guys. Adelaide lads were seen donning brown leather penny loafers, crisp white shirts, and navy blue blazers. All in all, we saw some great style from SA’s wine lovers. For more winter winery inspiration, check out our Winter Reds style edit.
What Can I Expect if I’ve Never Been?
If you’ve never been to Sea and Vines before, you can expect to see a lot of rather intoxicated people. With buses carting everyone around, and no need for designated drivers, the residents of SA can get pretty loose… I mean, it is the long weekend after all. If you’re looking to experience a quieter day, we would suggest trying the Saturday or Monday events. The Sunday Experience is a whole lot of fun, and festival-goers consume a whole lot of wine, so just make sure you’re not expecting a super quiet one!
While we can’t speak for the Saturday and Monday events, the ‘Sunday Experience’ isn’t extremely cheap. Unlike events like CheeseFest, Sea and Vines doesn’t involve free tastings. The vineyards showcase high-quality wines, which often come with corresponding prices. They’re not super-expensive but they’re pretty baseline; you’re looking at around $30 per bottle. You’ll probably get three or four bottles for the day, depending on your group size and how tipsy you’re planning on getting. Of course, you’ll also need to pay for the event tickets and the bus for the day. Not to mention you will want to try some of the delicious international cuisines on offer! Ultimately, be prepared to spend.
All in all, expect a big day of wine! Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat lots of food. Like any festival, Sea and Vines can be pretty exhausting so keep your next-day plans to a minimum. Mercifully, the Queen’s Birthday gave all guests a chance to relax and nurse their hangovers the next day! Thank goodness for long weekends.
So that’s it for this year’s Sea and Vines. The festival is a fun wine extravaganza every year and this year was no exception; we’ll take any excuse to explore Adelaide’s surrounding wine regions! If you missed out on Sea and Vines, make sure you don’t miss out on July’s Winter Reds weekend in the Adelaide Hills.