Australia is blessed with some of the best winemaking conditions on earth. Its diverse terrain means you’re never far from a world-class wine region, be it the inviting cellar doors of the Hunter Valley or the celebrated estates of the Margaret River region.
Beyond the big names, there’s also a range of smaller estates offering unique wine experiences like the chance to bottle your own drop or tour historic underground cellars. Not sure where to start? Here’s our guide to Australia’s most unique winery experiences.
Josef Chromy Wines, Tasmania
Josef Chromy is one of the few wineries on the Apple Isle that grows and bottles its grapes on the premises. At the on-site restaurant you can soak up the vino with dishes such as pinot-poached beetroot and grass-fed beef carpaccio, making this a great one-stop food and wine experience.
Wine to try: The 2017 pinot noir.
Cellar door: $15 per person for a four-glass wine flight; bookings are required. Alternatively, try The Art of Sparkling Experience to learn how its méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine is made, including a two-course lunch with matched wines and complementary tasting for $250 per person.
370 Relbia Road, Relbia; (03) 6335 8700
St Hugo, Barossa Valley, South Australia
The family behind St Hugo have been in the wine business since 1847 but in 2021 the best way to experience their grapes is at the St Hugo restaurant, where wines are expertly paired with a seasonal tasting menu. Alternatively, explore the connection between food and wine with a seat at the Chef’s Table: stroll through the kitchen garden to select fresh produce for your feast and then help prepare it under the guidance of the St Hugo chef.
Wine to try: A shiraz or cabernet sauvignon from the Private Collection sold exclusively at the St Hugo property.
Cellar door: The St Hugo Riedel Masterclass with Lunch offers the chance to learn which glass shape suits which varietal, and includes a four-course lunch and two glasses of your favourite St Hugo wines, for $175 per person.
2141 Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat; (08) 8115 9200
Jacob's Creek, Barossa Valley, South Australia
An extensive range of wines and the on-site restaurant offering fresh local produce make Jacob’s Creek a great place to spend an afternoon. But it’s the grounds of this Barossa Valley winery that really sell it – visitors can set off on a bike ride between the vineyards or spot wildlife during a walk along the banks of that famous creek. They're the ideal spot to enjoy a picnic prepared by the team, including gourmet local snacks, a bottle of wine and a picnic blanket to keep for $120 per picnic.
Wine to try: A Limited Release wine exclusively sold at the cellar door.
Cellar door: Join the Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Experience to discover the process of double barrel maturation and enjoy three wines for $65 per person.
Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat; (08) 8521 3000
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
The oldest vineyard in Victoria, Tahbilk Winery has been family-run for five generations and retains its original underground cellars from 1860. With the winery set close to the Goulburn River and surrounded by walking tracks, you can easily extend a visit here into a full-day affair. You can even take part in a Secret Art experience to blend your own 750ml bottle to take home for $90 per person.
Wine to try: The Marsanne 2018 or Museum Release Marsanne 2012.
Cellar door: The cellar door is open for tastings from 10am to 4pm every day except Christmas; bookings required.
254 O'Neils Road, Tabilk; (03) 5794 2555
Mandoon Estate, Swan Valley, WA
Mandoon Estate serves up more than just boutique wine. The Swan Valley winery is also home to a microbrewery, the fine dining restaurant Wild Swan, a gourmet deli and the Linton & Kay Art Gallery, where you can view work from a selection of established and emerging artists in the property’s original homestead.
Wine to try: The 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon or the 2011 Reserve Shiraz.
Cellar door: Private tastings are $35 per person, available by appointment. Group tastings can also be booked.
10 Harris Road, Caversham; (08) 6279 0500
Montalto, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Enjoy a bottle over share plates at Montalto's relaxed piazza café, sit down for a meal at the Montalto Restaurant or join a 'Behind the Scenes Winery Tour' to deepen your knowledge of how variety and region play a role in the winemaking process before enjoying a tasting and light lunch.
Wine to try: The pinot noir or chardonnay.
Cellar door: Tastings are latest release wines are $10 per person; bookings not required for individuals.
33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South; (03) 5989 8417
Vasse Felix, Margaret River, WA
Established in 1967, Vasse Felix is Margaret River’s founding wine estate. The legendary vineyard is home to a refined wine lounge, art gallery, fine-dining restaurant and ‘The Vault’, a dedicated wine museum where you can view historical vintages including the last remaining bottle of the winery’s 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine to try: The Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, the first red wine produced in Margaret River.
Cellar door: Sample the wines a la carte at the Cellar Door Tasting Bar, open every day from 10am to 5pm, for $10 per person.
Cnr Tom Cullity Drive Caves Road, Cowaramup, Margaret River; (08) 9756 5000
Brown Brothers, King Valley, Victoria
Brown Brothers boasts one of the largest selections of wine varieties in Australia, a range that spans crowd-pleasers such as moscato as well as traditional drops like shiraz. Sample them over a cheese platter at the wine bar or take a tour of the winery to learn more about the label, which has been family owned since 1889.
Wine to try: Prosecco (try the range paired with sweets, pastries, Milawa cheese and fruits for $60 per person).
Cellar door: 45-minute tastings are available for $15 per person.
239 Milawa Bobinawarrah Road, Milawa; (03) 5720 5500
Yalumba, Eden Valley, South Australia
Established in 1849, Yalumba is Australia’s most historic family-owned winery. Visit on a weekday to take a self-guided tour of the cooperage – it's the only winery in Australia that crafts its own oak barrels on site – or book a Cooperage Tour for a more detailed exploration with bonus tastings.
Wine to try: The 2016 Signature Cabernet Shiraz.
Cellar door: Starting from $10 per person between 10am and 5pm; bookings online are essential.
10 Eden Valley Road, Angaston; (08) 8561 3309
Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley, South Australia
The history of Seppeltsfield dates back to 1851, just 15 years after the European settlement of South Australia. You can explore the estate’s historic buildings on daily heritage tours and enjoy modern touches like a meal at Fino, Seppelstfield’s destination dining experience. It's the only winery in the world to release a 100-year-old, single vintage wine each year, as well as offer the opportunity for you to sample a Tawny from your birth year on a Taste Your Birth Year Tour.
Wine to try: The 1919 Para Vintage Tawny from the Centennial Collection.
Cellar door: 45-minute tastings are $15 per person between 10.30am and 5pm; bookings essential.
730 Seppeltsfield Road, Seppeltsfield; (08) 85686217
Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, Hunter Valley, NSW
Perched atop a foothill in the Brokenback Mountain Ranges, Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard offers panoramic views of the Hunter Valley. Your visiting options range from a short and sweet half-hour tasting through to a 'Picnic Among the Vines' self-guided museum tour, premium tasting with the in-house expert and a complete picnic lunch.
Wine to try: The 2018 Hunter Valley Semillon.
Cellar door: Wine tastings start at $10 per person; tours or picnic experiences are also available.
750 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin; (02) 4993 3600
De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Victoria
De Bortoli has been in the family for three generations, with a history that dates back to 1928. The Yarra Valley estate comprises 240 hectares of vines and produces some of the region’s best-loved chardonnays and rieslings, as well as lesser-known varieties such as nebbiolo and gamay. There’s also the option of dining at the on-site Italian restaurant, Locale, and the chance to go behind-the-scenes on a guided tour that also includes a hands-on blending experience and food and wine pairing.
Wine to try: Vinoque Nebbiolo Rosé.
Cellar door: $15 per person between 10am and 5pm.
58 Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek; (03) 5965 2271
Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Immerse yourself in the 175-year history of one of Australia’s most revered wine brands. Penfolds' Magill Estate in Adelaide features the original vineyard, winery and cellars, as well as a sleek cellar door with private tasting rooms and two restaurants where Grange can be enjoyed by the glass.
Wine to try: The 2016 Barossa Valley Shiraz Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cellar door: A variety of premium tasting experiences are available at both locations, including the Penfolds Iconic Experience, where you can explore the cottage, cellar and underground drives before a three-course lunch with matched wines for $295 per person.
78 Penfold Road, Magill; (08) 8301 5569
Brokenwood, Hunter Valley, NSW
You can simply sip the work of this five-star winery or dive into the VIP soil-to-cellar experience that matches meals with its leading bottles; both casual and memorable afternoons are catered for at Brokenwood. There's also a stellar outdoor terrace that capitalises on the beauty of the Hunter, as well as two on-site eateries serving the perfect accompaniments to your tastings.
Wine to try: The Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz.
Cellar door: Over 1400 square metres, it's the largest in the area, with several tasting options available, starting from $25. Try six wines plus seasonal canapes for $60 per person.
401-427 McDonald's Road, Pokolbin; (02) 4998 7559
Moorilla, Derwent Valley, Tasmania
David Walsh doesn’t just do art. Mona’s creator also owns Moorilla, the Derwent Valley winery that creates small-batch, cool-climate wines. The cellar door is next door to Tasmania’s famously provocative art gallery, meaning you can quaff Pinot beneath John Olsen work The Source. Visitors can also tour Moorilla’s southern vineyard and taste wine straight from the tank on the property’s winery tours.
Wine to try: The 2007 Cloth Label Late Disgorged Sparkling.
Cellar door: $15 per person between midday and 6pm, Friday to Monday. Bookings essential.
655 Main Road, Berriedale; (03) 6277 9960
Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA
Family-owned Leeuwin Estate is one of the five founding wineries of the Margaret River region. The label now exports to more than 30 countries, while touches like its celebrated restaurant, summertime concerts and private airstrip make a visit here a premium experience. Don’t miss the estate’s art gallery, which houses more than 100 paintings from contemporary Australian artists that were commissioned to feature on Leeuwin’s ‘Art Series’ wine labels, best viewed on a Leeuwin Art & Wine Pairing which includes a gallery tour and food tasting flight.
Wine to try: The 2015 Art Series Chardonnay.
Cellar door: Open seven days a week from 10am-5pm.
Stevens Road, Margaret River; (08) 9459 0000
Gemtree Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Gemtree Wines is dedicated to making wine the sustainable way. Husband and wife team Mike and Melissa Brown work together to grow grapes with minimal intervention, using an environmentally conscious farming system. Free from herbicides and pesticides, the wines are certified organic and biodynamic – a process you can learn about on the Being Biodynamic Tour while sipping wine and enjoying a platter of regional goodies.
Wine to try: The 2016 Obsidian Shiraz.
Cellar door: $20 per person between 11am and 5pm, Friday to Tuesday.
167 Elliott Road McLaren Flat; (08) 8383 0802
Voyager Estate, Margaret River, WA
Go beyond the cellar door at Voyager Estate with one of the family-owned winery’s tour and tasting experiences, including a seven-course discovery lunch. You can also take a tour that focuses on one of the Margaret River's two famed varietals, the chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, and learn more about how the estate is converting to organic production methods.
Wine to try: A limited release wine from the Project collection, such as the 2015 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
Cellar door: The Estate Tour & Cheese Board tasting provides you with an insight into the complete wine-making process, from the vineyard soils to the oak barrels, for $70 per person.
41 Stevens Road, Margaret River; (08) 9757 6354
Pizzini, King Valley, Victoria
It might be in Victoria’s King Valley but there’s a touch of the Mediterranean to Pizzini. This family-owned winery wears its Italian heritage on its sleeve by staging cooking classes alongside the cellar door, where guests learn how to make fresh pasta, gnocchi or risotto during an A Tavola! Cooking School experience. Pizzini specialise in Italian varietals such as prosecco, pinot grigio, sangiovese and nebbiolo.
Wine to try: The 2004 Coronamento Nebbiolo.
Cellar door: Tastings start at $10 per person, between 10 and 5pm.
175 King Valley Road, Whitfield; (03) 5729 8278
d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, South Australia
d’Arenberg (pictured top) is one of the only wineries in Australia to basket-press both its white and red wines. It’s a labour intensive process – small batches of grapes are gently crushed, then transferred to fermenters – but it ensures only the best fruit makes it through. All its vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic and while that winemaking approach might be new, the legacy is old – the family-owned winery has a history that dates back to 1912.
Wine to try: A 2012 Single Vineyard Shiraz.
Cellar door: Entry to the five-level d’Arenberg Cube building is priced at $15 per person including a complimentary tasting. Advance bookings are recommended. Open 10.30 to 4.30pm.
58 Osborn Road, McLaren Vale; (08) 8329 4888
The Sunshine State might not spring to mind as a wine destination but the team at Sirromet has been challenging that perception with their experimental, quality wines for the past two decades. The winery and cellar door are located in Mount Cotton, approximately 45 minutes south of Brisbane, where you will also find a fine dining restaurant, relaxed al fresco fare at the Tuscan Terrace and luxury glamping accommodation at Sanctuary by Sirromet, all set against breathtaking natural scenery overlooking Moreton Bay. Witness the full scale of the winery's operation, and enjoy a tasting, on a Behind the Scenes Winery Tour and Eataly Discovery tour.
Wine to try: 2013 Le Sauvage Chardonnay.
Cellar door: Open seven days, 10am to 4.30pm; bookings not required.
850-938 Mount Cotton Road, Mount Cotton; (07) 3206 2999
Hunter Valley icon Tyrrell’s has been family owned since 1858, now headed up by fourth-generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, and since 1971 has been awarded more than 5000 trophies and medals. Discover the century and a half of winemaking experience on a Sacred Sites tour, that takes you past the original iron bark hut Edward Tyrrell lived in and the 100-year-old dry-grown vineyards.
Wine to try: 2015 Vat 1 Semillon.
Cellar door: 45-minute tastings are available for $10 per person; bookings essential.
1838 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Printhie Wines, NSW
Owned by the Swift family, you'll find Printhie Wines in the high altitude, cool climate Orange region of NSW. It was established in 1996 when the first vineyard was planted, with the winery added in 2004 in order to craft award-winning drops from grapes grown on its sites. Enjoy lunch, a private tasting and a tour on the Sparkling Masterclass for $240 per person.
Wine to try: Swift Rosé.
Cellar door: Tastings begin at $10 per person; bookings essential.
208 Nancarrow Lane, Nashdale
Dominique Portet Winery, Victoria
You’ll feel transported to the South of France at this Yarra Valley winery founded in 2000 by Bordeaux-born Dominique Portet. The European influence is evident in the refined cool-climate wines, the design of its elegant cellar door and the French bistro menu by head chef David Ball. “The Yarra has a charm, a beauty that engulfs you. The wines are worldly," Portet says of his Australian home.
Wine to try: 2018 Dominique Portet Cabernet Sauvignon
Cellar door: Discover 10 generations of winemaking heritage on the Estate Tour & Tasting, which includes sampling five wines for $40 per person.
870 Maroondah Highway, Coldsdtream