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Discover the best Australian wines by region

A beginner’s guide to the best vineyards and wine varieties across Australia, covering everything from reds in Margaret River to summer whites in the Hunter Valley.
By · May 29, 2024
Discover the best Australian wines by region

Australia ranks fifth on the list of biggest wine producers in the world and is the 4th biggest exporter globally, contributing over a billion litres of wine each and every year.

With 65 wine regions located around the country, and vineyards that cover some 170,000 hectares of land, it’s no wonder Australian wine is so highly regarded by sommeliers and casual sippers alike.

Since we know taste-testing every bottle and visiting every cellar door across Australia would be near impossible (even for the most passionate of wine drinkers) we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to the best Australian wines by the region they come from.

Australian wine regions

While there are many wine regions located around Australia, most of the country’s vines grow in cooler regions such as Margaret River (WA), the Yarra Valley (Victoria), and Barossa Valley (South Australia).

The lower temperatures suit a wide range of grape varieties, meaning you’ll find a diverse selection of wines across these areas. Wine making isn’t exclusive to the cooler regions, though. The warmer and more humid area of the northwest of NSW is home to the oldest wine region in Australia, the Hunter Valley.

Wine regions from across Australia crushed roughly 1.3 million metric tons of grapes in 2023.

Margaret River, Western Australia

Best known for: Cabernet Sauvignon

The Margaret River region in Western Australia is a natural playground made up of forestry, pristine beaches and an abundance of local wildlife. But perhaps what it’s best known for is the production of some of Australia’s best-tasting wines.

Located just three hours from Perth, Margaret River is home to more than 150 different wineries. The region is most famous for its cabernet sauvignon and other full-flavoured white wines such as chardonnay and sauvignon and semillon blanc blends.

Must visit vineyards in Margaret River, Western Australia

  1. Whicher Ridge offers a range of wine-tasting and testing experiences, including a wine sensory garden, seasonal winemaking, and traditional wine tasting at the cellar door.

  2. Cullen Wines is a biodynamic and carbon-neutral winery offering group and private seated tasting experiences.

  3. Moss Wood is an appointment-only winery experience with bookings required a minimum of two weeks prior to visiting. Taste wine from the barrel, visit the museum and if you visit through vintage season (February to April) you may be lucky enough to see grape processing and taste test the grapes at different stages of fermentation.

Top-rated Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Margaret River, Western Australia

  1. Bleasdale Vineyards The Iron Duke Cabernet Sauvignon 2020. Winner of 2023 Halliday Awards Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year.

  2. Abbey Vale Premium RSV. Cabernet 2022. Winner of the Langton's 2023 Margaret River Wine Show - Best Cabernet Sauvignon.

  3. Capel Vale Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2021.

  4. 2021 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon. Australia’s Best Cabernet at the National Wine Show of Australia 2023.

Barossa Valley, South Australia

Best known for: Shiraz

The Barossa Valley is located roughly one hour northeast of Adelaide and is home to more than 150 wineries and some 13,000 hectares of beautiful vineyards. While a number of different grape varieties grow here, the region is best known for its Shiraz. Whether you’re a wine tasting enthusiast or are looking to take in the natural beauty of some vineyards, the Barossa Valley has something for everyone.

Must visit vineyards in Barossa Valley, South Australia

  1. Yalumba is the only winery in the southern hemisphere with an onsite, operational cooperage (making wine barrels) offering a unique look at one of wine making's most critical elements.

  2. Seppeltsfield winery and estate is a historic and widely popular spot in the Barossa Valley. Offering cellar door, distillery, art studio and a variety of tours and experiences, it’s somewhere wine enthusiasts can spend hours and hours.

  3. Chateau Tanunda has some of the oldest vines in Australia. Expect award-winning rare blends and collectable ‘Old Vine’ varieties.

Top-rated wine from Barossa Valley, South Australia

  1. Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz. Winner of the 2024 International Wine Challenge in London.

  2. Hayes family wines, 2022 barossa valley shiraz.

  3. Hentley Farm 2022 Seppeltsfield Vineyard Shiraz. WBM Best Shiraz Trophy winner and Dual Trophy winner at the 2023 Barossa Wine Show.

Yarra Valley, Victoria

Best known for: Pinot Noir

The Yarra Valley is located less than an hour away from Melbourne’s hustle and bustle. Despite its close proximity to the city, the Yarra Valley region is home to a wide selection of wineries, nestled among breathtaking scenery.

While many varieties of wine are produced in the Yarra Valley, the region is best known for its pinot noir. The cooler Victorian temperatures and diverse soils of the region help create the distinct Australian pinot noir characteristics - light to medium bodied with plum, strawberry and cherry flavours.

Must visit vineyards in Yarra Valley, Victoria

  1. Panton Hill Vineyard and winery is a boutique winery just 35 minutes from Melbourne. It’s also the winner of Australia’s Best Cellar Door Awards under the best small cellar door category.

  2. Coombe Yarra Valley offers cellar door experiences or slow and lazy wine and cheese tasting in the garden terrace.

  3. Seville Estate was named winery of the year at the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion Awards. Taste award-winning wine and choose to dine or stay at the vineyard apartments and homestead.

Top-rated wine from Yarra Valley, Victoria

  1. 2022 Yarra Yering Pinot Noir. This wine comes with a RRP of $130, so it's no cheap drop, but it came up in first place in the Young Gun of Wine Pinot Noir round-up and promises to please.

  2. Yarra Valley The Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir won the 2023 Global Pinot Noir Masters Gold Medal, and with a RRP of $25, you can’t go wrong.

  3. Trentham Estate Yarra Valley Pinot Noir has a long list of awards attached to its name including the GOLD prize at the 2023 Melbourne International Wine Competition.

Hunter Valley NSW

Best known for: Semillon

The Hunter Valley in NSW is known for producing some of the world’s best semillon wine. Perhaps thanks to the rich soils, the Hunter Valley Semillon is responsible for putting this region on the global wine map.

Must visit vineyards in Hunter Valley, NSW

  1. Brokenwood offers a cellar door experience, a full restaurant, and a dedicated wine bar. There’s also a lively on-site music scene, and winery tours are available for those wishing to dive a bit deeper into the wine-making process.

  2. Thomas Wines Cellar door is dedicated to the region’s signature drop—semillon—making it the perfect place to enjoy the variety the Hunter Valley is most famous for.

  3. Audrey Wilkinson Cellar Door is located among the Brokenback Mountain Range. With 360 degree views of the expansive Hunter landscape, this is a must-visit wine tasting spot.

Top-rated wine from Hunter Valley, NSW

  1. Brokenwood 2023 Semillon, winner of the 2023 NSW Wine Awards, the 2023 Royal Adelaide Wine Show and 2023 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

  2. Audrey Wilkinson winemaker’s selection Semillon 2022. Fresh, crisp and a RRP of just $36, this semillon is a popular drop from the Hunter Valley region.

  3. Tyrrell's Wines Vat 1 Semillon is Australia’s most-awarded white wine - an absolute must-try for those looking to sip the best of the region (and perhaps the country).

Best Aussie wines

So there you have it: a full rundown of the best vineyards and varieties from across Australia. If you’re thinking of hitting the wine-tasting trail, use this as your go-to guide and know you’ll be selecting some of the best wines, vineyards and regions that the country has to offer.

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