Here is a compilation of recommendations of the best wine regions in Australia. Throughout Australia, there are 65 wine regions, each with its own unique geography, climate and soils. Within these 65 wine regions in Australia, more than 100 different grape varieties can be found, however, Shiraz and Chardonnay are grown in every region and make up 44% of the total wine production.
As many of you well know through personal experience, Australian wine ranks among the world’s best. Whether you enjoy sitting and sipping an icy cold wine among the vineyards, or prefer to get in-depth knowledge of the winemaking world, there’s a cellar door somewhere in Australia to suit. Unwind with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in Coonawarra or a Margaret River Riesling.
Whatever your style, drink your way through the best of Australia’s wine regions.
READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE TRIP PLANNER FOR AUSTRALIA
Did You Know?
- Australia’s grapevines are some of the oldest in the world. In the 1800’s, many established vineyards in Europe and Australia were destroyed by the phylloxera pest, but thanks to strict quarantine rules, South Australia remained unaffected.
- On average, Australians consume 29.6 litres of wine per person each year.
- About two million bottles of wine leave Australia every day to go to 111 international markets, which equates to about 60% of our total wine production.
- The most expensive bottle of Australian wine ever sold in the world is the Penfold’s 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon. It sold for $168,000 in 2012.
“And how could I believe that Australian wine was automatically inferior to wine sourced from other regions on the planet when I had never drunk anything but liquid nitrogen?”– Matt Haig –
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Best Wine Regions in South Australia
Barossa Valley Wine Region
Recommended by Holly at ‘Globeblogging’
This lush valley in South Australia is probably one of the best known of Australia’s wine regions, and for good reason! A popular day trip from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley completes any trip to South Australia, especially for the wine lovers. With a solid worldwide reputation for its red wines due to the warm climate, it also produces a large amount of white wine. One of the oldest wine regions in Australia, it was founded by German settlers, and some Shiraz vines are over 100 years old.
At less than a one hour drive from Adelaide, it’s an easy and picturesque drive to do yourself. But if you’d rather sit back and relax or don’t have access to a car, there are plenty of options available for tours to choose from. Each tour will include a different selection of wineries and restaurants, so if there are any particular ones which you have in mind you can look for a tour that includes it.
While the Barossa features well-known wineries such as Jacobs Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass, it’s worth exploring some of the lessor known vineyards to try something different. Chateau Dorrien makes an amazing Chocolate Port.
Like many of Australia’s wine regions, it is also home to a thriving food culture and the famous chef, Maggie Beer, has a store and eatery which sells food straight from the farm.
Top Tip: Aim to be at your first winery by 11am. That will give you plenty of time to visit some of the 150 cellar doors, eat a tasty lunch and settle back in at your accommodation. Morning wine sipping is totally acceptable here!
Clare Valley Wine Region
Recommended by Peta and Jonas at ‘Exit45 Travels’
Hidden away in the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia, Clare Valley is a small wine region with a huge reputation due to its world-class wines. It’s a two hour drive from Adelaide and offers the perfect weekend retreat from the city with plenty to entertain including stone-cottage cellar doors, hiking tracks and amazing local produce.
The Clare Valley wine region was established in the mid-1800’s and is one of Australia’s oldest wine producing areas and home to some of the world’s oldest vines. Mixed with this history and tradition however, is lots of important innovations within the wine industry including the introduction of the screw-cap closure.
The Clare Valley is a hilly wine region and home to five distinct district; Auburn, Watervale, Sevenhill, Polish Hill River and Clare. Each of these areas produce distinct wine styles, from the light and elegant to the rich and robust. Clare Valley’s signature wines are Riesling (sets the benchmark in Australia), Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, the regions diverse soils and micro-climates enable producers to grow and craft a wide range of wines using both classic and alternative grape varieties. In recent years, varieties that have long been planted in the region, such as Grenache, Mourvèdre and Malbec, have enjoyed a resurgence. Other noteworthy varieties include Semillon, Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Vermentino, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Montepulciano.
During your trip, be sure to visit the Jim Barry Estate and the quiet, family run Eldredge Estate. Other notable cellar doors include Pikes Wines, Crabtree Wines, Shut the gate, and Sevenhill Cellars.
The Clare Valley wine region is a small wine region with a global reputation. One thing is certain, Clare Valley wines are up there with the best!
Top Tip: Cycle (you can hire an electric bike) the 33 kilometre Clare Valley Riesling Trail and enjoy visiting numerous cellar doors, art galleries and local attractions as you pass through many small townships along the way.
Adelaide Hills Wine Region
Recommended by Michael at ‘Travel Australia Today’
While neighbouring wine regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale tend to get a bit more attention, the Adelaide Hills has a lot to offer – and has the added benefit that it’s very easy to reach from the city. Driving from the centre of Adelaide, you can reach the start of the hills within about 20 minutes, making it a popular day trip for locals and tourists. The region has a number of towns with tasting rooms and good restaurants, while the wineries are in the agricultural land between them.
There are about 40 cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills to choose from. Because of the altitude, cooler-climate grapes are the most popular, like sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir. But you’ll also find innovative winemakers playing around with lesser-known grapes like the Austrian gruner veltliner.
In summer, the Adelaide Hills are popular because they’re a bit cooler than the city. But autumn and spring are also good times to visit because of the colours in the native flora that fills the landscape.
The region has grown in popularity and a wine tour is one of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills.
Top Tip: If you would prefer not to move around, head to Lot 100, a large space shared by five beverage producers (including beer, spirits, and juice) which has dining options including a casual lunch or a special degustation menu.
Coonawarra Wine Region
Recommended by Peta and Jonas at ‘Exit45 Travels’
Coonawarra wine region is a small region with a big reputation! It is one of Australia’s most internationally celebrated wine regions, famous for its terra rossa (red soil) and world class red wines. Coonawarra has a long wine history dating back to 1891, but its revival in the 1950’s really put its name on the world stage.
The region is situated along South Australia’s picturesque Limestone Coast between Adelaide and Melbourne. It makes for a great weekend trip being just a 4 hour drive from Adelaide, and 5 hours from Melbourne.
Coonawarra is a wine region known for quality, premium wines that have evolved over time. While Coonawarra has remained true to the classic Shiraz and Cabernet (leading Cabernet Sauvignon region in Australia) wines, other varieties crushed are Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Coonawarra is a small wine region and the cellar doors are all relatively close together, ready to welcome visitors to the region. Many of the cellar doors in the Coonawarra wine region are still family run (some are even in their third generation). Some of the highly recommended cellar doors for visiting include Wynns Coonawarra Estate, probably the most well-known of the Coonawarra wineries, and Brand’s Laira Coonawarra which offer free tastings of all the wines they produce. One of the more unique cellar doors you’ll visit is Bellwether which has a selection of wines from Coonawarra to Riverland, and down to Tasmania.
Top Tip: Try the sourdough pizzas at Drink Ottelia + Eat Fodder for lunch. You will not be sorry!
McLaren Vale Wine Region
Recommended by Peta and Jonas at ‘Exit45 Travels’
The birthplace of wine in South Australia, McLaren Vale lies 45 minutes’ drive south of the capital city of Adelaide. McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions with its incredible natural beauty, art, beaches, walking trails, and an abundance of good restaurants and locally grown produce.
McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s oldest and most historically significant wine regions. It’s best known for red varieties of grapes (90% of grapes grown are red) and its trio of reds: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. However, all manner of vines thrive in McLaren Vale due to the region’s soils and Mediterranean climate. As such, experimentation with different varieties such as Barbera, Fiano, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Zinfandel and Vermentino, is a major focus.
Today, McLaren Vale is home to over 150 different wineries and cellar doors. Some of the most important of these worth visiting include Clarendon Hills, Fox Creek, Two hands, Primo Estate and Coriole Vineyards. If you are visiting the region for a few days, we highly recommend getting a car. However, there are plenty of bike hire options as well but keep in mind the region is quite hilly.
Top Tip: McLaren Vale is known for its premium olive oil and related products, thanks to the Mediterranean climate and Italian immigrants who arrived in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Best Wine Regions in Victoria
Yarra Valley Wine Region
Recommended by Sharyn at ‘Live Work and Play in Australia’
The Yarra Valley was Victoria’s first wine growing region with vines planted in 1838. From these first plantings has grown an industry that sees over 80 vineyards now present in the area.
The Yarra Valley can be found some 30 km North East of Melbourne. An easy drive of about 30 minutes from the centre of Melbourne will find you in this area that is known for its production of cool climate chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wines.
You can visit the Yarra Valley any time of year as no matter what season you visit, most of the wineries are open 7 days a week allowing visitors to their cellar door for wine tasting and to their restaurant to enjoy gourmet local produce and wonderful views of the valley. Some of my favourite wineries are Yering Station, De Bortoli and Zonzo Estate, each having award winning wines that I really like!
But the Yarra Valley is more than just award winning wines and great local produce. There are a number of great bakeries, Yarra Flats in Yarra Glen is a favourite. Plus there is the Coldstream Brewery, The Four Pillars Gin Distillery and you cannot leave the Yarra Valley without a visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.
You can easily explore the Yarra Valley by driving but if you want to enjoy the wines, there are a number of wine tours you can undertake.
Top Tip: If you want to stay overnight, there is great accommodation available such as at the Chateau Yering, an 18th Century heritage listed Victorian Hotel.
Gippsland Wine Region
Recommended by Bec at ‘Wyld Family Travel’
Gippsland is a large hidden gem of a region in the east of Victoria. Many people, including Victorians, were completely unaware of this amazing, majestic area of the state until it was devastated by fires in 2019. Now many people are flocking to the area to enjoy mighty rivers, pristine beaches, mountain ranges, delicious local foods and world-class wine.
While the Gippsland wine region is an emerging market, it is strong with many wineries and cellar doors popping up throughout the region. Stretching from Wild Dog in Warragul, all the way to Wyanga Park in Lakes Entrance, each winery excels at a certain type of wine. From a fruity, crisp Moscato from Blue Gables in Maffra to a delicious, intense Cab Sav from Gypsy Creek in Labertouche. A Gippsland winery will have exactly what you are looking for.
When you visit the local wineries, many stock plenty of locally made produce and display local art. You also have the chance to purchase some of these to take them home to enjoy with your Gippsland wine.
You can’t go wrong visiting Gippsland in any season. Gippsland stretches from just out of Melbourne at Warragul all the way to the New South Wales border and is mainly travelled to along the M1 freeway. You can easily detour from the Princes Highway to many of the small towns along good sealed roads that will lead you to a brilliant hidden gem in the state of Victoria that you won’t want to leave.
Top Tip: Try the crispy lamb served with fried potatoes, silver beet, chimi churri, olives and feta at The Main Hotel Bistraunt & Bar, you will not be sorry!
Mornington Peninsula Wine Region
Recommended by Monique at ‘Trip Anthropologist’
Only an hour or so drive from the centre of Melbourne is one of Australia’s prettiest and interesting wine regions, Mornington Peninsula. It’s also possible to get to the wineries region by train and bus. A train to Frankston followed by the 788 bus will take you all the way along Port Phillip Bay to Portsea.
Straddling the long peninsula, many of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries have sea views of Western Port Bay. It is a sophisticated wine region with luxury accommodation, wine tasting tours, cellar doors and wine-pairing fine dining as well as sculpture gardens and children’s playgrounds – all this without leaving the wineries!
Cool-climate grape varieties thrive in the rich soil of the Mornington Peninsula. White wine grape varieties were first planted in this region, with fresh but subtle pinot noir wine being produced relatively recently.
Summer (December through to February) is a wonderful time to visit the Mornington Peninsula because of the opportunity to dine outside among the vines and gardens of the wineries. Like the rest of the state of Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula has distinct seasons and has spectacular autumn foliage as well as spring flowers. Many wineries have reduced hours in winter.
The architecture and sculpture of this wine region is surprising and inspiring. Pt Leo Estate is an upmarket winery and sculpture park overlooking Western Port Bay. The best family-friendly vineyard is the Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove, with a sculpture trail, large areas for pick-nicking, gardens and pizza ovens.
Top Tip: Wines from the Mornington Peninsula are rarely exported, so a visit to the cellar doors is often the only way to sample a broad range.
Best Wine Regions in Western Australia
Margaret River Wine Region
Recommended by Bailey at ‘Destinationless Travel’
Located on Australia’s stunning west coast, only a 3-hour drive from Perth, is the beautiful Margaret River wine region. This area is renowned for its buttery Chardonnays but most wineries produce a variety of wines including Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Most of the vineyards here are boutique and produce small batches that are often only available from their cellar doors – perfect for wine collectors!
Besides wine, there are tons of other things to do in Margaret River. This tiny town sits right on a beautiful river where you can go for a dip or even kayak. It is also only minutes from stunning beaches with world-famous surf. There are also a couple of unique caves in the area that you can walk into on a tour.
Because of the beach and many outdoor activities, most people prefer to visit Margaret River in the summer months of December through to February. The winter months (June to August) are quite cold and you won’t be able to enjoy the beautiful vines and nearby beaches.
Top Tip: Since Margaret River is so small and such a popular destination, book your accommodation well in advance. Places to stay are limited and they often fully book, especially during school holidays and on the weekends.
Great Southern Wine Region
Recommended by Ariana at ‘World of Travel with Kids’
Not the most well-known of the Western Australian wine regions, the Great Southern is known for its innovation and award winning wines. It is a special place to visit due to its rugged and remote feel, as well as the unique landscapes of the region. From the unique Porongurup and Stirling Ranges to the pristine white sand beaches of the rugged south coast, the Great Southern is a truly stunning place to visit.
The Great Southern is the largest wine making region in mainland Australia and incorporates the towns of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, as well as the Porongurup district.
The best way to visit the Great Southern is by car – Mount Barker WA is just 4 hours’ drive from Perth, while Albany and Denmark are 45 minutes further south (in different directions.) Albany is serviced by daily flights from Perth but once you are there you’ll need a car to get to the best wineries.
The best time of year to visit the Great Southern is either autumn (April-May) when the weather is cooling down, but not too wet. You’ll be spoiled with crisp clear days and tinges of greenery. On the other hand spring (Sept-October), is simply magnificent as the wildflowers of Western Australia spring to life and there is a great show all around the southern part of the state.
The region is known for their cool climate wines, in particular Riesling and Shiraz in addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Top Tip: Don’t miss the unique Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock while in the region.
Best Wine Regions in New South Wales
Hunter Valley Region
Recommended by Raksha at ‘Solo Passport’
Known for producing some of the best wines in Australia, the Hunter Valley is in the state of New South Wales. The best time to visit the Hunter Valley region is during the spring season (between the months of September and November). The Hunter Valley region is around 170 kilometres from Sydney and the best way to get there is to drive as it takes only about 2 hours and makes an ideal weekend getaway.
It is estimated that the Hunter Valley wine region has more than 150 wineries. The most iconic wine of the region is the Hunter Valley Semillon. Even though the region is famous for its Shiraz and Semillon wines, the region has different kinds of wines that are made up of a variety of grapes.
Many tour agencies organise one day trips from Sydney that include wine tasting tours. The cheapest way to find one-day tours to the Hunter Valley region is by looking on the deal websites like Groupon. Usually, each winery provides 3 to 4 of their best wines as part of the wine tasting explaining the process and the types of grapes used in creating the wines. If one wants to visit the wineries without the tour agencies, the winery charges a minimal charge for wine tasting.
Top Tip: If you are looking for a romantic experience with your loved one, the Hunter Valley vineyard region offers the perfect backdrop for a hot air balloon flight.
Orange Wine Region
Recommended by Carryn at ‘Australia Obsessed’
The charming town of Orange in New South Wales is Australia’s highest altitude wine region offering cool climate wines to suit any palate.
Orange is nestled at the base of Mount Canobolas which is an extinct volcano providing mineral-rich soil. This, combined with the high altitude and temperate climate, make for delicious and diverse wines. The region is known for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc but Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are also widely planted.
From boutique wineries to commercialized operations, you’ll be spoiled for choice as there are over 60 wineries in Orange to visit! The months of March and April are the best times to organize your trip as the weather is cool and warm. But planning a winter’s getaway could mean that the vineyards will be covered in snow which is also a spectacular sight to see.
Orange is a 3.5 hour drive inland from Sydney, making it an easy weekend getaway for those eager to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. When returning, be sure to stop at Millthorpe, a quaint little town just a stone’s throw away from Orange.
Top Tip: For travellers looking for a unique and intimate wine tasting experience, be sure to book a sitting at Word of Mouth Wines. The wines are magnificent and the cheese platters are equally as impressive.
Shoalhaven Wine Region
Recommended by Holly at ‘Globeblogging’
The countryside bordering NSW’s Shoalhaven River is home to its very own lesser known hidden gem. The Shoalhaven Wine Region is just a two-hour drive from Sydney and makes for a perfect scenic day trip through picturesque country, or the ideal spot for a romantic weekend away.
There are a total of eight Shoalhaven wineries that produce a wide range of varieties including Chardonnay, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, so there is something to cater to just about every taste. After the fire season of summer 2019 and 2020, the only grapes that survived were those growing above the smoke, and several wineries have produced a lovely light Rosa Frizzante from what they were able to salvage. Coolangatta Estate and Two Figs both have one of these on offer, and the view from Two Figs is not to be missed!
The Shoalhaven region has a temperate climate, so it’s one you can visit almost year round. It’s also just a short drive to Kangaroo Valley, the South Coast of NSW and the cute little town of Berry, known for its local crafts and fresh grown produce. Mountain Ridge Estate winery has an ever expanding range of Liqueurs they are developing which are worth the visit, and the property is run sustainably to reduce their impact on the climate. Their onsite restaurant features seasonal fresh local produce designed to complement their choice of wines.
Top Tip: Australian history buffs will be drawn to Coolangatta Estate, the location of the first European settlement of the NSW South Coast. Visitors can stroll the grounds to check out the original buildings or even spend the night.
Best Wine Regions in Tasmania
Tamar Valley Wine Region
Recommended by Sharon at ‘Tasmania Explorer’
If you are looking for a fabulous Australian wine region, head to the Tamar Valley. Located to the north of Launceston around the Tamar River, this cool climate wine region is known for its sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. It’s home to 32 wineries in a relatively compact space so it’s easy to spend a day (or a couple) and visit many wineries.
Driving around the Tamar Valley is fun. There’s not just great wines but its picturesque, the roads are generally in good condition and it’s usually not busy. There’s also some other great attractions in the area like watching fairy penguins come in at Low Head and seeing platypuses up close at Platypus House.
However, the reason I love this region is the tasting platters. A specialty of the Tamar Valley, many of the wineries have tasting platters you can order to sample the region’s best foods. They are delicious and the perfect accompaniment to a day of wine tasting.
The best way to get here is via a flight to Launceston. From here, hire a car and you’ll soon be at your first vineyard, soaking up the views and sipping on your first wine. There are brochures for the wine route at the airport and then you’ll be set to go! The best time of year is in the warmer months from October to April but any time of year will be good.
Top Tip: Book your tasting platter in advance. These often need to be prepared in advance and are delicious. I particularly recommend having one at Iron Pot Bay Vineyard or Pipers Brook Vineyard.
Best Wine Regions in Queensland
South Burnett Wine Region
Recommended by Peta and Jonas at ‘Exit45 Travels’
The town of Kingaroy is the most well-known town in the South Burnett and the Bunya Mountains provide a majestic backdrop to the South Burnett wine region, Australia’s most northerly wine region. The South Burnett is within an easy driving distance to the Sunshine Coast (2.5 hours) and around 3.5 hours north west of Brisbane so makes for a great weekend trip away.
Boondooma Homestead first planted grapes in the South Burnett region in the late 1850’s, however, commercial production didn’t commence until 1993. The top varieties of wines grown in the South Burnett wine region are Verdelho, Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon. You will also find Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Shiraz and Merlot.
The best way to explore the area is by following the South Burnett Wine Trail which is made up of two separate areas. The northern-eastern area includes the wineries and cellar doors of Moffatdale Ridge, Clovely Estate (the region’s largest vineyard), Barambah Cellars and Dusty Hill. The second area is located in the Kingaroy area of the South Burnett which includes the wineries and cellar doors of Crane Wines, Kingsley Grove Estate, Taabinga Station and Pottique Lavender Farm.
Top Tip: If you are travelling through the area in a caravan or motorhome, free overnight parking is available onsite at Kingsley Grove Estate. This will allow you the opportunity to taste the various wines produced on site along with their famous wood-fired pizzas.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine in Australia
How many wine regions are in Australia?
Australia is home to some of the world’s oldest vines and has 65+ wine regions that produce more than 100 different grape varieties.
What is the biggest wine region in Australia?
Which is Australia’s oldest wine region?
Australia’s oldest wine region is the Hunter Valley.
What is the wine capital of Australia?
Adelaide is the wine capital of Australia and one of the nine Great Wine Capitals of the World, alongside Bordeaux in France, Napa Valley in the US, and Bilbao Rioja in Spain.
What is the most popular wine in Australia?
Shiraz is the most popular wine in Australia, and accounts for one-quarter of total wine production.
Which wine is Australia most famous for?
Australia’s most famous wine is Penfolds Grange.
What is Australia’s most important wine grape?
Australia’s most popular grape varieties are Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
In Summary – The Best Wine Regions in Australia
Whatever type of wine you like, with more than 65 wine regions in Australia, you are sure to find one to suit your taste. Enjoy a rich, bold red in the Barossa Valley or a crisp Semillon in the Hunter Valley.
Selecting a wine region to visit can be challenging but our list above of the best wine regions in Australia should help you with this decision. Whichever wine region you choose, you are sure to have the perfect weekend getaway or holiday with a great mix of relaxation, beautiful landscapes, a taste of local cuisines, and of course, delicious wines.
Are you planning a holiday to visit one of Australia’s many wine regions? Have you visited any of the wine regions listed above, or have we missed a wine region in Australia you love to visit? Post your tips and questions below.
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