Picture this: cool weather outside, fire crackling, red wine in hand. Is there any better vision for winter?
Here in Australia, we are blessed with relatively mild weather in comparison to our frosty friends in Europe or North America. It offers us the ideal opportunity for trooping through vineyards in our beautiful wine regions, on a trip with friends or a romantic weekend.
We’ve pulled together a list of stunning vineyards worth visiting, offering delicious wines and picturesque scenery.
Where: Keyneton SA
Why: One of Australia’s oldest wineries, Henschke is family-run and undoubtedly produces some of our finest. Last year, they made extensive renovations on their cellar door, housed in the original 1860s Grain Barn on their family property, and now boast a unique experience for wine lovers. Crafted by fifth generation Stephen and Prue Henschke, their range focuses on high-end, single-vineyard and small parcel wines. Their sustainable vineyards are spread across South Australia, in Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, and use organic and biodynamic practices. Check out their VIP Tour and Tasting experience – for groups of only 2-6, it’s an opportunity to see Australia’s oldest vines and sample ultra premium wines from inside the family’s private cellar.
Their Philosophy: "As fifth-generation custodians, Stephen and Prue Henschke continue to craft their white wines with a focus on purity, while their red wines have a strong focus on terroir, using traditional winemaking techniques."
Our Wine Picks: Mount Edelstone Shiraz
Visit the website: https://www.henschke.com.au/
Who: Seville Estate
Where: Yarra Valley VIC
Why: Honoured with Winery of the Year at last year’s Halliday Wine Companion Awards, Seville Estate helped to establish the Yarra Valley as a key wine-growing region in Australia back in the 1970s. They were awarded the 2019 Star Cellar Door by Gourmet Traveller Wine, and recently opened their onsite restaurant that emphasises their connection to the Yarra Valley with locally sourced ingredients and supplemented by their vegetable garden. Their wine portfolio has been highly rated, with a winemaking focus on variety and regional expression from their cool climate site. Even better – they offer stunning accommodation options for groups or couples so you can make a weekend of it.
Their Philosophy: “To capture the fruit expression of this unique vineyard, in wine styles that show cool climate complexity and finesse.”
Our Wine Picks: Reserve Chardonnay, Estate Pinot Noir
Visit the website: https://www.sevilleestate.com.au/
Where: Hunter Valley NSW
Why: One of the iconic vineyards of the Hunter Valley, Brokenwood debut their stunning new cellar door at the beginning of this year. Now the largest complex in the Hunter, spanning 1400m2, it includes unique circular tasting 'pods', private tasting and dining rooms, and a wine museum overlooking our working barrel hall – all with breathtaking views over the surrounding area. It is, without doubt, one of the most impressive cellar doors in Australia. Known for their semillon and shiraz – Hunter Valley classics – but also producing some very elegant modern Chardonnays, you can experience their robust portfolio in a variety of tasting opportunities, including bespoke masterclasses to enhance your education.
Their Philosophy: "Enjoy great wine and have fun!"
Our Wine Picks: ILR Reserve Semillon, Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz
Visit the website: https://www.brokenwood.com.au/
Who: Rowlee Wines
Where: Orange NSW
Why: This cool climate winery focuses on making the best out of their eight hectares at the foothills of Mount Canobolas. Their wines are single vineyard and are produced based on what works best with their soil and climate. The portfolio, dominated by white wines, includes classics like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc as well as some alternate varieties such as Arneis and Gewurztraminer. There are a varied number of opportunities available for wine lovers at Rowlee, depending on personal preference and interests. Book in for a classic tasting alone or pair it with cheese or charcuterie, take a tour of the vineyard and learn more about the journey from vine to bottle, or indulge in a private picnic – then stay the night at their boutique accommodation.
Their Philosophy: “Harvested by hand and crafted in small batches, our aim is to make absolutely delicious wine.”
Our Wine Picks: Nebbiolo, Chardonnay
Visit the website: https://www.rowleewines.com.au/
Who: Ridgemill Estate
Where: Granite Belt QLD
Why: Set upon enviable wine-growing land, with a climate similar to the Rhone Valley in France and Rioja in Northern Spain, a combination of warm daytime temperatures and mild to cool nights create the perfect circumstances for Ridgemill’s wines to prosper. Their drinkable portfolio boasts both Australian classics and alternate varieties suitable for the European climate like tempranillo, grown on the Granite Belt’s oldest tempranillo vines. Cellar door experiences can be tailor-made to your tastes, whether that’s a journey through the standard portfolio, a look at their older vintages, or kickstarting an alternative wine trail through the Granite Belt with their Saperavi, Tempranillo, Viognier and Verdelho. Their property also includes eight self-contained studios for a tranquil escape in wine country.
Their Philosophy: “To preserve the inherent qualities of our premium fruit, while creating wines that are distinctive, complex and most importantly, have elegance and finesse.”
Our Wine Picks: ‘The Czar’ Saperavi, Chardonnay
Visit the website: https://ridgemillestate.com/
And one last additional pick from our Managing Director, Mark Baulderstone, of an utterly beautiful winery doing something truly special...
Who: St Hugo
Where: Barossa Valley SA
Why: St Hugo offers what is truly one of the best wine-and-dine experiences in Australia. In a unique approach, Executive Chef Mark McNamara menu design begins with the wines, and centres on finding the ideal dishes to pair with them. Mark’s exceptional understanding of both food and wine means this is a gourmet experience like no other, with his regional approach complimenting St Hugo’s incredible collection. Their portfolio is one of the most premium in Australia, and they have created various special tasting experiences to exhibit it. A recent addition to their offering includes a St Hugo & Riedel Wine Experience, which spans a luxurious five hours and includes a sensory workshop with St Hugo wines plus a degustation lunch.
Their Philosophy: "St Hugo wine is created to honour the bond between a father and a son. Every bottle is a promise of excellence and pays homage to love."
Our Wine Picks:
Visit the website: https://www.sthugo.com/