5 Australian Wine Regions You Must Visit

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 over 70 wineries, with the region’s cooler 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.

Rows of vines in the Yarra Yering vineyard in the Yarra Valley of Victoria, Australia. © Gina Kelley / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Hot air balloons flying over the vineyards. Hunter Valley, New South Wales © Travelscape Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The Barossa Valley, South Australia

Steeped in history, the Barossa Valley was shaped by German settlers in 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.

Main street of the village of Greenock, Barossa Valley © Philip Game / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Homestead and vineyard of Vasse Felix, the oldest winery in the Margaret River region, Cowaramup © Hilke Maunder / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Australian Winery – Linderman’s Pokolbin Hunter Valley © John Martin - Fotografo / Alamy Stock Photo