The journey to the Southern Vales begins with a drive through Adelaide’s urban sprawl until you reach Morphett Vale where the ribbon development gives way to rolling green hills sprinkled with soaring blue gums. After crossing the delightfully-named Onkaparinga River, you enter the town of McLaren Vale, centre of the southern valleys wine-growing region. Two years after the proclamation of the state of South Australia, John Reynell planted the first vines at McLaren Vale to launch an industry that continues to thrive today. Good wine, food and art are traditional companions and a number of fine artists and chefs have been drawn to the area - the artists by the beauty of the surrounding hills, pristine beaches and singular coastal scenery, the chefs on the trail of the epicureans restocking their cellars. In short, this is a region unashamedly given over to the enjoyment of the better things in life and more than 40 cellar doors are open daily to make certain that visitors get to share in the good life.