“Nothing makes a more relaxing holiday than sitting on a porch, and sipping on a glass of wine."
Nothing makes a more relaxing holiday than sitting on a porch with a friend, new or old, staring at the beautiful Australian countryside, and sipping on a glass of wine.
For either a one day break or as part of a cross country trip, you can’t go wrong with a blissful day spent appreciating one of Australia’s finest exports.
We are world class wine makers, with over 60 dedicated wine regions spread throughout our vast country. They range from small family run wineries, to large businesses selling locally and internationally. It can be amazing to have a glimpse into the operations of either of these scales of wineries, noticing the similarities and also what sets each place apart. With so many regions, where should you start?
There are four wine regions in Australia that we believe are the most interesting and beautiful to visit, each containing an array of wineries. We think by the end of this post you won’t be able to stop yourself from booking a getaway, and when you do, we promise to make it an amazing time.
Located in South Australia, about 50 kms from Adelaide, you can’t not think about Barossa when thinking about Australian wine. With the first seeds planted in 1842, Barossa is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious wine regions. Barossa stands apart due to being one of the only wine regions in Australia with its main influence being from the Germans rather than the English. This unique history still influences wine today, with the vineyards in the region favouring heavy flavours.
Despite Cabernet Sauvignon being Barossa’s biggest export, it is known mostly for its Shiraz. It was the 1980’s to the early 2000’s when Barossa become known to wine lovers at an international level, bringing in recognition and awards for Australian wine.
Jacobs Creek is one of Australia’s largest and most well known wineries, operating out of three different wine regions in Australia. However its original home, and the location of its exciting visitor centre is Barossa. They have been the recipients of various wine awards, including for contribution to the Australian wine industry, throughout their time. Their visitor centre is considered a must-visit for anyone wanting to discover, explore or appreciate Australian wine.
Kies Family Wines
A dramatically different experience compared to Jacobs Creek, Kies Family Wines is a small local winery. Here you can learn more about the starting process of building a reputation in the wine world, and have members of the Kies family talk about their passion for the drink. They sell exclusively from their cellar door, which means you can taste flavours you can’t explore anywhere else.
Wolf Blass wineries embraces the German influence that gives Barossa its world class reputation. These days Wolf Blass operates out of 7 wine regions in Australia, building up a portfolio of different tastes and styles. But their Barossa Valley Visitor Centre is where you can learn about all their varieties and tastes.
Seppeltsfield Wineries are not just known for their wine, but also for their Cellar Door experiences. Winning multiple local and national tourism awards, this is a must visit destination for wine lovers in the Barossa Valley. Seppeltsfield wine has a vast history in the wine community, and are known for 100 year old, single vintage wines which they release each year.
Some of Australia’s most loved wines come from Penfolds Winery. Since their beginnings in 1844, Penfolds has been known for their white wines. They have a reputation for not settling with just their already well known wines, they continue to curate an even wider range. Consistently creating good wine, Penfolds’ Barossa Cellar Door gives you a taste for what creating world class wine is about.
Don’t worry about missing out if you have limited time to discover Barossa Valley. Our Barossa Day Tour takes you to a variety of wineries, big and small. You will be with like-minded wine lovers and get to explore a true taste of what makes Barossa one of Australia’s top wine regions.
The Yarra Valley is considered the birthplace of the Victorian wine industry, dating back 170 years. But don't let that fool you. These days the Yarra Valley is known for its up and coming winemakers, exploring a range of bold techniques to create a new class of wine. Due to its Southern location, the Yarra Valley is one of the coldest regions in Australian wine making, creating a uniqueness in its wines tastes.
The Yarra Valley is located close to Melbourne, making it a favourite for those living in Australia’s food and drinks capital. Those in Melbourne know how to appreciate good taste, and that extends to Yarra Valleys wines.
Yarra Valley Wineries
Payne's Rise Winery
A boutique winery in the Yarra Valley, Payne’s Winery specialises in small batches of wine. They only produce 5 varieties of wine, but this means that they know each of their bottles has passion and expertise behind it. Their Cellar Door is incorporated into the original homestead of Mr Payne, dating back to the 1860’s. A visit allows for insight into the history of wine from the Yarra Valley.
Killara Estate boasts not just terrific wine, but also a delightful gourmet cafe, perfect for a lunch stop on your winery tour. Their Cellar Door Cafe is appreciated by the locals for their snug seating and natural, abundance of wine served with the food. Don’t miss the fun designs on their bottles, some featuring famous ‘rascals’ from Australian history.
Dominique Portet wines tell a family story, with their founder being a ninth generation winemaker settling in from France. It is his son who runs the business today, ensuring the French influence can be seen in all their wines. This influence spreads to their Cellar Door experience. Don’t forget to sample their award winning 2013 Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chandon is known across Australia for their sparkling wine. They take expertise from the Champagne area of France and apply it to Australian wine making. They offer a variety of tasting experiences based on your preferences, as well as tours around the famous vineyard.
Not to be missed, Yering Station is Yarra Valley’s oldest vineyard. They pride themselves on mastering traditional winemaking techniques, but not being afraid to explore to create new bold tastes. Their Cellar Door remains in the original building from 1859, with various levels of tasting depending on prior expertise and time at hand.
If you wish to be able to take in multiple Yarra Valley experiences in one day, discovering the old and the new, join us on our Yarra Valley Day Tour. We explore a range of wineries, and also sneak in a bit of ice-cream! Perfect for turning a lazy Sunday into an exciting adventure.
Of course, if Melbourne has its local wine region, Sydney has to as well. The Hunter Valley region is the favourite for Sydney’s sophisticated locals. Hunter Valley has more Cellar Doors than any other wine region in Australia, making it the perfect destination for a tour. One of the oldest regions in Australia since its establishment in 1832, and most known for the unique Hunter Valley Semillon.
This white wine is considered one of Australia’s ‘unsung heros’. It’s enough to make a wine sommelier travel nationally or internationally to visit this particular region.
Hunter Valley Wineries
Small Winemakers Centre
The Small Winemakers Centre is an unique location. Instead of being the home to just one company, they host an array of boutique winemakers. This means the centre has one many travel and tourism awards, standing out amongst other traditional Cellar Doors. The tasting room displays all their small winemakers, offering a larger variety of tastes than you are likely to find anywhere else.
Draytons Family Wines
Draytons Family Wines pride themselves on being one of the original winemaking families in the Hunter Valley Region. They take pride in remaining in the original Drayton family, keeping the spirit of the original Hunter Valley Wines. At their Cellar Door you may find yourself in conversation with a Drayton about their passion and love for wine.
McGuigan Wines are no doubt award winners. Earning over 590 awards in 2017 alone, they stand out from their competition. This can be seen at the International Winemaker of the Year awards, given to them a record 4 times. Their prestigious wines can be tasted at their Cellar Door, and they also offer tours to give an insight into the entire process of making award winning wine.
Scarborough Wines began when Ian Scarborough discovered his passion for wine when working in the Hunter Valley region. Their Gillards Road Tasting Room is incorporated into Ian’s first purchase in the Hunter Valley when first establishing the company. It retains the old charm whilst introducing you to their world of wine.
One of the best parts about the Hunter Valley however, is that it isn't just wine! Distilleries and chocolates also operate out of Hunter Valley. For a full day of food and wine, our Chocolate, Vodka and Wine Tour is the perfect day out. But if your desire is just for wine, you can also come along with us to visit up to five wineries in a day.
Margaret River Region
If you travel to the far south east of Western Australia, you may stumble upon the Margaret River Region. Producing over 20% of Australia’s premium wine, this is an excellent destination for those with sophisticated tastes. This region is iconic for using a scientific approach to create bold strong flavours. Don’t think that that means it’s boring, Margaret River is a stunning area of Western Australia, with the perfect views for enjoying wine.
Here, established names in the winemaking world are challenged by up and coming stars. The competition however only produces more and more excellent wine. Margaret River is a wine destination that stands out.
Margaret River Wineries
Leeuwin Estate is one of the five original wineries along the Margaret River. The idea come from legendary Napa Valley winemaker Robert Mondavi to create wine in this now famous area. Leeuwin Estate took hold of this idea and used it to make wine which stands out on the international stage. Its Cellar Door showcases these wines as well as the history of the region.
The history behind Cullen Wineries ties closely in with the history of Margaret River as a winemaking region. Actually started by a famed doctor, Cullen Wineries demonstrates perfectly the fine line between science and excellent wine. Their Cellar Door and Restaurant sit amongst the beautiful landscape of the region and create a magnificent tasting experience.
Moss Wood prides themselves on their consistency with their delightful vintage fine wines. They make sure their tours are personal and inviting. Their small team is all passionate about their wine, and that shows when walking through their estate, including tasting wine from the barrel and seeing wine in all different stages of its making.
Another founding vineyard in the Margaret River Region is Vasse Felix. They pride themselves on producing fine wine from all four of their Margaret River vineyards. Their Estate is a wonder to visit, due to its fresh and modern architecture, with their wine tastings also including spectacular dining options.
Does the Margaret River Region sound tempting yet? We know its a bit out of the way for most people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a trip out of it! Our 6 Day Secrets of the Esperance tour takes you not only to Margaret River, but to all the best sights of South West Australia, so why not take some time to relax and join us. Alternatively if you want an accommodated tour we also offer our 6 Day Esperance, Margaret River and Albany Adventure departing from Perth.
So Why Not?
By now you’re properly already daydreaming about all the adventures you're ready to have touring around Australian wineries. We are consistently considered some of the best in the world for a reason. If you just have one day off, or feel like sticking locally definitely consider our one day winery tours. But if you're looking for more of a one of a kind experience, incorporating wineries into your wider Australian travels, you can think about us as well.
We highly recommend our Adelaide to Perth Ultimate Adventure, you visit two of Australia’s most popular wine regions, but also get one in a lifetime experiences, like swimming with sea lions and learning how to surf. This is the one for those who like to shake it up each day.
If you’re looking for a trip embracing all aspects of Australian culture, consider our Melbourne to Adelaide Ultimate Package. From Aboriginal Cultural Centres to the Great Ocean Road to, of course, a day spent relaxing in Barossa Valley, you can’t go wrong with this tours unbeatable value.