Australia has a reputation for producing some of the finest wines in the world. From the big reds of the Barossa Valley to crisp white Chardonnay from Margaret River each region has its own signature wine styles, varietals and producers. Why not take a closer look? See Australia and taste these wines directly from the cellar door.
The oldest wine growing region in Australia, with rich fertile soils and warm humid temperatures, produces long-lived Semillon as its best wine. Other varieties are worth a taste too like Margan’s limited release Aged Shiraz and Scarborough Wine Co’s Chardonnay.
The Hunter Valley is also renowned for its fine dining, cooking schools, galleries, stunning golf course and health spa retreats.
North of Adelaide, this region is famous the world over for producing robust Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache wine. Well known winery standouts include Penfolds, Wynns, Seppelt, Torbreck and Grant Burge but there are many boutique vineyards to visit too. Also within the Barossa, the slightly cooler hills of the Eden Valley offer some amazing Riesling from wineries like Henschke, Mountadam and Pewsey Vale.
The area was first settled by European immigrants and it still retains this old-world charm. You can drive the food and wine tours or explore the countryside by bicycle. A lunchtime visit to local celebrity chef Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop is a must for lovers of fine food!
Also in South Australia, south of Adelaide is McLaren Vale. This region produces cool maritime wines like medium body reds, crisp Chardonnay and complex Pinot Noir. Be sure to visit d’Arenberg for their very creative wine labels like ‘Dead Arm Shiraz’ and put Coriole Vineyards on your take home list with their super-premium Lloyd Reserve Shiraz.
Many cellar doors here have vineyards that overlook the sea making McLaren Vale the perfect place to have a picnic. Visit the weekend farmer’s market to get supplies of fresh bread, cheese, olives and fruit. After that indulgence you might want to consider a walk, cycle or horse ride along the Shiraz Trail that follows an old railway line from the centre of McLaren Vale to the quaint little village of Willunga. Whether you want to make your own way around the region or book yourself a personalised cellar door tour this region has plenty to offer the wine connoisseur.
In Southern Victoria, close to Melbourne, this cool climate region boasts Australia’s finest Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. The Yarra Valley is also noted for its Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Shiraz Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
In addition to top shelf wineries this area features fruit farms, bush walks, markets, vintage shops and galleries. You can combine the pleasures of Melbourne’s busy city and then escape for a bit of R & R in the Yarra all in the one trip.
Western Australia has a reputation for high quality wines produced in stunning locations. In Margaret River winemakers excel at Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blends plus elegant Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Voyager Estate and Leeuwin Estate are must see wineries, for their grounds as much as the wines, and as Margaret River’s founding estate, Vasse Felix is not to be missed. A cheese factory and chocolate factory in the area means you will always have gourmet platters and desserts on hand.
If you can tear yourself away from the fine food and wine, just a short drive away are stunning white sand beaches with world class surf breaks. Watch out for migrating whales just off the coast from June to December!
With some of the world’s best winemakers working in a diverse array of climates to produce outstanding wines, Australia’s wine regions are well worth a visit. Better still you can take a few cases home with you to taste all over again, bought directly from the cellar door.