Wine and Dine at Australia’s Best Wineries
Australia is blessed with the climate and lands that make it perfect as a winemaking country. These conditions, enjoyed by over 60 regions across the continent, help to make some of the best-selling wines in the world. There are over two thousand wineries in Australia, each one unique in their blends, bottled to be enjoyed across the country and abroad. The wine industry now goes beyond the traditional vineyard and cellar setting. Wineries offer a whole experience for visitors to enjoy their products. In Australia’s best wineries, a whole itinerary of guided tours, tastings, food and wine matching, blending, and cooking classes can be seen. These wineries have expanded their services and now include restaurants, exclusive tours, golf days and accommodations. Let us now explore the best wine regions in the country.
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1. Josef Chromy Wines, Tasmania
A relatively new player, Josef Chromy Wines has been making a big impact on the wine industry. Launched in 2007 at Tamar Valley in Tasmania, the winery is the culmination of owner Josef Chromy’s decades of experience in the food and wine industry. What makes the winery unique is its location. Although the cool climate poses challenges to winemaking, it is still free from extreme weather, allowing the best quality grapes to be harvested. The state-of-the-art-equipment respects the cool-climate fruits, allowing the winery to be one of the few that has the ability to grow and bottle the grapes within the premises. Josef Chromy Wines offers a total winery experience for its visitors. You can take part in guided tours, have a crack at blending your own sparkling wine, taste the best meals that will match your wine, or go on fly fishing or “ride the vines” activities. You can also choose to enjoy a luxurious vacation as you go on a helicopter ride or play a round of golf, and stay at the lavish accommodation overlooking the vineyards, a picturesque lake, and the old English gardens in the property.
2. St Hugo, Barossa Valley, SA
St. Hugo has been in the winery business since the mid-1800s. The restored building reflects its long relationship with Barossa and the rich history of the family behind the winery. The cork tree plantation welcomes guests as you enter this Australian winery that should not be missed. The experience that St. Hugo offers starts with a tour of the vineyard, through the guided tasting of the wines to the multi-course lunch that you will enjoy with the drinks. As in any dining place, the best table is the Chef’s Table that allows you to see through the kitchen. This is a unique experience as you will be able to interact with your chef, talking about the ingredients and techniques they use to prepare your meal. You can also book a helicopter tour that will take you through the scenic Barossa, followed by a tasting of their private collection of vintage and special blends.
3. Mandoon Estate, Swan Valley, WA
The famous Roe Family Property in Swan Valley has been around since the 1840s. In 2008, it was purchased by the Erceg family and the Mandoon Estate was established. It was the dream of the new owners to realize the potential of the area as a winemaking region while still keeping the historical and cultural heritage of the property. In 2010, the Mandoon Estate Winery was opened. Since then, Mandoon Estate has become one of Australia’s best wineries, is the home of award-winning wines, showcasing the best of what the region can offer, as well as the other premium wines in the Western Australian area. Aside from the cellar door, a microbrewery and beer garden are also in the vicinity of the Estate. It also features The Colony, an accommodation on site that has rooms and suites that overlook a section of the Swan River. The gourmet deli and the Estate’s Wild Swan, its fine dining restaurant, and the Linton & Kay Art Gallery complete the luxurious experience that Mandoon Estate offers.
4. Montalto, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
This winery that sits on a stunning property that features an olive grove, wetlands, and secluded sites gives visitors a one of a kind experience. The Montalto gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in their wine-making process through guided walks at the vineyards in the estate, a “single vineyard” tour down the dirt roads, to the discovery tasting and perfect pairing of their award-winning wines. Enjoy their divine dishes at the Piazza, the café in the property that offers outstanding views where meals are prepared under their “estate to plate” philosophy. You can also book a picnic in one of their secluded sites where you can have warm food together with your choice of wine. You can even book for a luxurious package, where you can play at the renowned National Golf Club, topped with feast paired with the estate’s wines.
5. Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Coming from generations of visionaries, this 175-year old brand is highly revered as Australia’s best. Penfolds Magill Estate has heritage-listed cellars, underground tunnels, and the original vineyard from the mid-1800s, giving you a glimpse of its rich history. At one point, Penfolds was producing a third of Australia’s wine, and to this day, it still remains to be one of the biggest and most-loved wineries in the country. Its most famous brand is the Penfolds Grange, a world-class wine that, on its 50th anniversary, was heritage-listed in South Australia. Visiting the Estate is a celebration of fine wine and good food that only the best wineries in Australia can offer. The Magill Estate Kitchen is open to guests who want to enjoy a long casual lunch with a cheese flight and wine pairing while overlooking the majestic views of the vineyard and Adelaide city. At the Estate Restaurant, enjoy contemporary food carefully prepared according to the season, the flavours you prefer, and the wine that you will pair it with. End your visit at the Penfolds Cellar Doors where you can customize your gift with a personalized plaque, a perfect souvenir for the perfect winery experience.
6. Leeuwin Estate Winery, Margaret River, WA
Leeuwin Estate Winery is owned by a family that is one of the founding wineries in the Margaret River area. With two generations working with a team of skilled winemakers, the Estate has continuously produced world-class wines that are exported to over 30 countries. Leeuwin is proud to be a cultural gathering place in their area, offering winery as well as dining and cultural experiences that make it unique in the industry. It has an award-winning restaurant that creates thoughtful dishes to perfectly pair with your wine, packages for tastings where wine and good food are celebrated, an art gallery that features works that are used in different Leeuwin wines, a private cooking demonstration that features the best product of the region, summertime concerts, and a private flight to enjoy the beauty of the Margaret River. You can customize your itinerary to include the best of what the Estate can offer – winery tour, wine tasting, and catered lunch among them.
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7. Jacob’s Creek, Barossa Valley, SA
Also found in Barossa Valley is Jacob’s Creek, a winery with over a hundred years of experience in winemaking. The winery offers a wide range of activities that will make you appreciate their products more. Start by taking a bike ride to visit the vineyards or take a picnic on one of the spots on the ground. Join a Food and Wine Masterclass or the Cooking Class where you can broaden your palate and enjoy the seasonal dishes prepared from local ingredients. You can take a tour of the vineyard and join wine tasting groups to fully appreciate the product of the land. You can even join an exciting winemaking class that allows you to create your own blend according to your preferences. The bottle is produced on-site, making for a perfect souvenir or gift for your family.
8. d’Arenberg Winery, McLaren Vale, SA
The traditional processes of making wine with grapes being basket-pressed, foot treading, and traditional fermentation are still being followed at d’Arenberg Winery. Although labour-intensive, these ensure that only the best wines are produced. d’Arenberg offers the ultimate winery experience in Australia, starting from the tasting room at the Cube, to the modern art gallery, to even a flying day over the McLaren region to enjoy its scenic beaches and vineyards. Enjoy cheese plates and join in wine tasting masterclasses over the spectacular view that the d’Arry’s Verandah, the winery’s award-winning restaurant, offers. Blend and name your own wine at the Blending Beach followed by an eight-course meal at the Verandah for an ultimate luxury winery experience.
9. De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Yarra Valley, Victoria
The Yarra Valley is a cool-climate region that produces some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of Australia. Managed by the De Bortoli family since the 1920s, the Estate of composed of three vineyard estates over 240 hectares of property. The visitor centre houses the Cellar Door where counter tasting and cheese-and-wine pairings can be enjoyed. The Italian heritage of the family is strongly felt at the Locale Restaurant. , seasonal menus, and a range of both imported and local cheese, meats and salumi can be enjoyed at Locale. All these, plus the Italian desserts served at the restaurant, are paired with De Bortoli wines, ensuring the perfect wining and dining experience for you.
10. Sirromet Vineyards, Grantie Belt, Queensland
Queensland may not be a famous winemaking region but the people behind Sirromet Vineyards have been proving the notion wrong for the past two decades. Located in Mt. Cotton and overlooking Moreton Bay, it makes a visit to this winery is an experience in itself. Take a tour of the winery and partake in tastings at the cellar door. You can also enjoy al fresco fare at the Tuscan Terrace or fine dining at Restaurant Lurleen’s. Extend your stay at Sirromet and you will be able to enjoy the unique glamping experience –glamorous camping at the Sanctuary by Sirromet.
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Wineries have come a long way since the first vineyards were started in Australia. From just winemaking, it has become a whole industry that offers a lot of products and services. Visitors of Australia’s best wineries will find themselves mesmerized by the scenic landscape and overwhelmed by the delicious food prepared at on-site restaurants. Visiting wineries have become day-long or even weekend-long vacations, as activities such as biking through the vineyards, guided tours of the winery, and even high-end packages like golf games and helicopter rides are offered by some estates. Accommodations are provided for visitors who would like to take their time in immersing themselves in this industry, enjoying the good food from the region, perfectly paired with wines produced by the winery.
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