Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, or still learning the difference between your pinot gris from your pinot noir, these 10 Aussie wineries will provide a great backdrop to escape the rat race and relax.
Where: Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra. Midway between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Wine: Elegant, biodynamically farmed. The Coonawarra red blend stands out.
Food: Nearby Pipers of Penol serves up French bistro-style fare.
Accommodation: Two stone cottages with spas and fireplaces. From $425 for two nights (minimum stay).
Highlight: The Villa cottage has a commercial kitchen.
Where: Pound Rd, Macclesfield, Adelaide Hills. A one-hour drive from Adelaide.
Wine: The Piece Shiraz – hand picked, aged in French oak – is superb. Boat Shed Nebbiolo Rosato also delish.
Food: Longview Sunday Tapas, with Mediterranean-style platters served on the lawn. Otherwise the Three Brothers Arms or Macclesfield Hotel are both nearby.
Accommodation: 12 Vineyard Suites or The Homestead (which can divide into two apartments). From $175 per night.
Highlight: Views from suites over the pinot noir vines.
Where: Trevarrick Rd, Sevenhill, Clare Valley. A one-hour drive from Adelaide.
Wine: They produce Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay, which there’s not much of in the valley.
Food: Skillogalee Winery Restaurant. Pick a verandah seat under olive trees overlooking the vines.
Accommodation: Three-bedroom stone Skillogalee House overlooking a dam; three-bedroom wooden Owl Cottage or two-bedroom Wren Cottage, both on a hill. Nights from $235.
Highlight: Skillogalee House is a 160-year-old ex-miner’s cottage.
New South Wales
Borrodell on the Mount
Where: 298 Lake Conobolas Rd, a ten-minute drive from Orange.
Wine: Lovely Pinot Noir. The vineyard was added to a working orchard, so don’t miss their apple cider.
Food: Their Sister’s Rock restaurant, or in town at Lolli Redini or Union Bank.
Accommodation: Contemporary Sommerset and Kingston suites; more traditional three-bedroom Chardonnay and Truffles cottages which are good for families. From $180 a night, two-night minimum on weekends.
Highlight: One of the highest vineyards in Australia, which means fantastic views over the valley, particularly when their 6000 cherry trees are blossoming.
Keith Tulloch Wines
Where: Corner Hermitage and Deasys Rd, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley. A two-hour drive from Sydney.
Wine: The Kester Shiraz is the prize tipple; Botrytis Semillon also yummy.
Food: Muse Kitchen is a destination in itself; simple Italian-style food made with quality produce.
Accommodation: The Manager’s Quarters, a stunning two-bedroom apartment with terrace above Muse, with views to the Brokenback Ranges. From $560 per night, two-night minimum.
Highlight: Tulloch’s wife is an interior designer and it shows in the gorgeous French provincial interiors.
Port Phillip Estate
Where: 263 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill South, Mornington Peninsula. An hour’s drive southeast of Melbourne.
Wine: Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris… it’s all good.
Food: Their chic, modern Dining Room has a European-influenced menu and views over the vineyard to Westernport Bay.
Accommodation: Six ultra-luxe modernist apartments, with king-size beds, glam furnishings and outdoor terraces. From $500 a night.
Highlight: Missoni bathrobes and Bill Henson artworks.
Where: 25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana, Mornington Peninsula.
Wine: Their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are tasty; even better are their non-estate grown Iberian Peninsula varieties like the Los Hermanos.
Food: Stillwater Restaurant uses ingredients from sustainable and organic local producers and from the kitchen’s garden.
Accommodation: Three one-bedroom over-water villas. From $250 per night.
Highlight: Crittenden’s Wine Centre takes the cellar door experience to the next, much more relaxed, level.
Lindenderry at Red Hill
Where: 142 Arthurs Seat Rd, Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula.
Wine: Delightful sparkling Pinot Noir.
Food: Linden Tree restaurant is surrounded by trees and looks over vineyards and hills; it focuses on local produce.
Accommodation: 40 rooms, recently elegantly refurbished, from $250 a night.
Highlight: The on-site Wellness Centre, with pool and hot spa.
Where: 3341 Caves Rd, Yallingup, Margaret River. Three-hour drive, or 45-minute flight, from Perth.
Wine: On-site winery produces world-class Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, but there’s no cellar door. Luckily, you’re just minutes from Cullen, Vasse Felix and Moss Wood vineyards.
Food: Don’t miss the two-hatted Cape Lodge Restaurant.
Accommodation: 22 super stylish rooms in a very posh country house, or a four-bedroom private residence. With swimming pool and tennis court. From $399 a night.
Highlight: Three kilometres from white sand beaches.
Where: 655 Main Rd, Berriedale, Hobart. A 30-minute ferry ride from Brooke Street ferry terminal.
Wine: Moorilla Estate, connected to MONA, is known for its zesty whites and Pinot Noir.
Food: French-accented fine dining at The Source.
Accommodation: Eight chic, ultra-contemporary riverside pavilions, with artworks from owner David Walsh’s private collection. From $600 a night.
Highlight: The MONA. Unmissable for Australia’s most avant-garde art exhibitions.