Where to Go Wine Tasting in Australia: 6 Amazing Wine Regions Down Under
From the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney’s beaches to artsy Melbourne, Australia is a country packed with unforgettable sights. It’s also the world’s fourth biggest exporter of wine, and you’ll find more than sixty designated wine regions throughout Australia. Whether you’re a wine aficionado or simply looking for some relaxing sipping amongst stunning scenery, wine tasting is a must when visiting Australia. Six travelers share their favorite spots for tasting wine down under.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
The supreme wine region in South Australia, without a doubt, is the Barossa Valley. Known for its delicious shiraz and wide variety of wines, the Barossa is a place I hold close to my heart. Currently home to my parents, the Barossa never ceases to amaze me as I explore the countless wineries for delicious tastings. From short strolls from my folks’ house to a half an hour drive, there are wineries everywhere.
Nestled in a stunning valley, filled with beautiful farm land, the Barossa Valley is known not only for its wine but also its glorious food. With this combination, the Barossa Valley cannot be missed when you visit South Australia. The best part is it is only an hour north of Adelaide and is super accessible. So, do yourself a favour and get to the valley to experience wineries like Rockfords, Seppeltsfield & Charles Melton. You won’t be disappointed.
– Lauren, The Traveller’s Guide by #ljojlo
Grampians National Park, Victoria
I grew up in country Victoria, Australia, surrounded by wheat, sheep, and little else. The exception to this rule, though, is a place I came to know very well: Grampians National Park. Most famous for its natural beauty and world-famous rock climbing routes, the Grampians is also a wine-growing region.
The oldest wineries in the area are at the blink-and-you-miss-it town of Great Western. No, that is not a hotel chain! Yes, it is the name of the place! These vineyards, established in the 1860s, are historically famous for the red wine, shiraz.
The Grampians is undeniably beautiful and full of all the famous fauna you come to expect in Australia – kangaroos and possums are everywhere. If you are lucky, you may even spot a koala or echidna. The Grampians gives the ideal backdrop to enjoy wine in a stunning part of Australia.
– Alana, Family Bites Travel
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
I came to Australia’s famous Hunter Valley wine region as an abject wine virgin. Sure, I’d thrown back casks of cheap wine in college, but the idea of slowly savouring a glass of wine paired with a dark chocolate was utterly alien to me.
Visiting the Broke-Fordwich region of New South Wales’ premier wine growing region, I was taken on a whirlwind tour of tastes and scents that awakened a love of wine that has endured to this day.
With smaller cellar doors manned by the passionate men and women who grow the grapes and make the wine, it’s easy to get swept up in their enthusiasm for their craft. Set that all against the backdrop of idyllic countryside, and you’ve got a recipe for a relaxing escape from nearby cities such as Sydney and Newcastle.
Take me back!
– Chris Walker-Bush, Aussie on the Road
Margaret River, Western Australia
Margaret River in Western Australia is one of the best wine regions in Australia for wine tasting. Although the region produces just 3% of Australia’s wine, that results in 20% of its premium wine production, meaning you know you are looking at a lot of high-quality wine here.
With a similar climate to the Bordeaux region of France, Australia’s Margaret River wineries particularly focus on cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, semillon and of course its famous chardonnays. There are over 200 wineries here, and, although it is particularly notable for its small boutique wineries, some of the more famous ones you may have heard of include Cape Mentelle, Voyager, Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Estate.
Most of the Margaret River wineries have friendly cellar doors open to the public for tastings, and many of them also have amazing restaurants for lunch too. Beyond the wineries, the area is beautiful and has some of the most beautiful beaches I have visited anywhere in the world.
– Marianne, Mum on the Move
Mudgee, New South Wales
Last time I counted, I’ve visited well over one hundred wineries in Australia. But there’s one particular region that I’ve returned to more than any other. Conveniently, it’s only a few hours drive from Sydney, making it perfect for a weekend getaway, particularly a long weekend. But it’s not the well-known Hunter Valley region; it’s Mudgee in the Central West of New South Wales.
The charm of Mudgee lies in the fact that it’s a proper country town, not just a collection of cellar doors. Dating back to the mid-19th century and the gold rush era, its main street is wide enough to turn around a horse and cart and is peppered with a range of great eateries.
Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, whether a boutique hotel or the conveniently located caravan park, head out of town to spend the day visiting cellar doors. It’s proper Australian countryside, and you’ll often meet the winemaker on site, who will be happy to chat with your about the latest vintage. Don’t miss out on sampling some local olive wine or honey, too!
– Shandos, Travelnuity
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Yarra Valley is nestled along the Yarra River in the state of Victoria. It is one of the oldest wine regions, dating back to the year 1838.
The valley is about one hour from Melbourne. There is no public transport to the region. However, there are plenty of bus tours that run from Melbourne and organise the wine tastings. A day tour comprises of visiting different vineyards in the region and tasting about four to five of best wines produced at those vineyards. The region is definitely famous for its chardonnay and pinot noir.
I would definitely recommend visiting the wineries at Yarra Valley for the wine tasting, simply because of amazing wines and the variety it offers. It is undoubtedly one of the best wine regions I have visited in Australia.
– Raksha Prasad, Solopassport
For a fair dinkum Australian experience, these wine tasting spots are sure to delight. And the best part is that your wine holiday can continue for months with the bottles you take home! (Check out these additional resources about the best wine openers.) If you’re looking to continue your wine tour around the globe, read about the best places for wine tasting in California, and stay tuned for my features on other parts of the world. Cheers to that!