With Australia’s enviable abundance of wine-growing regions open for mini-breaking wine lovers, sometimes sorting through the huge array of options requires the fortification of a good drop. But there is one way to ensure you put your time and money in the right direction.
Relishing the satisfaction of introducing oenophiles and casual appreciators alike to a beautifully smooth drop is what Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia is all about. And with its considered collection of Australia’s best destination wineries, signature tours, wine-dining and chartered tastings, you’d be hard-pressed not to leave one of its member estates without a case or two for your home cellar.
Take a brief tasting below and get your palate primed for some of the country’s best wine escapes.
For 150 years, this stunning vineyard with sweeping vistas of the beautiful, vine-laced Hunter Valley has been producing excellent wines under its original vintner’s namesake. Absorb the history with a visit to the onsite museum pre- or post-tasting, then grab your pick and picnic on the manicured grounds.
With an expansive new cellar door, where you’ll find Brokenwood’s famed Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, ILR Reserve Semillon, and Cricket Pitch range on the pour, this is a must-visit for any Hunter mini-break. Allocate time to enjoy the onsite casual eatery, Cru Bar + Pantry.
One of Australia’s most recognised wine labels, this Hunter Valley stalwart has been heavily decorated with accolades for four generations. Steeped in history, you’ll discover the still-working original cellar, glimpse Edward Tyrrell’s hut and sip award-winning drops at the cellar door.
Set in Victoria’s idyllic high country, this fourth-generation winery has long furnished Australian glasses with innovative wines. The family’s Milawa Vineyard produces the grapes for the much-adored Patricia Noble Riesling and the Dolcetto. Absorb Victoria’s viticultural history surrounded by the King Valley’s absorbing beauty.
Dedicate a good portion of the day to this winery, as De Bortoli is the spiritual home of the long lunch. Settle into the on-site restaurant, Locale, for an Italian feast made with local produce and highlighted by the label’s celebrated Noble One Botrytis Semillon.
Plan to overnight at this Porepunkah winery backdropped by the Victorian Alps. Book into the lovely onsite accommodation and join a cycle tour of the vineyard where you can scout the perfect picnic spot to throw a rug down and enjoy local produce and your favourite Feathertop wine purchased from the cellar door.
Although Montalto’s cool-climate wines are no less than exceptional, you’re here for more than a drink. This is a true wine-lover’s playground, where you can (and should) dine at the much-lauded restaurant, stroll the onsite olive grove and sculpture garden, and take a behind-the-scenes winery tour.
This provenance-driven winery on the Westernport-side of the Peninsula caters to wine, food and art appreciators alike. With two hatted restaurants, Laura and Pt. Leo Estate Restaurant, sophisticated wines, and the jaw-dropping Sculpture Park with its $70-million-dollar collection of works, this estate is a hedonist’s heaven.
Warm, open and insistent on feeding you well, Pizzini Wines wholly embodies Italian hospitality. Discover the winery’s excellent Italian varietals such as the Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Prosecco, and learn how to complement them with food at Katrina Pizzini’s popular cooking school, A Tavola!
This fifth-generation estate in Central Victoria has deep roots dating back to 1860. Visit this destination winery to sample some rare Rhone valley varietals, such as Marsanne and Mourvedre, and to dine at the cafe that champions local produce and gazes over serene wetlands.
With more than 120 hectares under vines at this biodynamic and organic winery, Gemtree is committed to the sustainability of Australia’s wine industry. Explore the naturally produced wines at the cellar door and learn about Gemtree’s viticulture practices before strolling the 1-kilometre-long eco trail of regenerated bushland.
Forget rustic farmhouse cellar doors, the architecturally significant d’Arenberg Cube sets this winery apart from most else in the region, and indeed, the country. Housing the cellar door, private event spaces and the Alternate Realities Museum, this modern building provides a scene-stealing locale to display the label’s wines.
With a long history and sustained reputation, it stands to reason the home of Jacob’s Creek is among Australia’s most impressive winery experiences. Offering cooking classes, masterclasses, and the seasonally focused Our Table restaurant, all housed in a stunning, environmentally conscious building, it’s a one-stop food and wine shop.
Grange fans already have Penfolds Magill Estate on their bucket list, but even casual appreciators of the famous drop will enjoy this heritage-listed winery. Explore the historic buildings and vineyard established in 1844 by Mary Penfold and Dr Christopher Rawson. True devotees should book the Iconic Experience, which includes a tour, tasting and lunch.
There aren’t many wineries that offer a 100-year-old tasting, but on the Seppeltsfield Centenary Tour you’ll have the rarefied experience of sipping its famed Para Vintage Tawny. Wander this picturesque village estate and see barrels being made, enjoy a picnic or dine at the hatted FINO restaurant.
Take a helicopter tour over the Barossa and discover the St Hugo story, which began 150 years ago with Hugo Gramp of G Gramp & Sons winery. The original winery ruins still remain, giving heritage to the new tasting room and St Hugo Restaurant. Descend from your flight to enjoy a tasting and lunch.
It may have been established by an eccentric local cricketer, Robert Strangways Wigley, but there’s nothing unusual about Wirra Wirra’s most popular red blend and hero wine, Church Block. Come to enjoy this and other well-made drops as well as regional fare from onsite cafe Harry’s Deli.
An enviable heritage spanning 168 years makes Yalumba Australia’s most historic and recognisable winery. Provenance plays a big role here and can be tasted in the label’s uniquely Australian drops. Take time to explore this exquisite Barossa estate, from the cooperage to the Wine Room.
With a cellar door housed in a pretty 1880s homestead and a winery fringed by old oaks, this manicured estate is nothing short of charmed. The label’s namesake, Josef Chromy, came to the wine business later in his 80-odd-years but has excelled quickly creating an award-winning cellar door and winery creating cool-climate wines.
This boutique, cool-climate winery sits adjacent to the world-renowned Museum of Old and New Art, making this Derwent River peninsula a destination for both provocative art and sophisticated wines. After spending time sampling small-batch wines at Moorilla Estate, check into your ultra-cool accommodation at the MACq 01 Hotel.
A family-owned winery known for its sophisticated vintages, Leeuwin Estate is an imperative on the wine connoisseur’s hit list. Dine at the celebrated restaurant, meander the estate’s on-site art gallery, and make a note to return for the summer al fresco concert series.
An easy 25-minute drive from Perth, Mandoon Estate is a Swan Valley gem, sparkling with considered wine, good food and luxury accommodation. Aside from the excellent fine diner, Wild Swan, and elegant digs overlooking vines and river, a fantastic onsite microbrewery also draws a crowd.
It’s serious winemaking at this estate that coddles its grapes from vine to bottle, resulting in elegantly refined wines. Vasse Felix is the region’s founding wine estate and this heritage is evident as you feast at the hatted restaurant, sip at the cellar door, and head to the ‘Vault’ for a private tasting.
Home to a vast underground barrel cellar, you’re invited to taste the juice straight from the barrel on a tour of this visually spectacular estate. Blend your tour with a four- or seven-course lunch and discover the provenance of flavours on your plate and in your glass.
Queensland isn’t Australia’s best-known wine region, but the lofty altitude of the Granite Belt produces some exemplary varietals. Explore state-of-the-art facilities nestled in bushland and choose to extend the excursion with an overnight stay at Sanctuary by Sirromet.