13 Oct 2021
From the cool-climate varietals of the Tamar Valley to the sophisticated Semillon's of the Margaret River, Australia is blessed with some of the world’s best wine.
As a result, no matter where you are, there is a winery experience waiting to be enjoyed. With few exceptions, the best wineries in Australia are open to the public and many host festivals and events throughout the year.
TASMANIA'S TAMAR VALLEY
The Apple Isle’s reputation for producing some of the best cool-climate wines in the world is well-deserved. With a history of winemaking that dates back as far as 1823, Tasmania began producing Australia’s first sparkling wine not long after in 1826.
The Tamar Valley is its oldest and most famous region, and is a hotspot for cellar doors, markets and restaurants. With more than 32 vineyards within easy driving distance of Launceston, the Tamar Valley is a must on any visit.
Further south, the Southern Wine Trail includes wineries close to Hobart, including the lush Derwent Valley, Coal River Valley and the Huon Valley, while the East Coast Wine Trail includes one of Australia’s best road trips: The Great Eastern Drive.
Winelovers shouldn’t ignore the North Coast Wine Trail either, which is packed with spectacular coastal views and a number of award-winning cellar doors.
Tasmania's Best Wine Festivals
The festival calendar in Tasmania is busy with annual events worth planning a trip around. These include The Great Eastern Wine Week, Effervescence Tasmania Sparkling Weekend and for those not based in Tasmania, VIN Diemen is a best-of event that happens in Sydney and Melbourne every year.
Tasmania's Best Wineries
Bay of Fires, Pipers River
Winner of the Most Outstanding Red Wine in Show at the 2021 Royal Adelaide Wine Show, Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2020 makes this a no brainer. Nestled in Tasmania’s Pipers River wine region, this winery is the epitome of cool-climate viticulture and beautifully expresses the distinctive flavour of their highly regarded vineyards.
Where: 40 Baxters Road. Pipers River
Frogmore Creek , Coal River Valley
Now the largest ultra-premium cool-climate winery in the south, Frogmore Creek sits in the farming region of Coal River Valley, and is just a short drive from Hobart’s CBD. Home to an award-winning cellar door, this is the perfect spot to taste Tasmania’s award-winning cool-climate wines and world-class produce.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S BAROSSA VALLEY
Although you’ll always get an argument from the eastern states, South Australia is the wine capital of Australia, a title borne out by the fact that it is responsible for more than half of the country’s total production. With a climate most comparable to that of its Mediterranean contemporaries, especially in the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale regions, South Australia produces the widest range of wine varieties in Australia.
The Barossa Valley is South Australia’s oldest and most famous, known for producing the world's best Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon. The best Barossa wines regularly win awards and wineries like Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds Grange, Seppeltsfield, Rockfords and Henschke have all become global brands.
The Clare Valley is another of Australia’s most established wine regions, best known for its Rieslings as well as its Shiraz and Cabernet blends. Home to more than 30 cellar doors, the Riesling Trail is a popular family-friendly bike or walking route that follows a disbanded railway line and takes in a number of Clare’s best wineries.
South Australia's Best Wine Festivals
There are a number of music, food and wine festivals that celebrate the South Australian wine industry. Chief among them are Handpicked at Langhorne Creek, Crush in the Adelaide Hills, Sea & Vines in McLaren Vale, Barossa Vintage Festival and the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend.
South Australia's Best Wineries
Lake Breeze, Langhorne Creek
Named 2022 Halliday Best Value Winery of the Year, Lake Breeze is a family-owned winery growing grapes since the 1850s at Langhorne Creek. Earning an enviable reputation for consistently producing outstanding wines, the cellar door is a charming upstairs deck with stunning views of the vineyard and river red gums that line the Bremer River.
Where: 319 Step Road, Langhorne Creek SA
Grant Burge Wines, Barossa Valley
In the heart of the Barossa Valley, Grant Burge has been producing classic Barossa reds since 1865 that are now exported all over the world. Made from the finest Barossa grapes, the brand is well respected and came under the ownership of Accolade, the world’s largest wine group in 2015. Enjoy impressive views of the Barossa from their cellar door, which is open 7 days 10am - 5pm.
Where: Lily Farm Road, Tanunda, SA
Sevenhill Winery, Clare Valley
As the first winery established in the region, this cellar door is packed with history. Explore the underground tunnels and check out the museum, where you can learn about Jesuits who settled Sevenhill in 1851 to produce sacramental wine! Sevenhill Cellars is built on 90 hectares of vines that provide premium fruit for their range of Shiraz, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S MARGARET RIVER
Western Australia is home to a diverse range of grapes that have earned the state an international reputation as a producer of premium-quality white and red wine. By far the state’s most famous region is Margaret River which by location is one of the world’s most isolated wine regions.
The Swan Valley is just a 30 minute drive from Perth and is WA’s oldest wine region and Australia’s second oldest overall. Home to historic towns, friendly cellar doors and passionate producers, the Swan Valley is a natural food bowl that offers visitors a raft of world-class food and wine experiences.
The Great Southern is an emerging West Australian wine region that is also rich in cultural history. Boasting rugged coastlines and distinctive flavours, the Great Southern region is a leader in the development of contemporary Australian winemaking.
Western Australia's Best Wine Festivals
WA’s food and wine festivals are always popular. Events to keep your eye on throughout the year include Unwined Subiaco, Fine Vines Festival and City Wine, all of which bring together the vibrant WA wine industry.
Western Australia's Best Wineries
Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River
Known for delicious Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignon, there is an art gallery at the cellar door here that is worth coming for alone. Family-run and owned, it’s easy to make a day of it here, especially when you include lunch or dinner at their fabulous restaurant surrounded by manicured gardens.
WHERE: Stevens Road, Margaret River
Houghton, Swan Valley
With 180 years of history wrapped up in the vines that surround this lush garden property, this winery is a must-see on any visit to Perth and the Swan Valley. As one of Western Australia’s most awarded wineries, Houghton wines are crafted with care and take advantage of grapes from every major premium growing region in the state.
VICTORIA'S YARRA VALLEY
Much like its neighbours to the west, Victoria is another Australian wine lover's paradise of over 800 wineries and over 600 cellar doors. Best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnays, Victoria produces some of Australia’s finest examples from the cooler-climate regions of the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and Gippsland.
The Yarra Valley is undoubtedly the birthplace of Victorian wine, and has a 170 year history of winemaking just an hour's drive east of Melbourne. With over 80 wineries to visit here, no other region can boast the same consistency of award-winning quality.
Further afield, the King Valley has been described as a taste of Italy set amongst the hills of North East Victoria. Both the topography and climate have enabled a growing community of makers to emerge in this region, making it a must-do for both foodies and wine lovers.
Victoria's Best Wine Festivals
As the self-proclaimed event capital of Australia, there is no shortage of food and wine festivals to plan a trip to Victoria for. The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is a rolling program of world-class seasonal events that attract international luminaries of the food and wine industry. VineHop Festival in Mornington is another multi-venue event that celebrates cool climate wines, and everything you need to know about the King Valley's La Dolce Vita Festival is in the name!
Victoria's Best Wineries
Giant Steps, Yarra Valley
Known for amazing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Giant Steps wines have received critical acclaim from around the world, and developed a strong reputation in restaurants and fine wine retailers globally. The single vineyard range is highly awarded and can be tasted in their stunning Yarra Valley cellar door.
WHERE: 314 Maroondah Highway, Healesville
Tahbilk Winery Nagambie
Established in 1860 by the Purbrick family, they still run and own Tahbilk Wines which has been producing some of the region's best varietals on over 200 hectares in the beautiful Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria. Close to the banks of the Goulburn River, Tahbilk is one of Australia’s most beautiful and historic wineries.
WHERE: 254 O’Neils Road, Tahbilk
Pizzini, King Valley
Italian at heart, the Pizzini family continue to be inspired by their roots. Having begun their winemaking dream in 1978, this still family run and owned winery combines their passions for great wine and food in the heart of the King Valley. Taste exceptional artisanal wines including their award-winning Soffio Prosecco and Pizzini Pinot Grigio, then take part in their Italian cooking school and master your own gnocchi!
NEW SOUTH WALES HUNTER VALLEY
Although less famous for its wine than other states, New South Wales still ranks highly on the international stage for wines that come from regions including the Hunter Valley, New England, South Coast and Riverina.
As the largest wine producing region in New South Wales, the Riverina centres on the town of Griffith and accounts for close to 50 percent of all of New South Wales total production. With rich soil, a successful irrigation scheme and a near Mediterranean climate, this region’s history in wine dates back to the early parts of the 20th century.
Hunter Valley winemakers are justifiably proud of their heritage of making some of the best Semillon and Shiraz in the country, and is home to over 150 wineries dotted around its rolling green hills. On the South Coast, the Shoalhaven Wine Region stretches from Kiama in the north to Milton in the south and produces award-winning Verdelho, Chardonnay, Semillon and Shiraz.
New South Wales Best Wine Festivals
Annual events to look out for in New South Wales are the Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival, the Good Food and Wine Festival and the Pyrmont Festival, the altter both in Sydney. Further afield, the Orange Wine Festival is growing in popularity and great opportunity to explore this region.
New South Wales Best Wineries
Cupitts Estate, Ulladulla
A treasure trove of sensory delights, Cupitt’s Winery is just five minutes from the township of Ulladulla on the New South Wales South Coast. Family-owned for generations, this is a destination for lovers of great wine, artisanal cheese, beer and high quality produce. Not to be missed! Read our blog from 2019 here!
WHERE: 58 Washburton Road, Ulladulla
Audrey Wilkinson, Hunter Valley
This scenic Hunter Valley winery on the foothills of Brokenback Range makes award-winning Semillon and provides wine education at its on-site museum. Sit yourself down for a gourmet picnic and learn about the process from vine to glass! A great story about a man named Audrey also awaits.
WHERE: 750 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin
Merilba Estate Wines, Kingstown
Merilba Estate is situated at Kingstown 30km west of the quaint township of Uralla in the New England region of NSW Australia. Here premium quality wine is crafted from their cool climate vineyard, producing high quality Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. A treat to savour!
QUEENSLAND'S SUNSHINE COAST & HINTERLAND
Surprising to some, the wine industry in Queensland dates back to the 1860s and like a good wine has developed with age. Throughout Queensland there are about 1500 hectares of wine vineyards, most of which are in the southeast corner of the state. The cool climate of the Hinterlands up in the Great Dividing Range along the east coast make for wonderful grapes and create a relaxed atmosphere perfect for tastings.
The undulating green hills of the Sunshine Coast & Hinterland offer panoramic views of the ocean and provide the perfect backdrop for Queensland's newest wine tourism destination. From the sea resort of Noosa to the old-time heritage appeal of the Hinterland, this region's burgeoning wine industry remains poised to take its place as a premier destination.
Queensland's Best Wine Festivals
Two events stand out on Queensland's food and wine calendar, the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival and Relish Food & Wine. The relaxed atmosphere of the Capricorn Food & Wine Festival is another worth circling in your calendar.
Queensland's Best Wineries
Flame Hill Vineyard, Montville
Perched at the top of Montville, this popular Granite Belt winery demonstrates the rich appeal of the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland region. Take a glass of the good stuff on to the terrace and admire vibrant valley views that stretch out to sea.
WHERE: 249 Western Avenue, Montville
Ballandean Estate Wines, QLD
In the heart of the Granite Belt, Ballandean Estate's cool climate, high-altitude terroir deliver acclaimed wines that are expanding the region's reputation as a producer of note. Established in 1932, Ballandean has been cultivating grapes and crafting wine fro jthe same vines planted by Salvatore Cardillo in 1932.
WHERE: 354 Sundown Road, Ballandean