The lucky vine: Australia’s top wine regions (& why you should visit them)
Australia is blessed with the growing conditions that have helped our winemakers produce some of the world’s best drops. Yes, it seems like every year an Australian vino producer takes out the top prize at an international competition, with our world-class Shiraz, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and more tantalising the taste buds of judges, connoisseurs and revellers the world over.
It’s no secret that we also have winemaking regions in abundance. These regions are not only renowned for the production of say, Barossa Shiraz or Hunter Valley Semillon – they are also famous for being top travel destinations.
With this in mind, what are some of the country’s wine regions that are worth a visit for their viticulture and their tourist attractions?
The wondrous Barossa Valley
Perhaps the country’s most instantly recognisable wine region, the Barossa is famed for its winemaking history, having first started cultivating grapes way back in the 1840s. The region is steeped in traditional winemaking techniques and wineries, as well as an awesome host of newcomers led by world-renowned winemakers.
What makes the Barossa Valley so special is the sheer luxury of its produce: the region is home to legendary wineries like Peter Lehmann, Penfold’s, Yalumba and Seppeltsfield, with each of these top producers offering their own special cellar door experiences.
Finally, it’s not just the wine that makes the Barossa a bon vivant’s paradise: it’s truly Australia’s top region for gourmet produce! From the farmer’s markets that are stacked full of fresh meat, dairy, fruit, veg, baked goods and, of course, vino, to the wondrous farm stores like that of Australia’s favourite gourmand, Maggie Beer, the Barossa has enough to keep your appetite enticed for some time.
The marvellous Hunter Valley
New South Wales’ Hunter Valley is famous for its Semillon, but also produces stellar Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cab Sav and Verdelho. And whilst the Hunter may be home to some of Australia’s most beloved wineries, with the likes of Brokenwood, Briar Ridge and Pepper Tree Wines all calling the region home, it is also just an incredibly magical place to visit!
For one thing, the Hunter Valley isn’t just for wine lovers: it’s also a wonderful place for foodies and adventure lovers to try out something fun, new and exciting. For example, the region is famed for its sunrise hot air balloon rides, which provide endless views of the gorgeous, colourful hills in the morning sun.
If you would prefer to stay closer to the ground, there is ample hiking in the region’s native bushland. For gourmands who have given up the wine, the region offers plenty of cooking classes incorporating a range of cuisines matched with sumptuous local produce!
The charming Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is amazing as it is located barely an hour’s drive from the heart of Melbourne. But, despite its close proximity to the city, what awaits you is a quaint and tranquil part of the world where rolling hillside vineyards give way to dense forests.
The wine region is dotted with some of the country’s best cellar door and restaurant experiences, including those at Punt Road Winery, De Bortoli Wines and Soumah of Yarra Valley all offering up world-class vino and delightful produce to match. If you’re up for it the next morning, be sure to take the Yarra Valley hot air balloon ride – it’s simply a delight!