Australian wineries

Hi, I am a long time member of the Society but have just discovered the Community facility!!

I am planning a trip to Oz in the early part of next year travelling to I Adelaide, then Melbourne via the Mornington Peninsular and on to Tasmania. I have one wine tour booked in the Barossa Valley but would appreciate any recommendations of wineries to visit. I am a big fan of Pinot Noir but enjoy all good wine.

Gordon,
Visited Oz a few years back. Had one day in Adelaide and booked a tour, tasting and meal at Penfolds. A memorable day. Wine to me has a large lump of romance and you get that in spades on the tour. Illuminating stories about Dr Penfold’s wife who was the real driving force behind the success of wines and also of Max Hastings and the early days of Grange. Took the icon tasting that was most instructive and then great lunch. Expensive but lives long in the memory. What ever you choose to do will be enjoyable I am sure. Have a great trip.

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Thank you Paul.

Hi Gordon,

Welcome to the community. What tour have you booked in the Barossa?

For cellar door experiences in the Barossa I would recommend Yalumba, Hentley Farm, Artisans of the Barossa, Tscharke & Turkey Flat… the list is pretty endless really. You can’t go far wrong as they do wine tourism very well. You could choose to do bigger, more well known wineries like Penfolds, Henschke, Wolf Blass, Peter Lehmann, Grant Burge, Two Hands, Rockfords, St Hallet etc and they will be great too. Yalumba is a bigger/more well known one too but has a special place in my heart.

If you get down to McLaren Vale definitely check out Samuel’s Gorge, Kay Brother’s or Yangarra.

Although I’m afraid you won’t find too much Pinot Noir in these places. Best save that for when you get to Vic/Tassie.

Cheers!

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Thank you Winechief, A good lot for me to go through and read up a little on. I am waiting for details of my tour but if it is like the ones I did in NZ the company will go where I want or will suggest if I ask.

Gordon

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Hi Gordon,

I have toured the Yarra valley from Melbourne, day trip, 4-5 wine stops, micro brewery, plus lunch, it was great, pick up and drop off from hotels and all in all very educational. It’s been a while but Yarra is now very foodie centric so possibly worth exploring….

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Hi Gordon, sounds a nice trip. Generally speaking, visiting Australian wineries is a wine lover’s dream; so many to see and everywhere has a warm welcome, usuall walk-ins are welcome and tasting flights free. It’s much, much better than Napa Valley; for example. The main downside for me was that, actually, the scenery is quite dull and monotonous unlike many other of the Globe’s famous wine regions.

Going cellar door crawling and tasting for me has two main purposes - and especially the case in Australia - both tasting and experiencing great wines of course, but also for the history and legacy so engrained in the Australian wine heritage where there are several examples of the oldest surviving vines of one or other variety thanks to many areas remaining phylloxera-free to this day. But you’ll know all this.

So, here goes. I am only mentioning cellar door / winery visits which had a lasting positive impression, and numbers about 1/3 of those we did visit. I’d look them up on their respective websites to see if they fit your bill.

Adelaide Hills - Geoff Hardy @ K1, Deviation Road, Shaw & Smith

(Remember Penfold’s old Magill Estate is in Adelaide suburbs and is definitely worth visiting not least for the history. They have Grange by the glass at the tasting counter and a very nice brasserie diner )

Eden Valley - Henschke, Eden Valley wines ( a tasting room showing a number of smaller independents’ wares), Yalumba

McLaren Vale - Kay Bros, d’Arenberg, Yangarra, Kangarilla Road. It’s also worth finding time to call into Hardy’s original Tintara winery where on display is the oldest Australian vintage wine (1867) Similarly the Reynell building oozing history is open to visitors though now is Accolade’s regional admin HQ.

Barossa - Two Hands (this is a paid tasting but the souvenir wine glass is worth money and was my favourite wine glass for a few years before someone, remaining nameless, broke it), Seppeltsfield (now independent once again, check out the vintage brandies over 100 years old), Langmeil (oldest shiraz vines - 1847 - in the world and still in production) Rockford, Turkey Flat, and Bethany (the best views of Barossa are from here and not further up at the sculpture park)

Legacy visits in Barossa - Chateau Tanunda with a lively tasting hall, and yes I do suggest it, Jacob’s Creek. Get there as soon as they open to avoid the coach trips, and pause besides the actual creek, though it will be dry when you go.

Then you are going over to Victoria ? Are you driving or flying to Melbourne. If the former, of course you’ll go through Coonawarra, then Grampians, Heathcote, Geelong etc etc ? I guess you’re not, though as you’d have mentioned it, but I can supply recommendations for these regions too.

So, now from Melbourne …

You mentioned Mornington P. but not Yarra Valley ? Personally if I only had time for one or the other I’d go with Yarra. I found Mornington wineries a chore to visit on the whole, many double up as restaurants, it’s very on-trend and the wine is quite pricey and usually tastings are paid -for. You’re right, it’s Pinot central but there as some very good PNs in Yarra.

But OK……

Mornington - Paringa (yes good but pricey PN, very nice Chardonnay), Kooyong (very nice comprehensive tasting) plus Moorooduc and Ocean 8. It’s also worth popping into the tasting bar at Merrick’s General Store which showcases smaller independents.

(Avoid 10 mins by Tractor, Stonier, T’Gallant and I wasn’t that enthused by Yabba Lake though it’s a nice setting)
Again, if you want suggestions for Yarra let me know, I will just say that by far the best PN we had in 8 weeks in Oz was at Pimpernel in Yarra.

Finally, Tassie - you have a good innings here by the sounds of it. So you have the North (Tamar) the Coal and Derwent valleys and out east to Bicheno ? You could if you were obsessional like me, travel to Bruny Island - Australia’s southernmost wine region - but honestly it’s for completionists not those with limited time. Anyway,

Tamar - Josef Chromy, Jansz, and the best fizz we had in Oz - Delamere.

Out East - Spring Vale, Freycinet, and surprisingly despite the hordes, Devil’s Corner. Great views too

Finally, Coal and Derwent - Frogmore Creek, Pooley (get lunch here…. !), & Moorilla

So that’s about it but let me know if you need more padding or elaboration

Best

Peter

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Thanks Andrew, I am not sure if I am going to get up to the Yarra Valley, I have had so many other recommendations closer to my route, but you never know!

Thanks again.

Gordon

Peter, I thought I had replied to your message but I can’t see it in the stream, so I am sending this one! Apologies if you get both.

Thank you very much for the detailed brief, this has really whetted my appetite for the trip. I will start visiting the websites to try and narrow down the options a little, otherwise the trip will be totally spent in wineries. Not a bad thing but I have a few other sights to see!!

Thanks again

Gordon

Excellent roundup @PHarvey

I would also echo a preference of Yarra over MP with the wines I’ve tasted.
I’ve not been to the Yarra yet but it is on the list.
Not sure if you’ve been to any of these and can recommend or advise to avoid but these would be high up on my list to visit/taste in Melbourne if on a wine list…

Hoddles Creek
Luke Lambert
Oakridge
Yering Station (particularly for their Shz/Viog)
Coldstream Hills
Yarra Yering
Mount Mary
Giant Steps
Toolangi
Jamsheed
Yeringberg
Wantirna

It’s a pretty exciting region with many other top names.
I just wish @Freddy would explore and list a few more rather than just tend to rely on Mac Forbes for all his Yarra needs :roll_eyes:

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Thanks for the further suggestions wc. I have a lot to look at now.

Gordon