The Ultimate Getaways For Lovers of Wine!
Australia is internationally renowned for its sprawling vineyards scattered across its diverse countryside, so it’s unsurprising that some of our wine regions are amongst the most popular holiday destinations for international and Australian travellers alike!
When visiting a modern Australian winery, there’s plenty more to do than simply sip wine; the vineyards of today are a ‘choose your own adventure’ affair, with farm visits, vineyard movie showings, and hot air balloon rides becoming part of the experience.
There’s even the opportunity to visit a one-of-a-kind Australian division of the Moët & Chandon vineyard in France.
Gordon Bayne, Head of Travel at Scoopon, has made his way around some of Australia’s notable vineyards. He’s giving us the scoop on which wineries are worth every last drop.
Hunter Valley: New South Wales
The Hunter Valley experience begins when you take the road less travelled and enjoy a scenic journey on the Great North Road. Pass through rolling green hills of farms where cattle and horses freely roam the NSW countryside.
Then, first on the list should be Krinklewood, Gordon advises.
“This biodynamic winery works in harmony with the land to produce natural wine without any preservatives, sulfites or additives. So if you’re wondering why you don’t have a headache the next morning it’s because the wine is completely natural and organic,” he shares.
“It’s worth visiting the smaller wineries that are less frequented by tour groups such as Blueberry Hill which is nestled in the famous wine district of Pokolbin and features a variety of boutique wines from six different grapes grown on site. Just to get your taste buds tingling, their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc combines gooseberry, passionfruit and lemongrass characteristics to create a crisp, refreshing and tropical fruit flavour that leaves a lingering finish.”
Best of all, Blueberry Hill is also a boutique BnB, so it’s perfect place to rest your weary head after a day of snacking, sampling and exploring the Hunter region.
Yarra Valley: Victoria
If you love a glass of pinot noir, sparkling wine and other cool-climate wines, you’re heading to the right place because the Yarra Valley is renowned worldwide for producing some of Australia’s finest.
“One of the best ways to appreciate the spanning vineyards is by booking an unforgettable Hot Air Balloon experience as the sun rises over Yarra Valley,” Gordon suggests.
“This is also a great way to kick off the wine tasting with a champagne breakfast at a local winery upon landing.”
The winery Chandon is the closest you’ll get to a true French winery experience, as it’s an extension from the Champagne house Moët & Chandon, with similar viticulture techniques applied to the cold-climate of Yarra Valley.
Chandon was also named Best Large Cellar Door in the Gourmet Traveller Wine’s awards, so if bubbles are your preference this is a must!
“For the more active types, you can cycle your way through the vineyards along the historic 38km trail fit. This is a serene path to experience the local produce with recommended stops along the way for coffee, lunch and maybe a wine or two,” Gordon says.
Margaret River: Western Australia
Being in such close proximity to the glorious shores of Perth, the Margaret River boasts growing conditions for vines that are optimal, allowing for rich diversity across the vineyards.
“As a founding winery of the region, Cape Mentelle has a solid history of wine making that is recognised with their premises being a ‘must visit’ for the area,” Gordon says.
“At Cape Mentelle, you will be taken through the winemaking process from the vineyard to the processing areas and the Cabernet Cellar where you can enjoy a tutored wine and food pairing experience. For something a little more intimate, consider booking a private tasting with Amelia Park who can tailor the experience to your taste buds. The cellar door has also recently opened and takes you on a guided tour through the barrel room.”
The Margaret River is the perfect place for people who like their wine with a side of activity.
Visit local farmer’s markets of the region, watch a film among vineyards at sunset, go whale watching or experience one the many concerts hosted throughout the year.
“All in one day, you can hop between award winning wineries and world class surf breaks – getting the best of both worlds!” Gordon says.