18 Dec 2019

McLaren Vale Hits #1 For Reader's Choice 2020 Destination

18 DEC 2019
18 DEC 2019

The McLaren Vale region has been picked as best of the bunch in the Southern Hemisphere by a leading American Reader’s Choice travel guide.

The region has been voted the Emerging Destination of the Year for the Southern Hemisphere in the 2020 Travel Lemming Readers' Choice Awards.

Recently listed in the 2020 top 30 Emerging Destinations of the Year by Travel Lemming, McLaren Vale has now been named as the number one destination for the Southern Hemisphere.

Travel Lemming collated 3000 total votes and feedback from readers, with judge’s comments focusing on the area’s wine, food and iconic scenery, It declared: Once a secret known only to insiders and locals, McLaren Vale has been quietly gaining acclaim among oenophiles as one of the most underrated wine destinations on the planet. Visitors looking for unique experiences definitely won't want to miss the family-run d’Arenberg winery, where you can blend your own wine after soaring above the stunning vineyards in a 1930s open-cockpit biplane. Visit to see why Travel + Leisure said this region is home to "some of the most beautiful vineyards on Earth." Oh, and if you somehow tire of all that wine, did we mention that McLaren Vale is situated on the doorstep of some of Australia's best kilometers of coastline?

South Australian Tourism Commission Executive Director of Marketing Brent Hill said it was a terrific accolade for McLaren Vale region.

“It is great for the region to be recognised internationally as an emerging destination for travelers who want to see the authentic Australia,” he said.

“It has become a standout destination for tourism, balancing new development with quintessential charm and authenticity brought to life by the incredible people of the Vale.

This amazing recognition is a testament to the incredible growth we’re seeing in tourism into South Australia.”

Over the past three years, on average 2.7 million domestic travelers and 2.4 million international travelers visit the region annually.

Tourism providers in the region welcomed the accolade from the USA overnight.

“In some ways this award doesn’t surprise me. It’s recognition that the bar for tourism experiences has been well and truly raised in McLaren Vale. You can feel the energy in the region from a community that takes great pride in showcasing this beautiful part of SA,” Wirra Wirra Vineyards and Ashton Hills Vineyard Managing Director and CEO Andrew Kay said.

“If this global acknowledgement entices a few more visitors to head our way, Wirra Wirra is ready to welcome them with open arms.”

Popular local favourite, the Willunga Farmers Market, said it was also excited to be part of the growth of tourism on the Fleurieu.

“We are seeing more and more visitors each week. Welcoming visitors to the market and providing an experience for them to taste and discover produce from the Fleurieu is what we love to do,” Willunga Farmers Market general manager Jenni Mitton said.

Other locations to be recognised by Travel Lemming included Lausanne, Prince Edward Island, Laurel Highlands and Nova Scotia.