Australia is home to some of the most well regarded winemakers in the world, and the standard of wine produced here is so good that it’s easy to simply pick almost any bottle from the shelf and find a new favourite.
Australia has the climate and geography that’s perfectly suited for vineyards fostering home-grown talent and passion for exceptional wine. With a wide range of wine regions around the country, we’ve listed out each one by state. By the end, you will have a long list of ‘to-visit’ wineries for your next road trip in Australia.
The Yarra Valley
Even without the wineries, the Yarra Valley is one of the most spectacular areas of Australia, and well worth a visit. Yet the Yarra Valley is also easily one of the best winery regions in Victoria.
There are roughly 300 vineyards and 160 wineries in the region, all of which have sprung up in the last century. The valley’s cooler climate is idyllic for wines such as smooth Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. You can also taste delicious sparkling Chardonnay vinos, so you’ll have plenty to choose from no matter your wine preferences.
There are many to choose from, but some of the best in the valley include:
- Yering Station
- Corniola Wines
- Yileena Park
- Maddens Rise
- Helen and Joey Estate
The Yarra Valley is handily located just over an hour from Melbourne, so you can either stay in the big city and take a day trip or two, or find a cosy b&b in the valley itself.
New South Wales
The Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley was established in the mid-1800s by a man named James Busby, who has come to be known as the father of Australian wine. He arrived from Europe with roughly 20,000 vine cuttings, and quickly set to work in the Hunter region to create the beginnings of one of Australia’s premier wine regions today.
A visit to one of the 150 or so vineyards here will typically see you sipping on Semillon and Shiraz varietals, as well as tasty Chardonnays. Plus, it’s a good area to keep your eye on for events, there are plenty of excuses to make the trip – such as the annual Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.
Some of the best wineries to visit in the Hunter Valley are:
- Brokenwood Wines
- Peppertree Wines
- Tyrrell’s Vineyard
- Krinklewood Biodynamic Wines
- Dr. Bortoli Wines
To get here, rent a car in Sydney and drive roughly 2.5 hours north-west.
The Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley is the most renowned of the South Australia wine regions, and is home to some of the oldest living vineyards in the world (partly because older ones were infected with a North American insect that’s known for wiping out vines, but Australia’s isolation has kept us safe so far!). That said, the fact that the area was first settled, and the first vines were planted in the 1840s, means that this South Australian wine region is certainly steeped in history, and it has had plenty of time to perfect its growing practices to create the perfect vinos.
The Barossa is most well known for its rich, full-bodied Shiraz, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. In the white varietals, you’ll find Chardonnay and Rieslings are amongst the popular choices.
There are more than 150 wineries spread across the area in total and 80 cellar doors, some of which are known to create some of the best Australian wine on the market.
Some of the best to check out are:
- Peter Lehman
- Chateau Tanuda
- Jacob’s Creek
- Wolf Blass
The Barossa Valley wine region in South Australia is just over an hour’s drive with a rental car from Adelaide, and there are plenty of places to stay in the area so you can enjoy the wines without worrying about driving home!
Not to be outdone by the southern and eastern Australian regions, Western Australia has a powerhouse of wine making in the beautiful Margaret River. It is one of the newer wine hubs of Australia, but in just 50 years, it has carved out a name for itself as one of the best in the country.
There are more than 215 wine producers, and they are largely known for their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals. It is often said that the Margaret River has a comparable climate to the Burgundy region in France, which is why you will often find similar vinos to those of our European cousin.
Some of the best wineries in Western Australia in the Margaret River are:
- Voyager Estate
- Cape Mentelle
- Juniper Estate
- Leeuwin Estate
The Margaret River is a little over 3 hours from Perth by rental car, but there are plenty of beautiful stops along the way to break up the trip, and countless accommodation options once you arrive.
A word of caution for those hiring a Thrifty car and driving; do not drink drive and always have a plan B.
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