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Australia's Top Wine Regions

Ben Hall

Australia makes more than a billion litres of wine a year grown on 1600 square kilometres of vineyards, providing some of the country’s most popular holiday destinations which are ideal for romantic getaways and weekend getaways. The country’s wine regions are spread across Australia with each producing something slightly different, and sometimes unique, due to climate and soil. In honour of Aussie wine month, here’s our A to Z of the top wine regions across the country, state by state. 

South Australia

Barossa: One of Australia's oldest wine regions, shaped by German settlers in the the 1800’s, it’s approximately 56 kilometres northeast of the city of Adelaide. Many of Australia's largest and most notable wineries are either headquartered or have significant holdings here in this quintessential Australian wine producing region, which is famous for a full-bodied Shiraz, as well as Chardonnay, Eden Valley Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are more than 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors.  

Also worth a look: Part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of the city of Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills area produces some exceptional Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings as well as most of the reds, while the Clare Valley, which is around 120 kilometres north of Adelaide, is another old wine region best known for Riesling wines. Coonawarra, which is located on the Limestone Coast of South Australia close to the border with Victoria, is famous for Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced on its "terra rossa" soil. And finally McLaren Vale, which is around 35 kilometres south of Adelaide, dates back to 1838 and has more than 88 cellar doors, as well as being recognised as one of the best Shiraz growing regions in Australia.


Yarra Valley: Victoria’s wine industry can be traced back to a vineyard at Yering Station in 1938 and these days it has around 300 vineyards and 160 wineries. The Yarra Valley, which is approximately 90 kilometres east of Melbourne, has a relatively cool climate which makes it particularly suited to the production of high-quality chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wine and more equated with a Burgundy style climate.

Also worth a look: Mornington Peninsula is also home to cool-climate wine varietals to the south east of Melbourne. It’s just an hour’s drive from the city and is home to more than 50 boutique cellar doors and this region is renowned for its Pinot Noir. Heathcote is located between the Goulburn Valley and Bendigo regions and is famous for its Shiraz. Geelong, to the west of Melbourne, offers up some diverse sub-regions, from surf coast to volcanic plains and is known for its subtle European styles such as Chardonnay and Shiraz. Further afield and some of the more remote regions include Rutherglen, Beechworth, Bendigo, Goulburn Valley, Henty, Pyrenees, Gippsland and Murray Darling and Swan Hill.

New South Wales

Hunter Valley: Arguably Australia's most famous wine region, it’s a large area which was established in the mid-19th century and its southern end begins around 120 kilometres north of Sydney. Semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of this region but the Hunter produces wine from a wide variety of grapes including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho. Although wine is a major drawcard, the region is also a tourist hub famous for country-style hotels, outdoor pursuits including golf and ballooning, and it’s also home of a number of top class restaurants thanks to local fresh produce. The Hunter Valley’s proximity to Sydney makes it a popular venue for events including music festivals and the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.

Also worth a look: The Central Ranges incorporates Mudgee and Orange and is a cooler climate production, offering Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Merlot and Chardonnay. The Riverina region is located in rural NSW near the Victorian border, and produces exceptional table wines from Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends. And the South Coast, which is around three hours from Sydney, has a premier wine-growing region in the lush green hills of the Shoalhaven complete with 18 vineyards and 16 cellar doors.

Western Australia

Margaret River: Located in the southwestern corner of the state, south of Perth, this region is only around 50 years in the making but has built a reputation as one of the foremost regions for fine wine. Today it has around 215 boutique wine producers, and is believed to account for 20 per cent of Australia’s premium wines. Margaret River has a similar climate to that of Burgundy in France with the principal grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chenin Blanc and Verdelho. 

Also worth a look: Swan Valley is an easy day trip from Perth as is Perth Hills while there’s a cluster of wine regions in the south-west part of WA including Peel, Geographe, Blackwood Valley, Pemberton, Manjimup and Great Southern.


Gold Coast Hinterland: Fusing the rainforest beauty of Mt Tamborine and the sparkling countryside of Albert River and Canungra, this is Queensland’s boutique wine region, featuring wineries and vineyards which consistently produce premium award winning wines. The cellar doors here are only a 30-minute to one-hour drive from the Gold Coast, or an hour from Brisbane, and operate from historic homesteads and buildings offering a wine tourism experience with a difference. From the cooler climate of Mt Tamborine through to the milder climates of Albert River and Canungra Valley, the region allows a diverse range of grape varieties to be grown.

Also worth a look: The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a fast-growing wine region in Queensland, and attracts visitors from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, while hot on its heels is South Burnett, also located northwest of Brisbane, and bordered by the Great Dividing Range and the paddocks of Kingaroy. Further afield is the Granite Belt and the Scenic Rim.


Tamar Valley: Tasmania is one of the Australia’s emerging wine regions and its unique cool climate makes it exceptional for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sparkling wines. The Tamar Valley is the island state’s oldest and largest wine district with a real old world and rustic feel which makes it a great holiday destination for a romantic getaway. Tamar Valley is near Launceston and some of the better known wineries include Josef Chromy with its excellent cellar door and restaurant complex, Velo Wines, Tamar Ridge, Stoney Rise and Holm Oak. Some of the emerging wineries include Goaty Hill, Moores Hill, Native Point, Humbug Reach, Three Wishes, Marion's Vineyard and Winter Brook.  

Also worth a look: The Pipers River region, north-east of Launceston which produces great sparkling wines, the East Coast wine region stretches from Bicheno to the Tasman Peninsula and the coast road, the North West which is the newest wine region in Tasmania and the Derwent Valley which is to the north of Hobart stretching past New Norfolk.

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