The Land Down Under has firmly established its reputation as the world’s leading gourmet paradise in the twenty-first century. Australian wineries can contend with the most illustrious establishments from France and Italy. Its wine-making craft has become as highly regarded as the relatively young Californian tradition. If you ever get a chance to roam the bucolic valleys of beautiful Australia, here is a selection of perfect travel destinations for wine lovers.
Start With the Famous Hunter Valley
One of the most famous wine regions on the continent is the spectacular Hunter Valley that extends from the eastern coast of New South Wales’s Newcastle and cuts inland. This is a perfect first destination to visit if you have landed on the Sydney Airport as it is located about 120-140 kilometers from the metropolis. Hunter Valley is also a dream come true for gourmet enthusiasts. The entire region and the surrounding towns are dotted with irresistible bistros, restaurants and highly regarded wineries.
The best course of action you can take is to rent a car and have a relaxing two-hour drive to Pokolbin, a sort of wine capital of the Hunter Valley that also claims the title of the oldest wine region on the entire continent. This is a quaint rural area that has wineries of all sizes – both multinational giants and modest family-owned wine businesses. The region is primarily known for its Sémillon and Shiraz, so seeking out wineries that are known for the best traditional varieties of this wine is a good starting point for your adventure.
A Taste of Italy in Warrandyte
The suburb of Warrandyte, which is located about 24 kilometers north-east of Melbourne, is renowned for its stellar wineries. The slightly chillier climate conditions coupled with the proximity to the ocean produce wine textures with a distinctive bite. The region is renowned for its exquisite Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but if you are in the mood to taste a different beverage, head to a winery with Italian tradition.
Browse the menu for the most outlandish dish you can possibly imagine and wash the first bite down with a sip of the best grappa brandy. This intriguing beverage should be enjoyed in smaller doses as it tends to have a higher alcohol percentage than wine and it comes in a variety of strong aromas.
Don’t Underestimate Western Australia’s Margaret River
The wine regions of the Land Down Under tend to be grouped in the south-eastern portion of the continent, so Western Australia sounds like a faraway land off the beaten path, especially if you plan to check out as many wineries in as little time as possible. However, this would be unfortunate because it boasts some of the most beautiful scenery on the continent, and the best argument for this is undoubtedly the quintessential Australian wine town – Margaret River.
The first thing that will strike you is the arresting beauty of the region. The romantic beachside near the town blends into serene wine regions, and the gentle hills covered with endless rows of wine trees disappear into the Blackwood National Park. If you are looking for a region that packs a lot of natural diversity in a small space, this is your destination. For a longer stay, check out the reputable boutique wineries that offer drop-dead-gorgeous accommodations for visitors that are just looking for a hedonistic escape. Spend your days soaking in the surroundings with a glass of Margaret River’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon that is positively out of this world.
Australia boasts a diverse set of climate conditions, soil types and land qualities. While it has mostly been renowned for its beautiful coastline and spectacular desert hinterland, one cannot disregard the subtle areas that lie only slightly inland, and which can mostly be found on the southern half of the continent. These quaint valleys and gentle mountain slopes boast a perfect mixture of balanced temperature and humidity for the cultivation of richly textured grapes. In some cases, the output of quality wine exceeds the perceived superiority of traditionally accepted wine-guru regions such as Southern France and Northern Italy. If you find this hard to believe, book a flight to the Land Down Under and taste what is slowly turning into the epitome of wine excellence.