While wine aficionados understand Australia is a world leader in wine production, many have yet to enjoy tasting the huge variety of wines offered by the nation’s 2,400 producers.
With more than 100 grape varietals currently grown in Australia’s 65 wine regions, the opportunities for enthusiasts to sample exciting new blends is virtually endless. However, the nation’s top wine producers offer visitors far more than a wonderful tasting experience. Although it’s difficult to pick only ten wineries, the ones listed offer a breadth of experiences in addition to their wine choices.
1. Seppeltsfield Winery
Seppeltsfield Winery is also located in Barossa and dates back to the mid-1800s. While the winery’s claim to fame is its annual release of a 100-year-old varietal, wine lovers can enjoy a number of high-quality small batch table wines.
When visiting Seppeltsfield, plan to visit and explore the contemporary design and craft studio located onsite.
Of course, fine wines naturally go with fine foods, and FINO restaurant, located in the winery’s original bottling hall, offers a menu with wine pairings to satisfy the most discriminating palates.
Located in Adelaide Hills, Penfolds Magill Estate is famous for its widely acclaimed Penfolds Grange. Indeed, a large number of wine lovers will eagerly claim Penfolds Grange is the finest wine produced in the country. Since Penfolds Magill Estate is located only 15 minutes away from Adelaide, planning a day trip is simplified.
In addition to tasting the winery’s Penfolds Collection, Limited Editions (including the wonderful Bin 170 Kalimna Shiraz 201) and Cellar Reserves, plan to tour the historic site.
For a leisurely visit, the Audrey Wilkinson winery includes onsite guest cottages allowing visitors to enjoy the winery and, at the same time, relax in comfort for an evening or a week. With the winery’s 360-degree views of the Hunter Valley, guests take in the sites while enjoying an unparalleled level of privacy.
Audrey Wilkinson’s artisans use state-of-the-art techniques to produce some of the region’s most award-winning wines, including Chardonnay, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Tempranillo varieties. Today’s staff adheres to winery founder’s legacy of putting taste above other considerations.
Before leaving, spend time at the winery museum to learn more about the winery’s history. There is no admittance fee, and visitors will leave with a better understanding of how wine making developed in the area.
The Mount Lofty Ranges of the Adelaide Hills wine region is home to The Lane Vineyard. Only a short 25-minute drive from Adelaide, The Lane Vineyard is far enough from the city to feel like being in the country, but near enough for an important business luncheon or a quick getaway with a loved one.
While there, take a helicopter ride to get a grand view of the vineyards and the surrounding Ranges vistas.
Of course, no visit is complete without dining at the Lane Vineyard Restaurant. The menu is brimming with fresh, locally sourced produce for healthy as well as delicious dining options.
Located in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia, Vasse Felix is touted as the region’s newest ultimate winery experience location. The winery offers two tours focusing on wine and food pairing, with one detailing wine production techniques and the other concentrating on menu and wine choices.
Before or after the tour, take advantage of the onsite gallery for relaxing and viewing fine art offerings.
With a tasting room housed in a historic homestead, the Josef Chromy vineyard provides a great escape for Launceston, Tasmania residents and visitors. The region’s cool weather is ideal for producing the vineyard’s fine Riesling and Pinot Noir varietals.
Leisurely two-hour lunches are available at the vineyard’s restaurants, paired with wine choices to enhance the entrees prepared with fresh, local produce.
After lunch, take advantage of a flight over the breathtaking countryside or try fly fishing to challenge the local trout population.
Moving on to the Victoria wine-making region, visit the de Bortoli to learn how premium wines are made and, of course, sample the best of the winery’s vintages. The cellar door staff encourage tastings and welcome visitors’ questions about the cellar’s offerings.
Adventurous visitors indulge in the De Bortoli cheese shop offerings while at the vineyard. Cheese selections will vary, but frequently available varieties include Meredith Goat’s Cheeses, Roquefot, and Piave varieties.
The vineyard’s Locale restaurant reflects the founder’s Italian heritage, but also specialises in a menu sourcing the region’s best seasonal and organic produce because of the family’s belief in fostering sustainable farming and winemaking. While bookings are recommended to avoid anyone being disappointed, visitors are welcome to dine Thursdays through Mondays.
Leeuwin Estate, also located in the Margaret River wine region, presents events throughout the year, including a summer concert series, wine dinners, and cooking classes. In addition, the winery gallery hosts some of the country’s leading contemporary artists.
The winery’s list of varieties includes the Art Series, Prelude Vineyards, and Siblings. While the Art Series contains some of the vineyard’s finest vintages, selections from the Prelude Vineyards wines are sought after as fine, fruit-flavored varietals. The Siblings label varieties are intended for early drinking rather than aging.
The winery restaurant features entrees like freshly shucked oysters, Augusta green tip Abalone, char grilled octopus, and ocean trout. Exotic desserts top off your meal. Needless to say, the meals are paired with outstanding wine choices to please the palate.
Located in Barossa, South Australia, Jacob’s Creek is only an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Like many quality wineries, Jacob’s Creek offers visitors interactive tasting workshops, but the staff takes the experience to a new level with their cooking classes, sharing the secrets that make preparing meals a true joy.
Of course, there are other attractions. Taking a cycling tour to explore the vineyards and enjoying a picnic with family and friends are great options. The sheer beauty of the countryside makes the tour more than worth taking.
Try your hand at traditional wine making at McLaren Vale, South Australia’s d’Arenberg winery. Grapes are still processed to allow small, custom crafted wine batches. Guests are encouraged to become the winemaker, blending and naming their creations.
d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant offers seasonal menus to warm the heart and soul of visitors. Main menu items include specialties like chocolate and chilli braised roo saddle with mint labne, date, preserved lemon and parsley mograbieh. For dessert, try the baked pears with cinnamon ice cream, vanilla syrup, and oat granola.