The Weekly Getaway: The Ultimate Wine Tour in Australia
The Land Down Under has earned its reputation many times over as the world’s most diverse continent when it comes to wildlife, the home to incredible natural habitats, and every foodie’s dreamland. It’s no wonder then that it’s also a famous destination for wine connoisseurs, as their incredible vintages have traveled the globe and mesmerized even the pickiest palates. While it’s impossible to enumerate all of the country’s wine regions, let alone describe them with words alone, let’s dive into the delicate wine world of Australia and give you some of its finest spots to explore!
As one of Australia’s most famous wine regions, and deservedly so, it makes perfect sense to recommend Margaret River as one of the top spots for your wine tasting adventure. Situated south of Perth in the embrace of Western Australia, it is home to numerous boutique wineries that will take your breath away. This is precisely where some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon sips are made, and you will be equally pleased by the food that accompanies their gourmet wine experience.
For those residing in Melbourne, a brief escape into the Yarra Valley which is only 90 kilometers away is a perfect way to spend a weekend. Riddled with Mediterranean influences coming from Italy, this wine region produces exquisitely rich cool climate wines. For those with a sweet tooth, you can indulge in superior quality chocolate in the local Chocolaterie, and dairy lovers will be able to taste incredible cheese selections carefully chosen by the local chefs.
● Hike the Kokoda Track – Yarra Valley’s most famous hiking trail is also one of the most beautiful scenic walks you’ll ever take. The steep 5-kilometer return hike is a challenge, but the backdrop of the famous Dandelion Ranges and the incredible views will take the edge away.
● See the mesmerizing caves – Margaret River is not just a superficial beauty, so to speak. Its underground complex of caves, from Jewel Cave to Ngilgi Cave, gives you a unique glance at this region’s authentic natural legacy.
● Experience the small town spirit – Amidst the riches of Adelaide Hills and its numerous wineries, you should also take some time to explore its small towns such as the likes of Birdwood, located next to the Torrens River in this region.
● Chateau Elan and its exquisite service – Hidden in the vast plains of Hunter Valley, this all-encompassing resort and spa is ideal for those who like their stay to be fuss-free. Set up your wine tours straight from your bed and spend a day playing golf or getting pampered in their impeccable spa.
● Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa – conveniently placed in the heart of Yarra Valley, and less than an hour from Melbourne, this gem of a resort is perfect for tasting the best this region has to offer. You can take tours to numerous wineries in this region from your accommodation, and diversify your stay with a more extensive wine menu.
● The boutique feel of The Louise – For those heading to Barossa Valley for their wine adventure, this should be your must-visit accommodation for at least a couple of nights. The hotel’s incredible restaurant comes with an equally amazing wine list containing some of the local favorites.
● Patricia’s Table Restaurant – If you find yourself roaming the rugged trails of Victoria’s town of Milawa, take a detour and stop by the Brown Brothers estate for the sake of their restaurant, serving authentic Aussie cuisine paired with perfect wines (an added perk: they do the pairing for you). The Italian influence is widespread here in King Valley, hence the notable wine varieties like Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.
● Harvest Kitchen – The six different, but united winemakers of Artisans of Barossa have gone the extra mile in creating a locally-inspired menu to tease every palate. Those traveling in groups can opt for the “Feed Me Like a Barossan” menu, perfectly crafted by the hosts. Expect some of the finest Shiraz to come your way!
● The dreamy Olivigna Restaurant & Winery – There is no better place when you choose to visit Victoria’s wine hotspots, as you will be wined and dined like never before in this villa infused with pure Italian spirit. Think: homemade pastas and Prosecco produced on the estate.
● Vasse Felix for a quick bite – Are you eager for a full meal or would you rather just munch on cheese and sip on the local wine? This restaurant in Margaret River offers both, depending on your mood and preference. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the local bests, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
● Ugly Duckling Wines to pamper your palate – Despite the quirky name, the food and wine menus are divine, and even if you’re not up for a full meal, this is the dreamiest place for an afternoon snack made up of cheese, crackers, bread, and delicious locally produced wines, including some exotic blends such as their Reserve Verdelho with mango.