Australia has more than 2400 wineries in 65 wine regions around the country. These regions grow more than 100 grape varieties that end up in the more than 30 million glasses of Australian wine consumed around the world every day.
Here is a short-list of 12 of the best wine regions that are a must-visit for wine enthusiasts.
One of Australia's oldest wine regions is located in South Australia, approximately 56km northeast of the city of Adelaide. Many of Australia's largest and most notable wineries are either headquartered or own extensive holdings here. The Barossa is the quintessential Australian wine producing region with its brand being recognised around the world. When consumers globally and domestically think of Shiraz, Barossa is their top choice for its distinctive, big flavour style.
Located in Western Australia, the principal grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chenin Blanc and Verdelho. The Margaret River is recognized as one of the best Bordeaux-like regions outside of France and produces wines in a very unique European style, very different to the rest of Australia.
Located approximately 35 km south of Adelaide in South Australia, Mclaren Vale is very easy to reach even if it were a day trip. Grapes were first planted in 1838 and some vines are more than 100 years old and still producing. Today there are more than 88 cellar doors. McLaren Vale is recognized as one of the best Shiraz growing regions in Australia, second only to the Barossa.
One of Australia's oldest wine regions, best known for Riesling wines, lies in the Mid North of South Australia, approximately 120 km north of Adelaide. The Clare is slightly cooler than its neighbors and excels in white wines as well as reds.
Located on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, it is known for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced on its "terra rossa" soil. It is located close to the border of Victoria.
One of Australia's best known wine regions, located in New South Wales and just a short 2 hour drive north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is very accessible from a major city. Semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of the region but the Hunter produces wine from a wide variety of grapes including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho.
Located in Victoria and nestled between the Goulburn Valley and Bendigo regions, the region is famous for its Shiraz production which is considered cooler climate style with more earthy tones and subtle fruit flavours.
The Yarra Valley is located in Victoria, approximately 90 kilometres east of Melbourne. The area's relatively cool climate makes it particularly suited to the production of high-quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sparkling wine and more equated with a Burgundy style climate. The Yarra Valley is a popular day-trip and tourist area, featuring a range of natural features and agricultural produce, as well as the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.
With most of the vineyards around Launceston and on the east coast, Tasmania is one of the country’s fastest growing wine regions. Its unique cool climate makes it exceptional for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sparkling wines. It is considered one of the regions to watch flourish in the near future.
The Adelaide Hills are a part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of the city of Adelaide in the state of South Australia. It produces some exceptional Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings as well as reds. The numerous cellars in the region are represented by a regional association known as the Adelaide Hills Wine Region.
Located in rural New South Wales near the Victoria border, the Riverina is a large and vast wine growing region that produces exceptional table wines from Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends. Some of the country’s top value brands are located here.
This incorporates Mudgee and Orange as well as a few smaller regions and considered cooler climate production. This region excels with Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are over 35 cellar doors with an excellent range of the regional product.
And a BONUS
A 2.5-hour drive northwest of Brisbane, South Burnett is quite young, although it has quickly emerged as a must-visit Australian wine region. Boutique wineries dot the contrasting landscape and the area’s warm climate suits the production of both reds and whites. More unusual varieties such as verdelho and sangiovese share barrel space alongside regular suspects like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz.