4 Australian Wine Regions Every Wine Lover Should Visit

Posted on: 15 September 2016

Australia is renowned worldwide for its high-quality wine. In 2015, Australia was fifth on the list of the world's top wine exporters, and $9.2 billion is spent every year in the nation's wineries by domestic and international tourists. With 71 wine regions to be found nationwide, tourists are spoilt for choice! Take a look at four Australian wine regions that are guaranteed to delight the tastebuds of any oenophile.

1. Barossa Valley, South Australia

No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to the Barossa Valley, the nation's oldest wine-growing region. 'The Barossa', as locals affectionately call it, is located two hours north of Adelaide, South Australia, and is home to the world's oldest grape vines, some of which date back to the 1840s. The region is famous for its Barossa Shiraz, which, as British wine critic Jancis Robinson writes in Wine Course, has garnered international acclaim for its rich spice and chocolate flavour. 

2. Swan Valley, Western Australia

The Swan Valley Tourism Association promotes this region as being 'a world of surprises just minutes away', and they are correct, on both counts. The Swan Valley, located just 25 minutes from the heart of Perth, Western Australia, is home to more than 40 small, family-owned vineyards, each of which offers a unique experience in addition to their main trade. One winery offers visitors free use of its paddle-boards to explore a nearby lake, and another has teamed up with the Margaret River Chocolate Company to give tourists the chance to watch chocolate-making in action. Some even allow visitors to print their own labels for the bottles of wine they buy!

3. Yarra Valley, Victoria

The Yarra Valley is another destination popular with tourists, with 3.1 million day-trippers visiting the region in 2011, and for good reason. Critic James Halliday ranked the region's chardonnay as among the nation's best in his 2014 Wine Companion, with oenophiles particularly pleased with its citrus and peach notes. The Yarra Valley is located an hour east of Melbourne, Victoria, and when they are not sampling the best of the region's wines, visitors can enjoy the nearby Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, popular with Melburnians as the state capital's closest ski field.

4. Tamar Valley, Tasmania

The Tamar Valley is one of Australia's smaller wine regions, with the region producing only 0.5% of the nation's grapes in 2013, but certainly punches above its weight. The 170km-long Tamar Valley Wine Route, which traverses the northern reaches of the island state of Tasmania, was listed amongst the top 10 wine routes in the world by Essential Traveller Magazine. Due to Tasmania's cool climate, wines produced in the Tamar Valley have the most vintage variations of any Australian wine, with pinot noir and chardonnay both regional specialties. The Tamar Valley, and Tasmania generally, is renowned internationally for its beautiful scenery, making the region the perfect setting for vineyard-hopping.

Australia's vineyards have a lot to offer, but there's not enough time to visit them all. These four wine regions serve as a good introduction for domestic and international oenophiles to Australian wines, but once you've visited these, you're bound to be back.