Where to Go Wine Tasting in Australia: A Full-Bodied Guide

Where to Go Wine Tasting in Australia: A Full-Bodied Guide

Where to Go Wine Tasting in Australia: A Full-Bodied Guide

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With an unparalleled variety of climates and terroirs to chose from, wine tasting in Australia outshines most other New World destinations. Concentrated in the southwestern and southeastern corners of the country, local vineyards have been thriving Down Under since the early 19th-century. Fruity, full-bodied Shirazes are the national claim to fame. But Aussie grapes are a diverse bunch, ranging from killer Cabernets to refreshing Rieslings.

Where to Go Wine Tasting in Australia: A Full-Bodied Guide

Photo|Vine Trail, Mornington Peninsula|GETTYIMAGES – KIERAN STONE

Plunging the grapes cap to extract color, wine tasting in Australia

Photo|Winery workers treading red wine|GETTYIMAGES – MORSA IMAGE

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve searched the valleys for the best places to go wine tasting in Australia. From the secluded seaside cellar doors near Perth to cool-climate country getaways, there’s a destination for every palette. To make sure that you get a full taster of all that’s available, we’ve also included a handful of our favourite vineyards in each region. Only one thing is more or less the same about all of them: the buoyant, sunny welcomes that you’ll get wherever you ultimately decide to fill up your glass.

vineyards at dusk, Yarra Valley,

Photo|Vineyards, Yarra Valley|GETTYIMAGES – IPPEI NAOI

1. Yarra Valley

At just 45 minutes’ drive from Melbourne CBD, Victoria’s oldest wine-producing region is also one of its most accessible. But that’s not the reason grape-lovers flock to this scenic region. Characterized by undulating vineyards and gently rising hills, Yarra Valley’s landscape affords a varied range of climates. Refined chardonnays and delicate pinot noirs are some of the more established grape varieties. However, its diverse soil types also yield great cabernets and Shirazes, as well as lovely Sauvignon Blancs and crisp rieslings.

In addition to offering some of the most varied wine tasting in Australia, Yarra Valley treats visitors to numerous outdoor adventures. Rise with the sun on an early morning hot air balloon ride. Discover quirky local wildlife like emus and platypuses at Healesville Sanctuary. Or ride a steam engine through the dense vegetation of a native rainforest. Yarra has something for everyone.

Chateau Yering Hotel

Chateau Yering Hotel, top hotel for wine tasting in Australia

Photo|Chateau Yering Hotel|Provided by BOOKING.COM

Housed in an elegant 19th-century mansion, Chateau Yering Hotel was built as the main residence of Victoria’s first vineyard. Its 38 rooms and suites reflect this historic importance, furnished with stunning antiques and fine art. The Yarra suite, in particular, is an airy 48-square-meter option, featuring a separate living room and generously-sized bathroom—complete with spa bath and walk-in shower. The room also features a wraparound balcony, treating guests to sweeping rural views.

Recommended local vineyards

  • Yering Station Winery. Established in 1838, Yarra’s first winemaker has raked in awards for its rose, scarlet pinot noir, and chardonnay. (150 meters)
  • Helen & Joey Estate. Quality wines including chardonnay, pinot noirs, cabernets (7.6 kilometers)
  • Domaine Chandon. High-quality food and exceptional sparkling wines (8.9 kilometers)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 262 – USD 527
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 42 Melba Highway, Yering, VIC 3770, Australia

Hotel Location

Canal Rocks

Photo|Canal Rocks, Margaret River Area|GETTYIMAGES – POSNOV

A sunrises over a vineyard - Margaret River Western Australia.

Photo| Vineyard – Margaret River|GETTYIMAGES – TAP10

2. Margaret River

Despite only producing three percent of Australia’s grapes, Margaret River’s vineyards command a fifth of its premium wine market. So it’s easy to see why it’s widely considered one of the best places for wine tasting in Australia. You’ll likely have to precede your visit with a stopover in Perth, Western Australia’s sunkissed seaside capital. But once make it down to this remote corner of the country and you’ll also be rewarded with fantastic beaches, spectacular surfing, and abundant whale-watching opportunities from June to November.

Margaret River’s warm Mediterranean climate lacks the extreme highs and lows of other parts of Australia. So not only does the region offer a pleasant year-round climate, but it also has just the right conditions to produces a vast variety of old-world grapes. Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, Chenin blanc, and Verdelho all make a strong showing here. If you’re more into your suds, the region is also famed for its craft breweries.

Injidup Spa Retreat

Injidup Spa Retreat, top hotel for wine tasting in Australia

Photo|Injidup Spa Retreat|Provided by INJIDUP SPA RETREAT

Wriggling its toes in the sands, Injidup Spa provides unparalleled luxury on the edge of a secluded beach. Each of its ten seafront villas affords gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean at sunset, as well as a private terrace and plunge pool. Guests are greeted with a gourmet breakfast hamper and a bottle of wine on arrival and can further indulge themselves with the use of the onsite spa. Injidup Spa Retreat also provides private yoga classes, guided cape treks, and private chef in-villa dining — heavenly.

Recommended local vineyards:

  • Swings & Roundabouts. Award-winning wines and delicious wood-fired pizzas (4.3 kilometers)
  • Windows Estate. Cozy, beautifully landscaped winery with a variety of grapes (6.5 kilometers)
  • Sustainable estate with farm-to-table fare by chef Evan Hayter.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 498 – USD 633
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: 31 Cape Clairault Road, Yallingup, WA 6282, Australia

Hotel Location

Ballooning over the Hunter Valley

Photo|Hunter Valley on a fog lit morning|GETTYIMAGES – SHARON KAVANAGH

3. Hunter Valley

Arguably one of the best short breaks out of Sydney, the Hunter draws in scores of vine-trailing ‘Siders with the end of the working week. Don’t worry though — there’s plenty of room to go around. With over 150 wineries, many of which rake in local and international awards, the Hunter is one of the best places for wine tasting in Australia. Memories are made here over a glass of the region’s crisp, citrusy Semillon. Moments are savored over the food-friendly, flavorsome Shiraz, not to mention the feasts that go with them. But what’ll have you coming back time and time again is the welcoming, pretense-free attitude of the valley’s growers.

Though the grapes are spectacular, the Hunter’s charm doesn’t stop at the edge of a wineglass. This funloving region has a packed social calendar all year round. Summer is prime vining season, and each year the Hunter raises a glass to another successful service at Grapevine, Australia’s self-dubbed best wine and music festival pairing. Cooler weather through May and June is welcomed with flavorful local fare at the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival. Meanwhile, spring buds with reasons to postpone your departure, from Opera in the Vineyards to the Spring Festival of Flowers.

The Convent Hunter Valley

The Convent Hunter Valley, top hotel for wine tasting in Australia

Photo|The Convent Hunter Valley|Provided by BOOKING.COM

As you might have guessed, The Convent was once home to an order of nuns. But there’s nothing austere about this boutique hotel’s graceful Victorian structure and gasp-stealing landscaped gardens. The various guest rooms and suites feature plush queen-sized beds and deep baths. Double french doors in most open out onto wide-reaching verandas that are perfect for catching the sunset over the Hunter with one of the estate’s prize-winning wines.

With dusk fading out into the horizon, head down to Circa 1876. The Convent’s hatted farm-to-fork restaurant is set in an 1800s slab cottage. It serves showstopping two-to-seven-course taster menus. Naturally, there’s an extensive wine list to accompany these delectable offerings. But if you’re in the mood for something a little more bubbly, get comfortable in the Champagne Lounge, with its open fire.

Recommended local vineyards

  • Pepper Tree Wines. The Convents own, with a varied list that includes more obscure Hunter grapes like Vermentino.
  • McGuigan Winery. Great cheeseboards available to accompany the Merlots and Chardonnays (2.8 kilometers)
  • Hanging Tree Wines. Welcoming boutique estate with delicious Semillon, sparkling Shiraz, and Moscato (10.6 km)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 192 – USD 357
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 88 Halls Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320, Australia

Hotel Location

River Tamar, Tamar Valley, Tasmania, Australia, Pacific

Photo|River Tamar, Tamar Valley|GETTYIMAGES – JOCHEN SCHLENKER | ROBERTHARDING

4. Tamar Valley

Located just off Tasmania’s rugged northern coast, Tamar Valley is arguably Australia’s cleanest region. Regular rainfall, isolation, and a complete lack of pollution mean that the air here is regularly recorded as being the cleanest in the world. It’s no surprise then that this rustic region produces some of the freshest flavors imaginable. Tassie’s terroirs produce a diverse grape variety, from aromatic whites and fruity pinot noirs, and the sips rival some of the best wine tasting in Australia. This gorgeous north Tasmanian river region has over 30 vineyards and counting. But Tamar yields more than just great grapes. Cider orchards and craft breweries dot the valley. Further up near Launceston, tangy artisanal temptations by the likes of Ashgrove Cheese are well worth a detour. Going in the other direction, rocky outlooks and pristine beaches fracture into the Bass Straight.

Peppers Silo

Peppers Silo, top hotel for wine tasting in Australia

Photo|Peppers Silo|Provided by BOOKING.COM

A great choice if you’re looking for a hotel with a little character, Peppers Silo was originally constructed as an agricultural storehouse. Spread between four 35-meter tall silos and purposely constructed tower, the hotel affords gorgeous views from its position right on banks of the Tamar River. A Launceston location means you’ll be able to enjoy all the charm and activity of the town will still have easy access to abundant wineries right down the valley.

Keeping with the post-industrial aesthetic, guest rooms marry comfortable, contemporary design with the building’s original features. Some, like the Gorge River Deluxe, feature the curved concrete silo walls and recycled timber finishes. If you’re in need of a little pampering, the Silo Day Spa offers a range of revitalizing massages, as well as treatments using botanicals local to Tasmania.

Recommended local vineyards:

  • Josef Chromy Wines. Scenic winery with notable Pinot Gris and Chardonnay (12.1 kilometers)
  • Velo Wines. Clean boutique experience with an exceptional sparkling rosé (12.4 kilometers)
  • Tamar Ridge Cellar Door. Award-winning sparkling wines and delicious pinot noirs (18.1 kilometers)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 118 – USD 289
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 89-91 Lindsay Street, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia

Hotel Location

Bathing Boxes at Mornington Peninsula Beach

Photo|Bathing boxes at Mornington Peninsula Beach|GETTYIMAGES – CHARLIE ROGERS

5. Mornington Peninsula

At only an hour’s drive from downtown Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula has been the city’s choice summer getaway since the 1870s. Visitors to this rugged maritime region can enjoy some of the best cool climate wine tasting in Australia. Over 200 vineyards operate here, many specializing in the region’s fresh, fruity pinot noir. Chardonnay makes a pretty strong showing too, with local wineries like Mediterranean-loving Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove raking in the awards.

Swooshing out toward the Bass Strait, Mornington Peninsula offers more than just great wine. Families will love the cozy, kid-friendly beach villages that line the region’s Port Philip Bay side. Meanwhile, walking enthusiasts are in for a treat along the peninsula’s outer side, with abundant gorgeous coastal rambling along Mornington Peninsula National Park and spectacular trails like Two Bays Walking Track. It’s the perfect experience to gush about while you take a dip in open-air thermal pools like Peninsula Hot Springs.

Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate

Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate, top hotel for wine tasting in Australia

Photo|Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate|Provided by LAKESIDE VILLAS AT CRITTENDEN ESTATE

Lakeside Villas provides cozy self-serviced accommodation in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula. A great choice if you’re traveling with kids, all three villas can be adapted to accommodate up to four people. Meanwhile, great swimming beaches like those at Rosebud are just a short drive away. Rustic touches to the accommodation, like real wood-burning fireplaces, create a romantic setting for an evening glass of red. The villas also feature deep soaking tubs and balconies overlooking a private lake — making Lakeside a perfect weekend escape.

Recommended local wineries:

  • Trofeo Estate. Cellar door and table tastings paired with modern Australian fare (1.3 kilometers)
  • Hickinbotham of Dromana. Rustic experience that also serves homebrewed beer (3.0 kilometers)
  • Foxeys Hangout. Charming hangout known for its sparkling shiraz and tapas (3.6 kilometers)

Star Rating: 4.5*
Price: USD 291 – USD 338
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana VIC 3936, Australia

Hotel Location

Mountain Vineyard

Photo|Mountain Vineyard |GETTYIMAGES – LOCKIECURRIE

6. Adelaide Hills

South Australia’s capital is a dynamic, family-friendly destination most of the year-round. But when the mercury hits stifling in summer, the Adelaide Hills are the place to go. This hilly backland enjoys a much milder climate, perfect for exploring its rolling forests and wandering picturesque trails up Mount Lofty.

Adelaide’s grapes are a diverse bunch. Sauvignon Blancs fans will appreciate the region’s fresh-faced pours, but the Chardonnays, pinot noirs, and pinot gris are all well worth sampling as well. All get a proper annual saluting at Crush and Winter Reds, two lively food and drink festivals that take place in January and July respectively. Regardless of what time of year it is, be sure to check out leafy Hahndorf and Lobethal, whose German pubs and bakeries have hardly changed since they were established by the settlements’ first settlers.

Mount Lofty House – Mgallery

Mount Lofty House - Mgallery, top hotel for swine tasting in Australia

Photo|Mount Lofty House – Mgallery|Provided by ICE PORTAL

With its old colonial architecture and gorgeous hillside location, Mount Lofty House’s charm is immediately apparent. It’s a true country retreat, despite being just 15 minutes drive out of central Adelaide. Its period furniture and elegant four-poster beds are a respectful nod back to the Hills’ history as an escape for the Adelaide elite. Meanwhile, the beautiful pool deck is the perfect place for a dip after an afternoon of wandering the vineyards. Hardy’s Verandah, the hotels’ award-winning restaurant, is set in an open gallery with beautiful forest views. Save at least one evening to experience its “Valley to Verandah,” 3-to-7-course tasting menu.

Recommended local wineries:

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 226 – USD 664
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 1 Mawson Drive, Crafers, SA 5152, Australia

Hotel Location

High Angle View Of Agricultural Field

Photo|Agricultural Field, Seppeltsfield|GETTYIMAGES – PHAT LE – EYEEM

7. Barossa Valley

With some of the oldest established vines in the world, the Barossa Valley offers some of the best wine tasting in Australia. Fans of bold, full-bodied pours will love the local Shiraz — Barossa’s juicy claim to fame. You’ll find the star of the show at Seppeltsfield, one of the most historic wineries in the valley. It has the astonishing tradition of releasing a 100-year old vintage every year, as well as offering unique experiences, such as the chance to try a wine from the year you were born. Barossa varied vines also yield some familiar favorites, including Grenache, Semillon, and Cabernet Sauvignon. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by at nearby either Clare Valley or Eden Valley, both of which are renowned for their Rieslings — Clare’s is richer while Eden produces dry, refreshing flavors.

Similar to Adelaide Hills, Barossa has a rich history of German colonization. Bustling tourist villages like Tanunda and Angaston continue to hold onto their heritage. If you ever need a day off from the wine, they’re a great spot to binge on wurst, sauerkraut, and pretzels.

Novotel Barossa Valley Resort

Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, top hotel for wine tasting in Australia

Photo|Novotel Barossa Valley Resort|Provided by ICE PORTAL

Nothing does a vacation in the valley like waking up to views of the Jacob’s Creek and Barossa Ranges. Novotel Barossa has both. All of the 140 guestrooms at this resort-style hotel feature balconies, allowing you to take full advantage of its stunning natural setting. With the Tanunda Pines Golfe Couse next door and plenty of cycling trails just around the corner, there’s plenty of outdoor activity on your doorstep. Alternatively, book yourself a restorative afternoon at Endota Day Spa, which has an extensive range of massages and treatments.

Recommended local wineries:

  • Rockford Wines. Intimate tastings in a rusting setting (6.0 kilometers)
  • Kellermeister. Great Shiraz and fortified wines (6.2 kilometers)
  • Chateau Yaldara. Diverse tastings in an elegant country mansion (8.1 kilometers)

Star Rating: 4.5*
Price: USD 158 – USD 223
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: Golf Links Road, Tanunda, SA, Australia

Hotel Location

Where Should You Go Wine Tasting in Australia?

Wine tasting in wine cellar.

Photo|Wine tasting in wine cellar|GETTYIMAGES – GILAXIA

By now you’ve gathered that wine tasting in Australia is about as diverse an experience as the varied grape vines that burst out of Aussie soil. While all of the regions we’ve explored in this list perform well at both ends of the flavor spectrum, diehard purists may want to consider their favorite varieties before they go knocking on any cellar doors.

Bold, adventurous Shiraz or Carbernet drinkers will feel right at home in the rolling landscapes of Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. Meanwhile, barrels of light, refreshing zest can be found on the mild maritime soils of northern Tasmania. And if you’re traveling with the family, it’s hard to beat the exciting activities available on the Mornington Peninsula, whose proximity Melbourne makes it a doable on the shortest Australian itineraries. One thing is certain wherever you go though: whether you’re an enthusiastic enologist or wine-minded social drinker, what you’re in store for is pours of pure perfection.

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