One of life’s great delights is a weekend road trip to a winery.
There’s a lot to like. Good food, wine enjoyed in the environment it was created, and a dose of fresh country air.
There’s also something wonderful about meeting the passionate wine makers, and taking home some lovingly crafted wines from their cellar doors.
With travel currently restricted to our own backyard, it’s time to start planning a few little road adventures. So let’s look at some of the best destination wineries around the country.
You can feel good about venturing out, discovering some new wines, and supporting the local economy. Everyone’s a winner.
* Please note that some of these cellar doors and restaurants are currently closed due to COVID, but will hopefully be reopening soon. Be sure to check individual websites before visiting for up to date opening hours.
Brokenwood has been given a stunning makeover. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
BROKENWOOD, HUNTER VALLEY, NSW
With a new cellar door designed by innovative architects, Villa & Villa, this is one of the most spectacular spots to visit in the Hunter Region. Featuring unique circular tasting “pods”, an expansive outdoor terrace with views over the valley, private tasting and dining rooms, and a wine museum overlooking the working barrel hall.
There are both casual and formal dining options. Have a low-key bite in the Cru Bar + Pantry, or splurge with a visit to The Wood Restaurant where you can opt for a “soil-to-cellar” experience that matches your meal with the wineries best bottles.
Visitors enjoying food and wine at Lowe Wines, Mudgee.Source:Supplied
LOWE WINES, MUDGEE, NSW
The home of beautiful organic and biodynamic wines, Lowe Wines invites guests to immerse themselves in the true Mudgee experience with a guided wine tasting, leisurely stroll around the Tinja property and a regional platter and glass of wine on the terrace.
Bookings are essential for the Lowe Tasting Experience (which is the sole wine tasting opportunity at the cellar door), but if you wish to simply enjoy a platter and wine on the property, you are welcome to find a spot on the lawns, under the trees or near the dam without a booking.
A wine tasting with a view at Yering Station in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.Source:Supplied
NASHDALE LANE, ORANGE, NSW
Sitting on the volcanic slopes of Mt Canobolas, Orange is internationally recognised for its array of cool-climate wines including pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, shiraz and tempranillo. If you’re partial to a stunning sunset along with your glass of shiraz, you can’t go past a stop into Nashdale Lane Wines.
Nashdale Lane have a standout shiraz as part of their ‘Colour Series’.Source:Supplied
Nestled about a 10 minutes drive from the town centre, with luxurious glamping tents set within the vineyard available for overnight stays, Nashdale vines grow from soil that is volcanic in nature, giving each variant a distinct taste. Their standout is their sauvignon blanc fumé, but if you’re more of a red drinker (and who isn’t when temperatures dip below zero most nights) – give their ‘Colour Series’ Shiraz a go, or even the 2018 Legacy pinot noir.
Nashdale Lane winery is the perfect place to stay and drink the afternoon away.Source:Supplied
YERING STATION, YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA
This is Victoria’s first vineyard, established in 1838. Today the Yering Station label produces a range of wines truly expressive of the Yarra Valley’s terroir including classics Chardonnay, pinot noir and Shiraz Viognier, as well as sparkling wine released under the Yarrabank label.
Housed in the original winery building, the cellar door offers visitors the opportunity to taste the full range of Yering Station wines. There is also an onsite art gallery, a wine bar with delicious cheese platters, a produce store with a vast array of handmade, artisanal local produce, and a restaurant serving a seasonal menu.
The sun rises on the sculpture park at Point Leo Estate in Victoria. Picture: Paul O’ConnellSource:Supplied
POINT LEO ESTATE, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VICTORIA
A highlight on Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula, Point Leo Estate boasts a meandering sculpture park spread over 135 hectares of landscaped grounds on the hillside, with the bay as its backdrop. After spending some time exploring the artworks and drinking in the sunshine, treat yourself to a degustation meal at the hatted Laura restaurant, where chef Phil Wood works some serious magic with local produce from the region.
D’Arenberg in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Picture: Roy Van Der VegtSource:News Corp Australia
D’ARENBERG, MCLAREN VALE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
D’Arenberg makes superb red wines, but these days the architecture is worth the trip alone. The new five-story tasting room and restaurant is inspired by a Rubik’s cube and offers amazing views across the Willunga Hills, the Gulf St Vincent and McLaren Vale. Here you can opt to book a spot at the “blending bench” where you get the chance to blend and bottle your own wine. Afterwards, indulge in an eight course food and wine degustation at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant.
St Hugo is something of an Australian icon.Source:News Corp Australia
ST HUGO, BAROSSA VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Located in the world-renowned Barossa, St Hugo honours the visionary winemaker, Hugo Gramp and is located within the ruins of William Jacob’s winery, built over 150 years ago. Enjoy guided tastings, visits to the vineyard, specially crafted wine flights in the luxurious lounge and superb regional cuisine in the restaurant. If you really want to treat yourself, spring for the “Prestige Experience” which includes a helicopter flight over breathtaking Barossa landscapes.
Pemberton marron with baby tomatoes, green olive, lemon, oregano and yarrow with tomato water. Just one of the incredible dishes at Cullen Wines in the Margaret River region of WA.Source:Supplied
CULLEN WINES, MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The vineyards at Cullen are grown using biodynamic techniques and are certified organic. The restaurant overlooks the historic vineyard and in keeping with the philosophy in the vineyard, all dishes are prepared using fresh, organic produce that is sourced from their own garden and select local producers. If you want to get the gang together for a visit you can opt to stay in their Homestead – it contains six bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living area with a huge stone fireplace.
Exploring the art gallery at Leeuwin Estate.Source:Supplied
LEEUWIN ESTATE, MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
An estate with an international reputation for producing outstanding wines, this vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River region boasts an award-winning restaurant (and a private airstrip). Visitors are welcome to tour the winemaking process and sample the wines. Special events are held throughout the year, including cooking classes, wine dinners and an annual alfresco summer concert series. The Leeuwin “Art Series” wine labels have become famous – wander through the estate’s art gallery to see the more than 100 paintings from Australia’s leading contemporary artists that have been commissioned to feature on the labels.
Wandering among the vines at Pooley Wines in Tasmania.Source:Supplied
POOLEY WINES, RICHMOND, TASMANIA
Established in 1985 in the Coal River Valley, this winery is much loved by Tassie locals. At the heart of the winery is an imposing sandstone farmhouse where much of the socialising takes place. The winery really comes to life on Sundays when the wood-fired pizza oven is cranked up and you can sip a glass of their excellent pinot noir on a bean bag on the lawn overlooking the flats surrounding the Coal River.
Fan of pinots? You’re going to love Tamar Ridge.Source:Supplied
TAMAR RIDGE, TAMAR VALLEY, TASMANIA
Just 20 minutes north of Launceston, this is the home of excellent pinot noirs, which makes it a great place to visit in the cooler months. Head along to enjoy a full wine tasting, or book in for the daily seated tasting experience. On weekends, select bites from the bar menu created by Hubert & Dan. And if you’re also into gin, pop over to Turner Stillhouse, a new craft distillery located next door to Tamar Ridge.
Sirromet winery in QLD also has glamping accommodation at the beautifully serene "Sanctuary".Source:Supplied
SIRROMET, GRANITE BELT, QUEENSLAND
The Granite Belt is making a name for itself as the home of some truly interesting wines. Sirromet has been a bit of a wine mecca since it opened in 2000. They are known for their chardonnays and viogniers, as well as sparkling reds. While the wines are worth the trip, it’s topped off by beautiful scenery, an outstanding restaurant and super cool glamping accommodation onsite.
A man who knows his wines … Ken Helm from Helm Wines.Source:News Limited
HELM WINES, CANBERRA DISTRICT
Raise your glass to a palate-pleasing experience at Helm Wines, where they are known for producing award-winning rieslings and Cabernet Sauvignons. The winery, which has been given a 5-star rating by James Halliday, is a must-visit for anyone heading to the Canberra region. The tasting room is the 1888 Toual Public School House which is listed by the National Trust. Ironically, it was once used for meetings of the Temperance League, where locals signed the pledge against alcohol.
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