Yarra Valley

As Victoria’s oldest and most popular wine region, the Yarra Valley is home to more than 80 wineries scattered across its vine-covered hills. Its close proximity to Melbourne also makes the Yarra Valley a convenient host to several wine festivals throughout the year. Visitors will want to concentrate on the valley’s “wine triangle,” bounded by Healesville, Yarra Glen, and Coldstream.

Prepare to fill your schedule with wine tastings, spa treatments, and gourmet picnics composed from local gourmet delis. Those craving adventure with their pinot noir can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the gold-flecked fields and vineyards or a walk through the ruggedly gorgeous Yarra Ranges National Park.

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Barossa Valley

Hot, dry summers and moderate winters make the Barossa Valley ideal for growing incredible grapes. It's no wonder, then, that roughly one-fifth of the country’s wine is produced here, though the valley is just 25 kilometres long. The 150 wineries that call Barossa home are often situated in clusters, with Seppeltsfield Road passing by 16 different wineries.

For true convenience, consider stopping at the Barossa Small Winemakers Centre, which offers more than 80 boutique wines. Throughout the valley, Gothic churches and stone cottages are prevalent in the German-settled towns, as are wurst and sauerkraut on the local menus.

Tamar Valley

Tasmania’s mild summers and long autumn days are similar to those of the Champagne region in France, making it perfect for cool-climate wines. And the Tamar Valley, north of Launceston, is considered one of the premier wine-growing areas of the island. Look for riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris, and gewurztraminer, many of them sold under the Tamar Valley Wine Route banner.

Foodies will find a bounty of tour options beyond the vineyard, from orchards and olive groves to salmon farms and truffle woods.

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Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Margaret River

Cooled by breezes off the Indian Ocean, the vineyards of this far-western region have gained acclaim for their phenomenal cabernets and chardonnays. Wine lovers from afar tend to outnumber locals here, particularly during the high season. Beyond the vine, they’re drawn to the region’s string of limestone caves, incredible surfing at Southside and Margaret River Mouth, and the picturesque town of Margaret River.

The town comes to life especially in the evenings, when surrounding wineries close shop and the restaurants are buzzing with excitement.

Hunter Valley

Known for its plump, juicy shiraz and long-aging semillon, the Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in the country. Vintners first planted vines in the 1820s, though the region experienced a true renaissance starting in the 1960s. Today, the area is as popular for its wines as its unpretentious attitude.

Both novice and sophisticated wine fans travel here to quaff wines and take in the main attractions: the 24-hectare Hudson Valley Gardens, sunset hot air balloon rides, and the quirkily fascinating Wollombi Courthouse, displaying odd bits of history like old grocery store ledgers and antique dental tools.

 

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