For the last 30 years, Australia has been investing in technological development and R&D, which put the Down Under on the eighth place on the list of the world’s largest wine producers. It surely deserves the nickname of the New World wine nation.
Some of the most acclaimed wines on the planet originate from Australians vineyards, and they are so similar to the people producing them: open, energizing and with no pretensions whatsoever.
When you decide to explore wine regions in Australia, the only problem is that there are 60 of them in the country. To make your selection easier, here are the most exquisite ones.
Tamar Valley – a magical mix of wilderness and top-notch wines
Cooler and smaller regions like Tamar Valley in Tasmania produce higher quality wines. It’s the leading region on the island, located near Launceston, the second-largest city in Tasmania. The vineyards spread from the city to the beaches of the Bass Strait, which is a perfect location for a pleasurable weekend.
Tasmania is home to some of the most extraordinary animal species and delicious food, so you’ll have plenty to see and try. Try enriching your meal with gentle Pinot Noir and fruity Riesling characteristic of the region. Pinot Noir wines in Tamar Valley are quite light, with a hint of cherry and apple. In case you’re more interested in quality Chardonnay or sparkling wines, the region won’t disappoint you – their wines are well-known throughout the country.
Pay a visit to Rowella and its wonderful wineries Iron Pot Bay Vineyard and Holm Oak Vineyards where you can enjoy not just the wines but wonderful accompanying meals, too.
Lush beverage and food indulgences in the Yarra Valley
Just an hour away from the lovely city of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley will amaze you with more than 80 wineries, ranging from huge wine estates to small, family-owned rustic cellars.
The region is abundant with lush greenery and picturesque views, allowing you to admire it while tasting world-renowned wines like spicy Shiraz, flavored Pinot Noir or intense Chardonnay. Don’t miss the region’s sparkling wines, either. You can join the tours that allow you to see the whole process of wine production and to taste the maturing wines directly from the barrels.
One of the most famous wineries there is definitely De Bortoli winery, where you can also taste cheeses straight from the Cheese Maturation Room on wooden serving trays. Don’t miss to have an authentic lunch at the Domaine Chandon with a great view of the vines and then pay a visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie for some sweet moments. End your day in your accommodation, the White Lotus Day Spa and Hotel, with a spa bath and a relaxing massage.
Explore the Hunter Valley, the home of the Australian wine
This is probably the most popular wine region in New South Wales. Located north of the capital, Sydney, the region holds great historical importance to the whole country, being the place where the Australian wine industry started.
As such, Hunter Valley wine tours are unique and highly interesting because they are a mix of historical tales and some extraordinary wine-tasting. James Busby, the father of the country’s wine who lived in this region, brought the first wine cuttings to Australia from Europe.
On a wine tour in the Hunter Valley, you’ll get to taste two world-famous wines, distinctive for their style – Semillon and full-flavored Chardonnay.
The region is also abundant with festivities, the annual Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival being the biggest one. As it’s close to Sydney, many famous performers, including The Rolling Stones and Elton John, and event organizers are drawn to the region.
The scenery is spectacular, framed with the Barrington Mountain Range, a World Heritage-listed site, so it’s a perfect location for those who enjoy hiking, climbing and bird watching, not just extraordinary wines.
Delicious white wines and adrenaline surfing in Margaret River
This region produces more than 25% of Australia’s premium wine, being one of the largest wine regions in the country with its 200 vineyards.
It’s famous for its exquisite Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignon. The mild temperature along the Indian Ocean is simply perfect for the majority of white wines to be tasted from a carefully chosen wine glass set.
Most of the wine tours include 4award-winning boutique wineries and the opportunity to visit 2 gourmet food producers. You can also have wine blending experience and pay a visit to a micro-brewery. These types of yours usually include a degustation meal prepared by one of the best chefs in the region, accompanied by local wines.
A bonus – located in the far west, south of Perth, the region is also one of the most popular surfing areas in the world. The beaches and this adrenaline sport will add to the taste of adventure in Margaret River.
A walk between Australia’s oldest vines in the Barossa Valley
Originally shaped by German settlers, Barossa Valley is one of the most prestigious Australian wine regions with the majority of vines more than 150 years old. These vines produce spicy, rich Shiraz, wine not to be missed. Only a 45-minute drive from Adelaide, it’s going to show just how magical South Australia is.
There are other cool-climate wines to try out, including gentle Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Riesling. For the adventurous types, the rose types of the Southern Rhone wines are a perfect match.
After the wine tour is over, you can visit Eden Valley where you can admire the fascinating views of the Barossa. The Clare Valley is also nearby, giving you the chance to try their unique citrusy Riesling.
As there are more than 150 wineries and cellar doors, you’ll have plenty of choices but don’t miss Jacob’s Creek, Australia’s largest wine brand. Another must is Penfolds, one of the oldest wineries in the country, as well as one of the most awarded wineries in the region, Wolf Blass.
A mix of strong red wines and unique art in McLaren Vale
A well-deserved nickname, “Red Wine Country”, and the abundance of high-quality Grenache wines, unique Shiraz and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon is what McLaren Vale is characterized by. You can also find some of the best Chardonnay wines there.
Only 45 minutes south from Adelaide, there are about 80 wineries and a few boutique wineries to explore. Maybe the most significant one is d’Arenberg, established more than a hundred years ago. The family produces both reds and white wines, carefully controlling the process and producing truly quality wines.
Beside wonderful wine, you can admire the architectural masterpiece, the d’Arenberg Cube, which provides you with a splendid view of the McLaren Vale. The Alternate Realities Museum with its unusual art installations will satisfy art lovers.
Other wineries worth visiting include Gemtree Estates, which produces natural and organic wines according to sustainable farming, as well as Samuel’s Gorge, which only focus is Shiraz, Tempranillo, and Grenache.
A tucked-in wine paradise in Coonawarra
Only 18 miles long and a quarter mile wide, this region is home to 24 wineries and cellar doors.
The terra rossa soil is vibrant red, while the climate is maritime and moderately cool. Thanks to that, Cabernet Sauvignon wines over there are full-bodied, with flavors of plum and black cherry.
The size of the region makes it possible to discover the whole community of winemakers, so it’s best to get a copy of Coonawarra Wineries Walking Trail and take a 5-km long trail. It will take you through five different wineries, and each one offers a chance to taste the wine and enjoy a meal while enjoying the surrounding landscape.
You probably won’t have enough time to cover all of these regions in one trip. That’s why it’s important not to regret about those that you’ve missed but to make the best out of those that you get to see. Each wine region is uniquely wonderful and you won’t make a mistake no matter which one you opt for.
Just make your pick and seize the day. Enjoy the wine, enjoy the food and the lovely locals, and what’s most important – enjoy the Australian experience.