A Quick Tour of Australia’s Best Wine Regions

Australia is home to more than 60 designated wine regions, offering countless opportunities to experience some of the best wine there is. Whether you’re a connoisseur or you simply like to combine travel with the warm wave of relaxation that comes from a few glasses of good wine, here’s where we think you should go…

The Barossa Valley

Best for: generous hospitality, patchwork vistas and shiraz

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There’s something incredibly special about the Barossa Valley and it’s not just down to the good wine. The people, the landscape, the food – it’s the perfect setting for a weekend/week away. Barossans are famous for their generous hospitality and their love for celebrating life. The region offers a plethora of festivals, celebrations and markets, all of which centre around good food and wine. Wine has been a way of life in Barossa since 1842 and with more than 170 wine companies to choose from, you’re bound to find a cellar door you love.

Must-visit cellar door: Kellermeister

A boutique family-owned winery rated in the top seven percent of wine producers in Australia. Offering one of the best views in the Barossa, Kellermeister has achieved significant success on the world’s wine stage, being awarded World’s Best Shiraz in 2012 and five red stars since 2007.

Must-visit restaurant: 1918 Bistro & Grill

In 1992, a group of entrepreneurial locals turned the proud Wallent home into 1918, the Barossa’s first bistro grill. Passionate about fresh, farm direct, seasonally-inspired cuisine, you can expect to indulge in dishes such as twice-cooked pork belly, pressed lamb shoulder, and BBQ kangaroo fillet. There’s also a set menu for those wanting the ultimate Barossa taste experience.

The Yarra Valley

Best for: diverse producers and quick getaways from Melbourne

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On the doorstep of Melbourne sits the luscious landscape of the Yarra Valley, famous for its sophisticated wines, cool climate, and diverse producers. From its restrained brooding chardonnay to its poised, satin-like pinot noir, the Yarra Valley is all about cool climate classics.

Must-visit cellar door: Five Oaks Vineyard

The vines at Five Oaks were planted in 1978 on rich red volcanic soils, resulting in a selection of wines with extraordinary depth and complexity of flavours. Consistently producing top quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling grapes, it’s less than an hour's drive from central Melbourne.

Must-visit restaurant: Bacash

One hatted Bacash is all about simple, sustainable, high quality market fresh seafood. Cooked without fuss and fanfare it focuses on ingredients that speak for themselves, expertly pieced together by Chef Michael Bacash. Enjoy Pacific Bay oysters, slow-roasted Atlantic salmon, and milk chocolate mousse with peanut butter crunch.

The Hunter Valley

Best for: diverse sub regions and heritage wines

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Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley has more than 150 wineries and is home to the spectacular Hunter Valley Gardens. Recognised as a world-class wine and food destination, it’s made up of small sub-regions each with its own special nuances. Pokolbin is Australia’s oldest continuous wine region, which means tasting heritage wines from the country’s oldest vines is at your fingertips. Wollombi Valley is a heady mix of rugged national parks, ancient Aboriginal sites, quaint villages and boutique wines.

Must-visit cellar door: McGuigan Wines

Home to a popular Black Label, McGuigan Wines is the full wine experience. The relaxed main hall can host 100 for tastings, and daily tours will give you great insight into how their world famous wines are crafted. While there you can also experience the delights of the Hunter Valley Cheese Company, including an instructional cheese talk at 11am.

Must-visit restaurant: Haydon Hall

Overlooking the gardens and rose arbour, Haydon Hall focuses on fresh lunches that change each month according to the season’s best produce. Morning and afternoon tea is also available, and offers a timeless tradition of homemade cakes and savouries. Relaxed, homely, and oh so yummy.

Margaret River

Best for: miles of coast, delicious food, and beautiful buildings

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While the Margaret River producers less than three percent of Australia’s wine, it accounts for more than a fifth of its premium wine. So high is the quality of wine in the Margaret River that people travel across the globe to sip from the 120 world-class wineries. With hundreds of miles of coast fringed by rugged bushland, it makes for one incredible landscape too.

Must-visit cellar door: Flinders Bay Wines

It seems that Flinders Bay Wines can do no wrong at the moment, picking up award after award after award. Recent successful include the gold medals for its Verdello and Merlot, silver for its Rose, Cabernet Sauv and Shiraz, and bronze for its Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Sauv Blanc and Chardonnay. If it’s variety you’re after, you’ll find it here!

Must-visit restaurant: Watershed Restaurant

With some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever enjoy when dining, the Watershed sits right in the heart of the vineyard and alongside the picturesque vineyard dam. Enjoy lunch on the alfresco dining deck and enjoy Margaret River’s freshest seasonal produce beautifully pulled together by Rick Stein-trained Chef Dan Gedge. Complemented by an award-winning range of wines, you’ll never want to leave this sunny deck.

McLaren Vale

Best for: boutique bed and breakfasts and organic wine

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Only 45 minutes south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale has something for everyone. From boutique bed and breakfasts to sprawling vineyard estates, its huge range of accommodation makes it the perfect place for a weekend away.  The birthplace of the South Australian wine industry, it’s home to some of the world’s oldest grapes, and its location between the rolling Mount Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent beaches is spectacular.

Must-visit cellar door: Angove McLaren Vale Vineyards

Family owned and operated for 130 years, Angove was established in 1886 by Dr William Angove, a physician from Cornwall, England. The unique history of the vineyard makes it a special place for all locals and visitors, and the iconic, rare, single vineyard, organic and alternative wines make Angove a favourite of the region.

Must-visit restaurant: Georges on Waymouth

In the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, Georges on Waymouth is an undeniable crowd pleaser. The stylish, modern dining room serves up distinctly Mediterranean cuisine and includes delights such as scallops, lamb press, and fig and goat’s cheese tart.

The Mornington Peninsula

Best for: Pinot Noir, gourmet food stores and the Peninsula Hot Springs

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Whether you’ve got a weekend or a whole week in the Mornington Peninsula, you’ll be met with non stop food and wine temptation thanks to endless market gardens, artisan fod producers, winery restaurants and casual cafes. For cider and beer lovers there’s also a ton of craft breweries and cider distilleries to enjoy. And it’s all set in picturesque countryside.

Must-visit cellar door: Morning Star

Based at the gateway of the Mornington Peninsula, Morning Star is a hidden gem that hosts spectacular architecture, fine local wines, and breathtaking views of Port Phillip Bay. Its manicured gardens consist of over 75,000 exquisite acres and more than 300 varieties of roses.

Must-visit restaurant: Phoenix Restaurant

Traditional Chinese cuisine doesn’t get any better than it does at Phoenix Restaurant. From sizzling Cantonese eye fillet steak to honey king prawns, it’s all super delicious and memorable. BYO only, you can even bring the wine you collected from your chosen cellar doors.  

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Mireille Kilgour

Mireille Kilgour

Mireille Kilgour has been an entrepreneur for 35 years in the hospitality sector. French born, she has been an accomplished business owner and operator for a number of Sydney venues. Leading the industry with high profile institutions such as Lamrock Café Bondi, she has endless passion for the industry, and now has the pleasure of supporting restaurants to fill their tables with the new Good Food Gift Card program.