By Shell on Dec. 06, 2020
Australia’s varied geography is one reason we produce an exceptional range of wines. It’s also why there’s always somewhere new to visit, whether it’s coastal meandering, backblock touring or town-to-town jaunting.
Of course, you need to decide on who will be the designated driver before getting on the road. Never drink and drive.
The rolling countryside between Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance is dotted with small wineries. Start at Wyanga Park, a hidden gem just off the coast. Further north, tiny Tambo Winery welcomes BYO picnics, Nicholson River Winery has a bistro above its namesake waterway and Lightfoot & Sons overlooks cliffs behind Bairnsdale.
Four hours west of Sydney, this up-and-coming region is centred around Young. Get an overview at the retail cellar in the old railway station then hit Grove Estate for highly rated shiraz viognier. Head south to Ballinaclash Orchard where they farm cherries as well as grapes, then loop to Freeman Vineyards, which uses rare Italian varietals for its flagship secco.
An easy drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the Rim is ringed by ancient volcanic mountains. O’Reilly’s has picnic grounds, alpacas and outstanding verdelho and The Overflow Estate is an unmissable grazing property with century-old vines.
Looping 170km from Launceston, there are more than 30 cellar doors dotted through this cool climate region. Whites such as pinot gris are a mainstay, as well as excellent pinot noir. The Tamar Valley Wine Centre in Exeter gives a good overview and Josef Chromy is excellent for wine-focused lunching.
An hour from Adelaide, the Barossa is compact but bountiful. Start at Dutschke Wines for the sparkling chardonnay. On the way to Tanunda, there’s iconic Jacob’s Creek and St Hallett with its blockbuster shiraz. Turn right at Nuriootpa for grand Yalumba, which has masterclasses and barrel-making demonstrations.
Passionate organic winemakers abound in this region. At Blind Corner, you can tour the vines and enjoy the buzz of beehives. Stormflower Vineyard is a pretty spot with a local produce menu. Settlers Ridge is remarkable for its organic port. Burnside Organic Farm has accommodation as well as biodynamic drops.
There are more than 30 cellar doors within half an hour of Australia’s capital. Essential stops include Clonakilla for shiraz and bijoux Helm Wines in an old schoolhouse - don’t miss the highly rated rieslings.