It’s probably one of the most beautiful and delicious times of the year to experience a wine tasting getaway in Australia.
Over the spring to summer months, the dormant grape vines from winter come alive to grow into a vibrant mass of stunning foliage. Also during this time, the weather is warm, sun is shining and the air is crisp – the perfect setting to explore and sample some of the best wine regions in Australia.
There’s no hiding the fact that Australians love a glass of wine or two, in fact, we on average consume over 530 million litres each year – so we know how to cater and combine wine tasting into a holiday getaway.
Speaking with online travel experts, lastminute.com.au they recently held a survey on this very topic to see what were the best wine regions in Australia for a getaway.
Spokesperson for lastminute.com.au, Kate Norris said Australians are spoilt for choice when it comes to wine regions, however admits it’s not all about the vino, with the gourmet food offering also important for many Australians.
“The research showed that one in two (56%) people believe that a holiday destination’s food and wine offering influences their decision to visit there,” Kate said.
“With many of our most famous wine regions all within a couple of hours drive of most of our main cities, a weekend escape to wine country is the ultimate way to combine a food and wine fix with fresh country air,”
“Australian wine regions are also really starting to raise the stakes against big city destinations for delicious eating experiences,” she added.
Here are Australia’s top five favourite wine regions to explore:
Drink: The cool climate grapes in this region are all about the pinot noir. Make sure you put Port Phillip Estate, Paringa Estate and Crittenden Estate at the top of your ‘to do list’.
Eat: If you are after something a bit special, try the degustation dinner at Woodman Estate. Like many wine regions, some of the best dining options are located within the wineries. Hot tips include Ten Minutes By Tractor and Foxeys Hangout in Red Hill.
Sleep: For a slice of country relaxation with a side of luxury, the Lindenderry At Red Hill offers the perfect guesthouse experience. While staying at Peppers Moonah Links Resort is a great way to share your #winetime with #beachtime.
Drink: Champagne lovers note: Domaine Chandon, established by French champagne house Moet & Chandon, is a must-do. Other fabulous wineries in the area include Yering Station, Rochford Wines and TarraWarra Estate.
Eat: A Yarra Valley food safari is not complete without getting a sugar high at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Other great dining options include Isabella’s at Rochford (post wine tasting) and the oh-so-delicious high tea at Dame Nellie’s home, Coombe, The Melba Estate.
Sleep: After a day of feasting and winery hopping, retreat for the evening to Balgownie Estate Resort & Spa located in Yarra Glen and home to a fabulous on-site restaurant, Rae’s.
Drink: Just a two-hour drive from Sydney CBD is the Hunter Valley is a wine lover’s playground famous for its semillon. Sample a drop or two at Keith Tulloch Wine, Kevin Sobels Wines, Brokenwood Wines, Scarborough Wine Co, Mount View Estate and Audrey Wilkinson.
Eat: Wash down the wine at local foodie hot spots such as Bistro Molines and Robert’s Restaurant (my absolute favourites there! You can see why in my previous Hunter Valley post), or Muse Kitchen and Café Enzo for a more casual style lunch.
Sleep: The Grand Mercure Apartments at The Vintage not only delivers private and comfortable apartment style accommodation, it’s also the perfect spot to tee off, with an 18-hole course on site. Or if you’re looking to impress that special someone, you can’t go past Spicers Vineyards Estate.
MORE: Check out the below video exploring Hunter Valley.
Drink: Some popular taste testers include Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate, Sandalford, Leeuwin Estate and Xanadu.
Eat: Hit up the local deli and pack your own picnic filled with fresh produce and local delicacies. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss the local chocolate and fudge factory. Alternatively, if you’re after a long, lazy winery lunch put Voyager Estate at the top of your list.
Sleep: After a big day of indulging in food and wine, you are going to need somewhere cozy to retreat. Cape Lodge is a boutique stay filled with romance and luxury. While Willy Bay Resort offers comfortable apartment style accommodation with vineyard views.
Drink: It’s all about the shiraz in the Barossa. Not to be missed is Artisans of Barossa, Seppeltsfield, Rockford, as well as Barossa’s most famous winery, Jacobs Creek.
Eat: If you’re looking to treat yourself, book a long lunch at award winning Hentley Farm. Other great options include Harvest Kitchen and Ferment Asian.
Sleep: There are plenty of accommodation options in the Barossa, however if luxury is on your mind head straight to Barossa Pavilions. The Novotel Barossa Valley Resort is also a great option if you’re after centrally located, resort style accommodation.
Have you visited any of these wine regions in Australia?