Wine tours are a popular way to pass the time while travelling around Australia but with so many wineries on offer, how do you find which one may suit you best?
Australia has more than 2400 wineries in 65 wine regions around the country. These regions grow more than 100 grape varieties that end up in the more than 30 million glasses of Australian wine consumed around the world every day.
The key is pairing the wine you like with the region that is best suited for those wines.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Perhaps Australia’s most famous wine region. You simply can’t beat the Barossa Valley when it comes to Shiraz. As well as more than 70 wineries, the Barossa is home to award-winning restaurants, stone churches and heritage buildings, in a uniquely Australian landscape of gum trees and vineyards. Tour the Barossa and you’ll see the well-preserved 160-year-old villages, chateaus and churches, gracious heritage towns, century-old cellars and some of the world’s oldest Shiraz vineyards.
King Valley, Victoria
King Valley in Victoria is home to the Australian ‘Prosecco Road’ – a 50km food and wine trail, where they produce an Australian version of Italy’s premier sparkling wine, using the same grape – Glera. Since 2000, when Otto Dal Zotto planted the first prosecco vines in the King Valley, five other local winemakers have begun producing the sparkling Italian white. Surrounded by spectacular alpine scenery, the area is heavily influenced by the Italian migrants who have settled in the area, and has some great food options, including Dal Zotto’s Trattoria.
Adelaide Hills, South Australia
The Adelaide Hills is the most unexpected spot in South Australia when it comes to wine. Sporting a smooth mixture of experimental and traditional blends, this up and coming region is a place for those seeking sophistication and relaxation. Taking up 70kms of South Australia, the Adelaide Hills is home to over 100 wineries, many sporting eco-certifications, local produce and organic wares. While some cellar doors revel in the small production of only a few hundred bottles a year, other wineries have varieties that can be found on the most sophisticated wine lists around the world. Some bigger, better known wineries include Nepenthe, Shaw and Smith, Bird in Hand, Pike & Joyce, Artwine and Sidewood. There is then a raft of smaller, high quality wineries including Ashton Hills, Deviation Road Cellars, Hahndorf Hill, Howard Park, Tilbrook Wines, Barristers Block, Golding Wines and Talunga.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay
Margaret River, Western Australia
The Margaret River Wine Region is located in the far south-west corner of Western Australia, and is one of the most geographically isolated and pure wine regions in the world. The region was ‘discovered’ in the mid-1960s after various pieces of scientific research from Professor Harold Olmo (USA) and Dr John Gladstones (Australia) identified it as a potentially favourable grape-growing region. Historically, the Margaret River wine region has been known predominantly for the superior quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon, and the area is also renowned for making some of the world’s best Chardonnay.