June is a great time to get out and about to visit the wine regions, enjoy some long lunches and pick up a few bargains along the way.
Winter in Australia tends to be a quieter time at cellar doors, which is a great pity as it often coincides with the latest vintage of Reds being released and there is something special about a long lunch with some nice glasses of red wine in front of an open fire…
Here are a few of our favorite road-trips (multiple overnight stays required, but well worth it!):
- Coal Valley (Tasmania).
Southern Tasmania punches well above its weight when it comes to quality wines. With a reputation for brilliant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, lovers of Riesling should seek out this region as well. For those who like the sweeter Rieslings, seek out Frogmore Creek or Craigow. For a dryer, more traditional style, try Riversdale Estate.
Richmond is a great place to stay, although the Coal Valley is only a short trip from Hobart.
If fortified wines are your thing, Rutherglen in Victoria is the place to go. Rich in history, some of the wineries here are about as old as liquor licensing laws themselves. For those more interested in gold and water sports, the local supermarket has a very good selection of local wines, as does the tourist information centre.
Wineries such as Campbells, Morris, All Saints and Chambers Rosewood should be included in every visit to the region. If you have time, add in Buller, Warrabilla and Pfeiffer – there really are no bad choices in this region.
Accommodation is plentiful, but book ahead for any weekends from September to March. The same goes for fine dining at Tuileries or Taste of Rutherglen (for Friday or Saturday nights you may need to reserve a table a week in advance).
3. Barossa Valley
South Australia has more wine regions than any state of Australia and all have their own unique draw-cards. The Barossa is arguably the best value of all the wine regions, although if you are travelling from Victoria, a stopover in Coonawarra to sample quality Cabernet Sauvignon is highly recommended.
There are far too many quality cellar doors in the Barossa Valley to list here. Choose your own adventure and be pleasantly surprised.
4. Margaret River
Western Australia has much to offer and the drive south to Margaret River offers a lot to those prepared to travel.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the signature variety of the region and very different to Coonawarra, but no less wonderful. Wineries such as Will’s Domain offer no less than three different expressions of this iconic grape type.
Unlike some regions, Margaret River calls for a relaxed approach to wine tourism, so take your time and enjoy the experience.