Have you heard of TrailHopper? If you haven’t, then sit yourself down, perhaps with a glass of your favourite Rosé or Shiraz, and read on. This Adelaide based company is changing the wine touring game with its hop-on hop-off loop circuits that allow you to ‘Tour Your Way’. The faultless format that was designed 3 years ago offers nearly as much flexibility and control as driving yourself. The only difference is that you don’t have to worry about navigating all day!
Booking the personalized full-day tour is effortless. Firstly you choose which distinguished South Australian wine region you would like to visit. Regardless of whether you decide on McLaren Vale, the Barossa Valley or the Adelaide Hills, TrailHopper has narrowed down each region’s must-see wineries to a contained list of 8-10 options. All you then have to do is simply choose 4 wineries from the selection. If you intend to book lunch at one of the wineries, you are only required to choose 3. However, if you do not elect to do a 2-hour lunch stop, you are still able to have an efficient lunch experience at certain wineries. For example, mentioning you’re with TrailHopper when arriving at Barristers Block Winery will ensure that you can enjoy a wine tasting, followed by a casual lunch of sensational wood oven pizza, within the allocated hour visit.
Whilst visiting iconic wineries and uncovering lesser-known ones is the basis of any winery tour, TrailHopper prides itself on showcasing the entire wine region. If exploring multiple wineries in a day doesn’t appeal to you, you may choose for one of your stops to be at a township in the region. This alternative would be perfect for those who aren’t fanatical wine drinkers, or for first time visitors to the chosen South Australian destination. It is completely at your discretion how you utilise your hour at a township stop. Rest assured that irrespective of whether you’re looking to indulge in the local bakery treats, have a pint at a prominent pub, or immerse yourself in the culture of the main street, your guide will offer invaluable insights, and perhaps even reveal a not-to-be-missed hidden gem.
Conveniently, the hop-on hop-off winery tour departs mid-morning from the CBD location of outside the Stamford Plaza. It is here that you will meet other passengers and be greeted by your friendly guide, who will hand you an information pack. This will be your best friend for the day as it features the hourly pick up times on a timetable and discloses exclusive TrailHopper discounts that are available at each winery. As you familiarise yourself with it and begin your journey to the wine region, the knowledgeable guide will enquire what your group hopes to get out of the day. Based on your response, food and wine tasting recommendations will be offered to help guide your decisions. This personalised, accommodating and courteous service is the defining element that sets TrailHopper apart from their competitors. Testament to this is the fact they are one of the top rated food and drink tour providers in Adelaide on TripAdvisor.
One major benefit of using TrailHopper is that their established rapport with the wineries enables you to get the most out of your day. Some wineries have restrictions in place that prevent bus tour operators from visiting in the late afternoon. This is to ensure the wine tasting experience remains a pleasant, undisturbed affair for other visitors. As TrailHopper steers away from being classed as a booze bus and operates a more refined service, the company is exempt from this rule. Passengers are therefore treated to exclusive, unrivalled access of the state’s signature wineries. There is also a tendency for passengers on standard winery tours to miss out on the authentic front of house cellar door experience. Often groups of bus-goers are merely ushered into a back section away from other visitors. The loop style drop off and pick up structure of TrailHopper ensures that passengers do not receive this compromised experience, as each booking group disembarks at different wineries at different times. Essentially, this means that your booking group tours each winery independently from the other groups on the bus.
Striving to provide an optimal experience is at the forefront of the company’s design. The precisely timed pick ups, thorough descriptions provided during the drive about the wine region, and the option to store your wine purchases at the front of bus so you don’t have to carry them around for hours are all contributing factors as to why the day is such a seamless experience. Upon arriving back to Adelaide at 5pm, you’re going to want to do it all over again. The best part is, you can. Each tour has been designed so that you are able to do it three times, without repeating any of the same wineries. Cheers to that!
Words by Megan Clewer from Eats In Adelaide