Thanks to COVID most of our travel plans were cancelled in 2020, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Local destinations, right in our backyard, are all the rage as international travel remains off the cards.
This means now’s the time to start on your bucket list – and what better way to get started than carefree road tripping and losing yourself in some of Australia’s finest wine regions. Needless to say with more than 2,400 wineries in 65 wine regions growing 100 grape varieties there is a lot to see!
Read this to find out more about 5 of Australia’s top wine regions, including Western Australia’s Margaret River, South Australia’s Barossa Valley, Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Tassies Tamar Valley and NSW’s Hunter Valley.
Australia’s top 5 wine regions
Without further ado, here are our top 5 wine regions, with activities to put on your to-do list, as well as the top cellar doors in each area.
NSW’s Hunter Valley
With 120+ wineries, NSW’s Hunter Valley – around 2 hours drive from Sydney – is home to top class wines and much more, including elegant boutique accommodation and great restaurants. In terms of wines, Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are the standout varietals in the Hunter. You can also hitch a ride in a hot air balloon, go horse riding, get pampered with a massage or take a Segway tour around a Hunter vineyard – and much more.
Top cellar doors: Audrey Wilkinson, Brokenwood & Tyrrell’s
Alternative wine region: Venture a bit further west to the quaint town of Orange for aromatic cool climate whites like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, and a flourishing foodie scene.
Western Australia’s Margaret River
Head to WA’s Margaret River for 155+ wineries producing everything from cool climate Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blends, to Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. And if all the cellar doors, winery restaurants, breweries and providores are not enough, the stunning beaches, including a chance to see stingrays at Hamelin Bay – or perhaps a canoe adventure on the river are sure to keep you busy.
Top cellar doors: Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix & Voyager Estate
Alternative wine region: If the 3 hour drive to Margaret River is too much of a journey then head to the Swan Valley, which is only 25 minutes from Perth. Here the Mandoon Estate is a top winery with a range of award-winning fine wines, as well as the fine dining restaurant Wild Swan.
South Australia’s Barossa Valley
Besides housing the Australian Wine Research Institute, which is at the forefront of dry climate wine cultivation, research and education, SA is also home to the renowned Barossa Valley. Just 60 kilometers northeast of Adelaide, these are some of Australia’s oldest vines with Shiraz the standout varietal. It’s not all cellar doors and food here, you can also nourish your body and soul with yoga experiences, as well as cycling routes amongst the vines.
Top cellar doors: Jacob’s Creek, Seppeltsfield & St Hugo
Alternative wine region: You are spoilt for choice in SA for wine regions, with the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley (Shiraz), Clare Valley and Coonawarra all within striking distance of Adelaide.
Victoria’s Yarra Valley
If you are a cool climate wine fine then head for Victoria’s Yarra Valley, which is just under an hour from Melbourne by car. With over 70 wineries you are spoilt for choice for cellar doors, and when you have had enough tasting then there is no shortage of local produce to discover, including farm gates, roadside stalls and gourmet outlets. There are also renowned local breweries, artisan cider producers and craft distilleries to tempt you – if wine is not your thing.
Top cellar doors: De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Fergusson, Yering Station & Punt Road
Alternative wine region: The Mornington Peninsula is also within easy striking distance of Melbourne, including the stunning Pt Leo Estate with its 50 acres of vineyards, sculpture park and premium restaurant.
Tasmania’s Tamar Valley
Tasmania’s Tamar Valley – a short drive north of Hobart, is also cool climate territory – with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer the standout varietals. Despite only growing 1% of Australia’s vines, quality is high. You also get a generous dose of clean air, hardly any traffic and friendly locals when you visit the Apple Isle.
Top cellar doors: Tamar Valley, Josef Chromy & Jansz
Alternative wine region: Visit the Pipers River region, north-east of Launceston for a climate close that closely matches Champagne, France, with sparkling wines of equal quality.
You should also know that we source the grapes used in the production of Edenvale from select vineyards across South Eastern Australia, with an eye on selecting optimum parcels of fruit that display strong varietal definition.