There are many exotic locations, all around the globe, which boast to have the premium wines regions of the world. However, the humble Australian does not need to go to the far corners of the earth to find a world class wine experience. Fabulous wineries, with rich history and culture, exist throughout this amazing continent – all that is needed is a little research and direction and you'll find a wine experience that is up with the world’s best!
Margaret RiverMargaret River as a wine region is relatively young, only establishing its first serious vine plantation in 1967. However, the hard work and passion of the 120 local producers have put Margaret River on the world map. The Mediterranean climate of the region lends to prime conditions for producing vines, fruit and ultimately wines that dominate 20 precent of the Australia's premium wine market. When arriving for a tour of the 5500 hectares of combined vine properties, you will also find some of the best surf beaches in the world, not only due to their waves but also the sheer beauty of pristine waters rugged coastline.
Hunter ValleyJust outside of Sydney, you will find one of Australia's most established wine regions. The first vines being planted in the early 19th century, the region has become known primarily for its Semillon, but is also a producer of Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Verdelho. Being in such close proximity to Sydney, the region receives a steady flow of tourist traffic which attracts with it national and international artists who come along to entertain under starry sky's for many wine admirers. As well as great wine and entertainment, you will find local restaurateurs who have a passionate commitment to local and high quality produce, many of which have their own organic gardens to supply their restaurants!
The Barossa ValleyThe Barossa is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, and as a result has a strong history and community that surrounds the industry. Known for its Shiraz, the region also produces fine varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon. The culture of the Barossa Valley is one of friendly competitiveness that inspires new and innovative food and wine ideas that is driven by seven generations of food and wine tradition.
The Yarra ValleyBeing established for 160 years, the Yarra Valley was the first wine region of Victoria. Due to the Yarra Valley's varied topography it is a producer of a range of fine wines. The cooler higher area's make for fine production of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, whilst the lower warmer regions lend to high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. As well as good wine, the area is beautiful for sightseeing with snow-capped ranges in the winter and blue gums surrounding the horizon in summer. Take a hot air balloon ride to fully absorb the majestic sprawl of this fine wine country.
The Coonawarra381 kilometres southeast of Adelaide lies the Coonawarra wine region. Coonawarra is known to have one of the finest soils for growing vines in the world. The red soil lies as a thin layer over limestone, rich in nutrients and minerals and drains very well. This earthen gold mine for wineries however is only a very small strip that runs 14 kilometres long and 2 kilometres wide. It provides the perfect environment for producing Cabernet Sauvignon. The cellar doors are open here 7 days a week with 24 wineries to choose from. Throughout the year there are many events and festivals that offer the perfect opportunity to head out to the area and try their wines whilst enjoying the local culture.
There are plenty more wine regions out on the Australian horizon to explore, but these are a good start that will not leave you disappointed. Stay a while in each location to get to know the locals and their close community spirit that drives a culture that is passionate about good wine, good food and sharing ideas and inspirations that continue for generations!
Written by Alice Boyd
Alice has been writing about her travel in Australia for nearly 12 months. Her most memorable experiences are watching sunset in the Northern Territory and the Uluru tours. The next adventure on her bucket list is to do sky diving in the Tropical North Queensland.