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5 Australian Wine Regions You Must Visit

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 30 July 2018
Australia’s viticulture began with the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Since then, wine making has expanded with more than 100 different grape varieties across 65 designated wine regions. If you consider yourself a wine sommelier, then drink your way through the best of Australia’s wine regions.

Yarra Valley, Victoria

Victoria’s wine industry can be traced to a vineyard at Yering Station in 1938. Today, the Yarra Valley boasts 300 vineyards and 160 wineries, with the region’s coolers climate lending itself to the production of sparkling Chardonnay, aromatic Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. Wine makers in this region are also known for their revolutionary production practices, while maintaining a respect for the land crafting emerging varieties.

Rochford Wines vineyard in Yarra Valley Australia
Rochford Wines vineyard in Yarra Valley Australia | © MusikAnimal/WikiCommons

Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Established in the mid-19th century by the father of Australian wine James Busby, who brought 20,000 vine cuttings to Australia from Europe, the Hunter Valley is best known for its full-flavoured Chardonnay, earthy Shiraz and Semillon, which develops rich complexities with age. The Hunter Valley’s proximity to Sydney lures event organisers and world-famous performers such as Elton John and The Rolling Stones. The region also hosts the annual Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.

Hunter Valley View with vineyards
Hunter Valley View with vineyards | © Zach Casper/WikiCommons

The Barossa Valley, South Australia

Steeped in history, the Barossa Valley was shaped by German settlers is 1842 and is home to some of the oldest vines in the world, many of which are over a century old. In fact, the Langmeil Freedom vineyard was established in 1843 and is still abundant today. Located approximately an hour’s drive north of Adelaide, the Barossa is renowned for its full-bodied Shiraz as well as Chardonnay, Eden Valley Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. With more than 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors, there are plenty of varieties to sample.

Bethany, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Bethany, Barossa Valley, South Australia | © Stephen Michael Barnett/Flickr

Margaret River, Western Australia

Geographically isolated, Margaret River is located in the Southwest corner of Western Australia. In only 50 years, the region has built a reputation as one of the foremost provinces for fine wine with approximately 215 boutique wine produces, accounting for 20 per cent of Australia’s premium wines. Margaret River is said share a similar climate to that of Burgundy, France and is best known for Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

2016 Margaret River Australia. Hay shed hill winery 2
2016 Margaret River Australia. Hay shed hill winery 2 | © Lasthib/WikiCommons

Coonawarra, South Australia

Coonawarra, which is the Aboriginal word for Honeysuckle, is a South Australian wine region located on the Limestone Coast bordering Victoria. Synonymous for its rust coloured “terra rossa” soil, Coonawarra is best known for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, but the maritime conditions are also suited to Shiraz, which was once the most dominant vine variety in the area.

Rainbow Coonawarra, South Australia
Rainbow Coonawarra, South Australia | © Kenny Lee/Flickr