All-Time Grapes: Discover Australia’s Ultimate Wine Regions
Featured destinations: Australia
Published 24 June 2016
Australia is big on vino. Known for its award-winning grapes and boasting more than 60 designated wine regions across the country, it’s easy to see why. And it’s not just the locals that love the Aussie flavour so much – according to Wine Australia 30 million glasses of the stuff are consumed worldwide every day. But why settle for an import when you can try the real thing, freshly squeezed and fermented right before your eyes?
It’s easy to experience Australia’s incredible wine regions: here’s where to begin…
Try the world’s oldest Shiraz in Barossa Valley
Barossa – incorporating the Barossa and Eden Valleys – is home to around 750 grape-growing families and acres upon acres of vineyards; you can see them all from the majestic lookout point at Mengler’s Hill. Some of its grapevines, like the Shiraz ones at Turkey Flat Vineyards, were even planted as early as 1847. But while the region is famous for its ancient Shiraz, that’s hardly the extent of its wine-growing prowess. It offers a red or white for every palate, while wine connoisseurs can sample the delights of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Merlot, to name a few.
Location: 37 miles north-east of Adelaide
Where to stay: Novotel Barossa Valley Resort
Get there now: Explore the Barossa Valley on our South Australia in Depth Journey.
Swill delectable Sauvignon Blanc in Margaret River
Margaret River is famous for a reason: it churns out 20% of Australia’s premium wines. It has the perfect wine-growing climate: think rain-free seasons as the grapes grow, followed by consistently warm temperatures as they start to ripen. Cabernet Sauvignon is its mainstay, but growers are partial to crafting a great glass of chardonnay too – both are worth a taste test. You can get a real flavour for the process at the Margaret River Visitor Centre, which boasts an exciting Wine Tourism Showroom. Here you can follow the journey that the region’s wine-making has taken, as well as get a close-up look at the equipment used before sampling the final product.
Location: In the south-west of Western Australia, 172 miles south of Perth
Where to stay: Margarets Beach Resort
Get there now: Take the taste test on our Gourmet Australia or South West Highlights Journeys.
Attend wine events in Hunter Valley
There are very few places that do wine festivals quite like the Hunter Valley does. Events are regular and, naturally, include plentiful samples of vino. There’s Hunter Valley Uncorked, Sculpture in the Vineyards, Jazz in the Vines and abundant winery lunches, led by local chefs and sommeliers. Oct-Jan has the busiest festival calendar, but the biggest event – the aptly-named Hunter Valley Wine Festival – is held in June and serves up wine, food, beer and cider by the bucket-load.
Location: In New South Wales, around 75 miles north of Sydney
Where to stay: Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley
Get there now: Get wine festival fever on our Legendary Pacific Coast or Beyond Sydney Journeys.
Choose from the flagship wines of the Yarra Valley
Indulgent food and wine, served amid a plethora of charming country towns, is the order of the day in the Yarra Valley. So, unsurprisingly, it’s home to some of Australia’s flagship wines: chardonnay, sparkling and pinot noir. It has more than 60 wineries and the majority are small-to-medium in size, rather than major labels, meaning you’re bound to get a unique flavour you probably won’t have tasted anywhere else.
Location: Surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, 55 miles east of Melbourne
Where to stay: Chateau Yering
Get there now: Try some of Australia’s best wines on our Boutique Victoria Journey.
Experience the boutique cellar doors of Mornington Peninsula
If you thought the wineries of the Yarra Valley were bijou, wait ‘til you experience the Mornington Peninsula. Size isn’t everything though, the wineries here may be small but they do have an exotic array of vinos on offer. Why not try the famous pinot noir or a unique brand of chardonnay, grown in cooler climes? This verdant, beach-fringed headland benefits from more than 50 boutique cellar doors, making it a perfect spot for wine buffs who want to get off the beaten track.
Location: A peninsula south-east of Melbourne, bordered by Port Phillip, Western Port and the Bass Strait
Where to stay: Lindenderry at Red Hill
Get there now: Sip sophisticated beverages on our Boutique Victoria Journey.