Must Visit Wine Regions in Australia

January 21, 2019

It might well be a country often famed for its fascinating wildlife and mesmerising scenery but Australia also delivers some uniquely delicious experiences for foodies and wine lovers alike. One of the world’s most prolific producers and home to some truly world class wines, Oz is an ideal location for anyone keen to combine city slicking, adventure sports and beach living with winery tours and an exploration of new world tastes. These really are the must visit wine regions in Australia, perfect additions to your holiday Down Under.

Visitors who are eager to sample Australia’s famous wine produce won’t be disappointed when they touch down here as a fantastic array of tours and trips are available. Here are some of the most iconic wine routes and some tips for aficionados and casual lovers alike to make the most of their time in Australia.

Australia’s Most Famous Wine Routes

The latest statistics suggest that there are over 2,400 wineries in Australia, with over 50 per cent of them located in South Australia and its famous sub-regions. The wine industry, which is booming, contributes around $40 billion to the economy every year. Australia produces a staggering 1.37 billion litres of wine per year and is famed for producing some of the best wines in the world.

It’s clear to see that wine is big business but many of the regions dotted around the continent are well worth a holiday visit, helping you to learn more about wine production and hone your tasting skills. If you’re eager to treat your taste buds and get a deeper understanding of the industry, here are some of the best wine routes and tours on offer across this vast country.

Visiting Barossa Valley

If you asked a fan of Aussie wine to name their favourite region, it might well be the world famous Barossa Valley. Located in South Australia – north east of the beautiful city of Adelaide – the Barossa Valley makes some of the best wines in the world. An ideal trip for your stay in Adelaide, this jewel is just 50 minutes from the centre of the city and trips depart on a regular basis. Visitors can choose to drive independently or take a tour, which affords the opportunity to sample a wide range of different wines and enjoy the views without worrying about driving back to the city again.

The global reputation of this regions means that tourism is very much catered for. Here, it’s possible to explore over 80 wineries, meet local producers and of course, carry out those all-important taste tests. Many wineries have cafes or delis attached, allowing visitors to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner whilst enjoying a glass of the region’s full-bodied Shiraz-based reds with views overlooking the rolling, green vineyards.

Barossa Valley Day Tour

Enjoy a day tour to the Barossa Valley alongside a visit to the historic town of Hahndorf, which was officially the first Germanic settlement in South Australia. The town boasts an array of charming independent shops and local craft stalls and there’s also an impressive collection of galleries.

After meandering around the quaint streets and soaking up the culture of the region, head to some of the most high-profile boutique wineries in town – Jacobs Creek and Saltrams Wines – to grab a souvenir bottle to take home. A two-course lunch is included in your tour and visitors can also indulge in wine tasting sessions to get a flavour of the best this part of the world has to offer.

Book your Barossa Valley Day Tour today or discover our top Barossa Valley hotel recommendation.

McLaren Vale & Further Afield

South Australia is famed for its premium wines but drinking is far from the only activity on offer. For those who have time to explore further, there’s a host of things to do including shopping, hiking, cycling, golf and al fresco yoga.

The town of Tanunda is also well worth a visit. Highlights include trips to Chateau Tanunda Estate and Corroboree Dream Art, a gallery showcasing stunning examples of Aboriginal art.

South Australia is rich in wine as well as wider culture and the Barossa Valley is far from being the only wine producing region here. A trip to Adelaide can also include excursions further south to the feted McLaren Vale, or even take in some of the other local wines from Eden Valley, the Limestone Coast or even Kangaroo Island, where full-bodied reds are the order of the day!

Popular Hunter Valley

Sydney is often top of the list of places to go in Australia, and it’s no surprise. This wonderfully enigmatic city offers everything from a vibrant waterfront adorned with some of the world’s most iconic structures to beaches that are famous the world over. Just a relative stone’s throw from the thriving harbour and the busy CBD, visitors will find tranquillity and peace at Hunter Valley. New South Wales’ oldest wine producing area, this region has been providing Australians and wine lovers overseas with bottles of glorious alcoholic nectar since the 1820s when James Busby – the “father of Australian wine” – first planted vines here.

Of all the vineyards you must visit in Australia, those located in the Hunter Valley never fail to impress. This is one of the most scenic and picturesque areas in the country, and it is characterised by vivid green meadows, rolling hills and pristine vineyards flanked by bright blue skies and the rumbling waters of the Hunter River.

This region is an ideal base for those who are keen to enjoy a range of different wine tasting and tour experiences, as it boasts a diverse selection of wineries. From small, boutique cellars to sprawling estates, there is something for everyone. Home to approximately 150 wineries, names that may have popped up when browsing the aisles at home include Lindemans, McGuigans, Draytons, Tyrells and McWilliams.

Add a night or two at Hunter Valley Resort to your Australia holiday.

The most famous wines on offer in the Hunter Valley include Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Verdelho. The Hunter Valley is located approximately 245 km from central Sydney and it takes around two hours to drive to the lush vineyards via the M1. Organised tours however are a much better way to explore and discover this beautiful region and its wines without having to worry about the legal driving limit. Tours also offer a chance to link up with other wine enthusiasts and to make the most of the stunning scenery.

Book your Hunter Valley Winery Tour now.

Margaret River Wineries

Visitors who are based in Perth can enjoy a spectacular array of winery tours in Australia thanks to the city’s proximity to the awe-inspiring region of Margaret River. The town of Margaret River is a joy to behold but the local wineries are the real draw. Margaret River is one of Western Australia’s prime wine-producing regions and its produce is known as being a real ‘up and coming’ in the wine world.

Although established later than nearby Swan Valley, the Margaret River wineries are gathering more pace and attracting more attention year on year. Unlike the Barossa Valley and its deep, peppery Shiraz wines, Western Australia is particularly famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines, offering lovers of both reds and whites the chance to experience the full-bodied, fruit-forward boldness the New World has to offer.

Following the Margaret River winery route will treat visitors to an enchanting adventure through a region of breathtaking natural beauty. Running from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste 100 km further north, this stretch of pristine landscape is a feast for all the senses. The area is flanked by the rolling waves of the ocean, sunny days are commonplace and there is a series of wineries on offer. The range boasts everything from cellar tours to larger estates that often host events like celebratory lunches, galas and outdoor concerts.

Highlights along the Margaret River wine route include Si Vintners, the Ashbrook Estate, McHenry Hohnen and the Fraser Gallop Estate. There’s a plethora of tastings on offer here and visitors can also sample locally-produced foods and craft beers.

As well as being a fantastic wine producing region, Margaret River has so much more on offer once tastings are complete and souvenir bottles have been purchased. This area is also famous for its waves, a hotspot for surfers, water sports enthusiasts, swimmers and snorkelers. The coastline is also a haven for marine life and whale watching excursions are a perfect end to a tour of the region’s vineyards. Those who enjoy outdoor pursuits can also take advantage of an incredible backdrop in which to enjoy cycling, hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing.

Our Margaret River and Cape Leeuwin Day Tour includes a stop-off at Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere, lunch at Bootleg Brewery, a tour of Mammoth Cave and a final stop at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Alternatively, Margarets Forest Apartments offer a stylish setting in the heart of the wine producing region.

Vineyards in Swan Valley

For wine lovers staying in Perth and keen to add another wine experience to their holiday, a trip to Swan Valley is also worth a look. Just 25 minutes’ drive from downtown Perth, Swan Valley is a verdant paradise, which ticks to the beat of a slow clock. The pace of life is sedate and gentle here, and there’s no better way to fill the lingering, languid hours than dining under the sunshine, sipping on local wines and appreciating the surrounding landscape. Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest wine region and it’s an idyllic base to relax, recharge the batteries and enjoy a well-earned rest.

Away from the wineries and vineyards, visitors can enjoy other adventures here as well. A cruise along the Swan River, cider and ale trails, arts and craft gallery tours and even a horse-drawn wagon ride are on offer and make for a great addition to your stay. Back in the city, Perth has some amazing beaches to enjoy whilst there’s also the option of day trips to Rottnest Island and the famous Pinnacles of Nambung National Park.

Wine Regions in Australia

When you think about Australia, images of beaches, burning red rocks and impossibly cute koalas may spring to mind, but this is a country also famed for its high-quality wines. There’s a veritable array of winery tours and themed excursions on offer to make the most of, providing visitors with a chance to explore stunning scenery, enjoy a break from fast-paced adventure sports or intense sightseeing and, most importantly, sample the wines that have put Australia firmly on the wine growing map.

These tours offer you a chance to get to know other travellers with similar interests, too, as well as to put your feet up and relax on the way to different vineyards. But as with any guided tour, it’s much easier to appreciate the tastes and the views in all their glory without having to worry about finding a way back to your hotel.

Winery tours are available at most larger estates as well as the smaller, boutique setups, and many offer the chance to sample delicious cuisine, which often features local, organic produce specially selected to pair with your chosen tipple. Australia really does have something for everyone and wine lovers will most definitely not leave the must visit wine regions in Australia feeling disappointed.

Combine winery visits with more of Australia on a Freedom Australia Guided Tour. Choose from our Taste of South Australia 11 day journey or our 10 day South Western Escape.

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