Do you love wine? Imagine sipping on a fine wine as you gaze out onto a vast plain dotted with ‘roos’ happily hopping about. Australia is home to some of the finest wines in the world. Wouldn’t you just love to spend time down under sampling some of these world-renowned wines?
I’ve listed the most well-known wines and where they are typically located. Incorporating visits to some of these places in your itinerary will create a memorable trip and you’ll likely make new wine discoveries along the way.
WHERE TO FIND YOUR FAVORITE WINES
- Yarra Valley is just a 1-hour drive northeast of Melbourne. The valley is known for its chardonnays. Winemakers here are recently embracing a resurging interest in a lighter, less oaky style of chardonnay. Floral and citrus notes are common in the chardonnays from this region.
- Mornington Peninsula is a short 1-hour drive south of Melbourne. Here you can enjoy delightfully unique pinot noirs. Unlike the traditional boldness of pinots, the Peninsula exercises a delicate restraint in their production, which results in earthy yet elegant wines.
- King Valley is a 3-hour drive north-east of Melbourne. It brings you to Prosecco territory. King Valley was once a bushranger hideout. Since those days, this picturesque valley in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park is home to generations of Italian migrants who brought their passion for Mediterranean inspired wines.
New South Wales
Hunter Valley is a 3-hour drive north of central Sydney and is Australia’s oldest wine region. The warm, humid climate here produces outstanding Semillons.
Australian Capital Territory
Canberra District Wine Region is a 30-minute drive north and northeast of central Canberra. This region is so well known for its Riesling that each year it holds the largest single varietal wine show in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Barossa Valley is a 1-hour drive north of Adelaide. The Barossa is one of Australia’s most famous wine-growing areas and the home of Shiraz.
- McLaren Vale is a 40-minute drive south of Adelaide. It is the iconic birthplace of South Australia’s wine industry. The water-cooled climate makes it Australia’s leading area for producing Grenache.
Margaret River is a 3-hour drive south of Perth. The Cabernet Sauvignon of this region is not to be missed. This spectacular coastal region dotted with idyllic beaches produces a quarter of Australia’s premium wines. Margaret River’s cabernet sauvignon is often compared to Bordeaux.
Tamar Valley is a 30-minute drive northwest of Launceston. Sparkling Wine reigns in this fertile land. In recent years, Tasmanian sparkling has received numerous prestigious national and international awards.
Wine tasting can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. There are tons of options! Take a look at just a few of them:
- It’s fun to pair your wine tasting with a wildlife experience.
- Perhaps you’d like to float over the vineyards in a hot air balloon, alighting at a winery to do some tastings.
- Plan your trip around a wine festival. There are a variety to choose from.
- Cycling through a region’s stunning landscapes is a wonderful way to travel from one winery to the next. Finish the day at a glorious spa.
- How about a cultural experience with an indigenous elder who will regale you with stories of the land on which the vines are now growing?
- A helicopter tour of wineries is a fun and exciting way to ‘winery hop’.
- Art & wine is the perfect combination and some wineries have art museums attached.
- There’s always the opportunity to do a cooking class while tasting.
- A truly sensory experience is to do tastings in the dark!
- One of my personal favorites is to try your hand at blending your own wine. Masterclasses and blending lessons are offered at several wineries.
I can’t say enough about Australia. It’s such a wonderful destination with experiences to delight everyone. There’s nothing like Australia!
Credit: Tourism Australia and Ultimate Wine Experiences of Australia