Australia is well known worldwide as a wine-producing nation, and for good reason; it has over 65 gorgeous regions specialising in the fermentation of grapes.
Its rural vineyards are also considered idyllic spots for a weekend or longer getaways.
It’s not simply the picturesque countryside views and tantalising tasting sessions these vineyards offer:
It’s also about extra experiences - high-end restaurants, in-depth tours, and sophisticated spas are some of the features on offer at certain cellar doors.
So what are you waiting for?
These are the vineyards to strike off your (Pinot Noir filled) bucket list.
South Australia – Adelaide Hills
Make a beeline for Adelaide – Australia’s so-called wine capital – if you’re a fan of Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Specifically, head southeast of the city to bask in the crisp climate of Adelaide Hills.
Spot bucolic farms in the middle of nowhere punctuated by tiny towns with European-esque architecture.
Snaking through the peaceful valleys and verdant hills of this vibrant wine region is almost as pleasant as taste-testing the wines themselves.
- Bird in Hand, Woodside SA
Bird in Hand, formerly a cheese and yoghurt factory, is now a meeting place for wine and music lovers who congregate for outdoor concerts – think everything from local acts to The John Butler Trio – on the vineyard’s land.
This 100-acre winery is the brainchild of Andrew Nugent, who started cultivating the olive grove and grape crops almost 20 years ago.
Wine to try: The sparkling Pinot Noir is Bird in Hand’s most popular tipple, but we recommend the Nest Egg Chardonnay, which won Winestate Magazine’s Australian Wine of the Year award in 2015.
- Shaw & Smith, Balhannah SA
This winery is named after founding owners and cousins – Martin Shaw and Michael Smith, who launched their joint venture in 1989.
It’s known for its Long Table Lunches, where culinary treats infused with local ingredients are paired with wines from Australia, New Zealand, and France.
Wine to try: Distilled from grapes chosen by hand, The Shaw and Smith Riesling with its citrus and apple flavours is a true delight.
New South Wales - Hunter Valley
Vino connoisseurs and visitors to New South Wales’s capital will be pleased to know one of Australia’s most vintage wine-producing areas is just a couple of hours away by car.
The Hunter Valley proffers fine beverages, finer foods, and the finest lodges tucked away in a rural paradise.
- Wyndham Estate, Dalwood NSW
Some of Australia’s history-filled vineyards are over 150 years old, including Wyndham, one of the oldest estates in the Hunter Valley.
This phenomenal lodge was launched in 1828 by its namesake, George Wyndham.
It is also where Australian Shiraz was first kick-started into production around the same time.
A trip to Dalton House and the riverside park, as well as wine and chocolate masterclasses, are highlights of a visit to this winery.
Wine to Try: A Shiraz or another full-bodied wine, of course. Preferably from the George Wyndham range.
- Tallavera Grove, Mount View NSW
Touted as one of the most under-the-radar spots in the entire valley, this Mount View vineyard shines due to its Italian-influenced decor and transcendently lovely views.
Its surrounding area is also known for its microclimate and small batches – hence the elite quality of the wines.
Wine to Try: The Carillion Orange Crystals Chardonnay, which recently bagged the 2015 Wine of the Show prize at the Orange Wine Show.
Western Australia - Margaret River and more
Nine wonderful wine regions punctuate Western Australia, each one as varied as the other.
As well as charming, independent wineries, there are beautiful national parks and thrilling bush trails to explore.
The cooler climate means fresh, crisp vintages excel here.
Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River WA
This world-renowned winery specialises in Chardonnay and Semillion Sauvignon Blanc.
But this is no mere cellar door; it also has an art gallery with more than 100 modern paintings from artists from all over Australia.
Well-chosen wine and food pairings make the restaurant an excellent dining choice, too.
Wine to Try: The 2011 Art Series Chardonnay, a wonderful vintage that has won several prizes.
- Singlefile, Denmark WA
Singlefile’s name was inspired by the geese that roam this tranquil Denmark estate.
Anyone who visits will notice that there’s a sense that simplicity embodies the estate and its wines.
The beverages produced here – including an award-winning Pinot Noir and 2013 Family Reserve Chardonnay – are all made with as little mechanical or human interference as possible.
The destination itself is associated with cool-climate wines such as Chardonnay.
Wine to Try: The Single Vineyard Denmark Pinot Noir is a must try; it’s Singlefile senior winemaker Coby Ladwig’s favourite.
Insure your trip and rove around these wonderful wineries free from any worries with domestic travel insurance.