Cellar door-hopping is as much about finding little gems down dusty roads as it is making the rounds to the big hitters. But usually, there are the one or two wineries that deserve a little more lingering.
We’ve compiled our favourite spots that offer more than just great drops with architecture worth admiring and history to discover. Drop a pin at these locations when you’re next in the region.
Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley
Established by the Seppelt family in 1850, who migrated from Poland, Seppeltsfield is one of the most historic wineries in the region. It’s a veritable theme park for oenophiles, peppered with historic buildings, cellars and beautiful gardens. In contrast to the rich history, the relatively new architecturally considered cellar door is all sleek lines and cosy tasting alcoves where you can also sample fortified wines and canapés. If you’re looking for something to pair beautifully with that glass of Shiraz, FINO has a sharing menu that is seasonal and simplistic. You can choose five plates and a dessert at a reasonable price.
Wirra Wirra, McLaren Vale
Set inside an ironstone building, the Wirra Wirra cellar door creates a relaxed vibe throughout its grounds. Visit the cellar, which is exclusive to visitors, snack on some grub at Harry’s Deli, serving only the best produce on hand of course, or join a behind the scenes tour of the winery and cellars. There is a $5 tasting fee, but you get to sip on limited releases with the assistance of a seasoned wine connoisseur.
Tscharke’s Place, Marananga
Run by sixth-generation farmer and first-generation winemaker Damien Tscharke, Tscharke’s Place has been around since the mid-1800s. Only recently, in 2011 was the property opened into a tasting vineyard. Head inside and learn about the incredible 150-year history that created this space. This space hasn’t evolved much since being opened almost 10 years ago, but it still has that sweet, classic charm. Their wine store is incredibly extensive and best of all, relatively inexpensive.
New South Wales
Established relatively recently in 1997, Logan is a relative spring chicken on the scene. Set in the NSW Central Ranges, the estate is worth a visit not only for its excellent, fresh and vibrant wines, but for the chance to spend a few wine-filled hours at its beautiful cellar door. Large glass windows look down a sweeping green paddock and out to Apple Tree Flat below and a bucolic Mudgee vista. There’s also a lovely, sun-drenched terrace where you can lose time sipping on sweet, sweet vino. More people are now heading down to Mudgee for the vast lands of vineyards, but the serenity of the area is still present throughout.
Pepper Tree Wines, Pokolbin
Delve deep into the Hunter Valley and find the needle in the haystack that is Pepper Tree Wines. Located on the long and windy Halls Road, this vineyard looks as though it’s been snatched out of a fairytale. The grounds are covered in perfectly manicured lawns, hedges and flowerbeds, and right outside the cellar door is a tree stump that’ll remind you of an Enid Blyton novel. This property is popular for weddings and other celebrations, who generally move the party over to the resident restaurant next door, Circa 1876. They offer tastings inside their wood and barrelled-styled room, with a mix of their own reds, whites and sparkling.
Levantine Hill, Coldstream
This vineyard is made of two smaller, merged together in Yarra Valley. With its barrel-like protrusions, the bold design of Levantine Hill hints at what you might find inside. The minimalist, Danish-esque lines of the cellar door would seem colder than the nearby stream, but warm woods and good drops create a cosy vibe. Inside, you’ll find Ezard at Levantine Hill, two dining spaces by hatted chef Teage Ezard.
Port Phillip Estate, Red Hill
This cellar door could easily pass as an art gallery with its sweeping roof and rammed limestone walls, but inside the works to be appreciated are to be found in casks. Stay at one of the six stylish guest suites on the Port Phillip Estate property while you’re taking it all in. Located in Mornington Peninsula, which has a much cooler-weather front to it, these folks specialise in Pinot Grigios, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. As you sip your fourth glass of the day (no one’s judging), look outside to the sweeping views of the surrounding vineyards and Victorian coast.
Sam Miranda cellar door, King Valley
Presiding over the Sam Miranda estate like a bishop on a chessboard is a light tower that beams rays into its tasting room below. Access is by a subterranean passage that creates the sense of being in the depths of the Earth, immersing visitors in the act of swilling wine. After a round of tasting, enjoy lunch at the Italian-influenced restaurant with rib-sticking dishes such as house-made pork sausages and duck and porcini ragu.