Aussie wine regions that make sommeliers swoon
Check out AAMI’s favourite Aussie wine regions!
Coonawarra, South Australia
When you think about a wine trip to the South of Oz, your brain probably defaults to the Barossa Valley, but in-the-know winos head down to Coonawarra, right by the Victoria border. The wineries are quiet, they're picturesque and they're dishing up some of Australia's finest cab savs.
Don't miss: Redman. With vines planted up to 100 years ago, Redmans is one of the area's original wineries. Pop into their quaint cellar door to sample their gold-medal-winning Shiraz.
Clare Valley, South Australia
An easy 100 clicks north of Adelaide lies the Clare Valley – AKA Australia's Riesling Capital. With more than 30 wineries and cellar doors, a visitor's hardest task is choosing where to start (and end). While Riesling is the area's claim to fame, red connoisseurs needn't sweat – you'll find yourself plenty of cab savs and shiraz's to satisfy the most sophisticated of taste preferences.
Attention history buffs: A trip to Clare should always include a drop-in at Sevenhills Cellars, the area's original winery that was established in 1851 by Jesuit priests. Spoiler alert: you can tour the underground cellars and crypt. Not kidding.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
It's difficult to say whether the eight million visitors who come to the Mornington Peninsula each year do so for the wine or the scenery, but whichever way you're inclined, you're in for a treat. Long winding roads between Red Hill, Merricks and Main Ridge are dotted with quaint cellar doors, distilleries and craft breweries, giving you all the ingredients for an indulgent day … or week.
Our pick: Rare Hare at Jackalope – we're talking write-home-about fare and on-point chardonnay, overlooking the vines on which the grapes were grown.
The Yarra Valley, Victoria
No surprises that the Yarra Valley is on your wine region bucket list, but the rolling hills are so pretty it'd be just wrong not to include it. Whether you have a wood-fired pizza at Innocent Bystander in the heart of Healesville or sample Australia's answer to a French vineyard at Domaine Chandon, there's no shortage of delicious food and cool climate wines to thoroughly cleanse you.
Tasting note: This is the land of Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir. Consider yourself warned.
The Southern Highlands, NSW
Just 90 minutes south of Sydney and two hours from Canberra, the Southern Highlands is an ideal urban escape. The area is divided into nine "clusters", each worthy of an individual trip so you can sample the local produce and the chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet sauvignons that make the area famous.
Make a day of it: Head to the "Joadja" cluster to scope a raspberry farm and distillery before settling in at Tertini Wines in Mittagong for cheese as sublime as the Pinot noir.
The Derwent Valley, Tasmania
If there's one state that's name is synonymous with wine, it would have to be Tassie. The Derwent Valley is a must-visit region where you'll find biodynamic producers and a real paddock-to-plate mentality. The road from Hobart follows the tranquil Derwent River, lush rainforests and rolling hills that soothe the soul.
Culture on the side: Glitzy Moorilla Estate shares a plot with the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and The Source restaurant and wine bar, ensuring all of your cultural sensitivities are catered to.
The Granite Belt, Queensland
When you think "Queensland" you probably think sunshine, beaches and rainforests, but there is a very vibrant wine scene thriving in the southeast corner. The cool, dry climate sets the scene for a beautiful array of wines, with everything from viognier to malbec to Tempranillo ready to pour.
We love: Quirky Jester Hill Wines who dish up home-made fare and award-winning Sangiovese and Shiraz that you can sip between games of bocce or terrace chilling.
Looking to hit the road in search of the perfect rosé, shiraz or cab sauv? No matter which wine regions you’re planning to check out, remember to always stay safe and drink responsibly.