6 underrated Australian wine regions you shouldn’t miss
The Barossa, the Yarra Valley, Margaret River – it’s easy to reel off famous Australian wine regions. While they all warrant endless praise, Australia has dozens more wine regions that deserve a slice of attention, too.
Scratch below the surface and you’ll discover a wealth of magnificent vineyard-cloaked areas that demand the attention of your eyes, nose, and palate and are perfect for a weekend away.
Don’t know where to start? Not to worry – we’ll help you on your way with our handpicked selection of underrated wine regions. There’s one for each of the six states of Australia.
1. Alpine Valleys Wine Region, Victoria
There’s much to love about Victoria’s High Country, which extends to the wonderful wine produced throughout the region. King Valley snatches most attention in these parts, but Alpine Valleys is deserving of just as much focus. Its many microclimates allow for the production of 30-plus wine varieties – including several less traditional types – which can be sampled at roughly a dozen cellar doors. A signature of the area is wines that produce robust fruit characteristics.
Where is it? A three-hour drive northeast of Melbourne to the start of this region.
Winery choice: First-rate views and wines combine at Boynton's Feathertop Winery in Porepunkah.
While you’re at it…Explore wonderful waterfalls, wildflowers, and other natural treasure within Mount Buffalo National Park.
2. Geographe Wine Region, Western Australia
This gem highlights that Margaret River isn’t the only grape-growing area worth unearthing in the spectacular South West WA region. The Geographe Wine Region is less than 20 years old – this goes some way to explaining its underrated status – and has huge appeal owing to its profound diversity. This applies to both the landscapes you’ll encounter and the variety of wine that’s up for grabs. Popular whites include chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and semillon, while shiraz is a leading red variety. Also keep an eye out for wines that are less commonly produced in Australia, such as nebbiolo.
Where is it? A 1.5-hour drive south of Perth to the start of this region.
Winery choice: Hackersley Estate in the tranquil Ferguson Valley, near Bunbury, is one of many great options.
While you’re at it…Take advantage of the chance to swim with dolphins in Bunbury.
3. Mudgee Wine Region, New South Wales
This gem is not exactly flying under the radar but it feels as if Mudgee doesn’t quite get the accolades it deserves when it should rate as one of Australia’s best wine regions. The numbers certainly suggest it’s doing something right – this is one of the state’s biggest producers of wine and there’s upwards of 30 cellar doors to visit. Various climates ensure the region offers diversity, although Mudgee is best known for its robust reds. Visit in spring when the month-long Mudgee Wine and Food Festival takes over the town.
Where is it? A 3.5-hour drive northwest of Sydney.
Winery choice: di Lusso Estate produces top quality wines with a distinct Italian flavor.
While you’re at it…If you prefer a pale over a pinot, Mudgee Brewing Company produces a solid range of beers.
Accommodation option: Active Holidays BIG4 Mudgee.
4. East Coast Wine Region, Tasmania
The East Coast of Tasmania is a sparkling part of the world full of stunning natural attractions and sensational coastal views. It’s also sprinkled with excellent wineries that provide the area with even more appeal. The region’s various boutique wineries are spread out, with the main cluster found between Swansea and Bicheno. Like Tasmania in general, pinot noir is the signature variety of this cool-climate region.
Where is it? A 1.25-hour drive northeast of Hobart to the start of this region.
Winery choice: Freycinet Vineyard in Bicheno is a pioneer of the region and has a quality selection of wines.
While you’re at it…Exploring Freycinet National Park and its spectacular natural scenery is just as rewarding as sampling the area’s wines.
5. South Burnett Wine Region, Queensland
Queensland earns much less attention for its wine compared to other states but it should not be overlooked. And although South Burnett is quite young it has quickly emerged as a must-visit Australian wine region. Boutique wineries dot the contrasting landscape and the area’s warm climate suits the production of both reds and whites. More unusual varieties such as verdelho and sangiovese share barrel space alongside regular suspects like chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and shiraz.
Where is it? A 2.5-hour drive northwest of Brisbane to the region’s southern section (approximately).
Winery choice: Crane Wines in Kingaroy blends beautiful scenery with tasty wines.
While you’re at it…Day trip to the majestic Bunya Mountains and enjoy breathtaking views.
Accommodation option: Kingaroy Holiday Park has plenty of great cabin accommodation that’s ideal when exploring the region’s southern part.
6. Currency Creek Wine Region, South Australia
In a state boasting several world-class wine regions, it’s little surprise that you’ll find other exceptional grape-growing areas hiding in the shadows. A good example is Currency Creek, situated within classic country landscapes of South Australia’s gorgeous Fleurieu Peninsula. Vines first hit the soil in 1969, and while there is just a small selection of wineries it’s a case of quality, not quantity. A maritime climate helps the area avoid extreme temperatures and leads to the production of superb whites and reds, led by sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and shiraz.
Where is it? A 70-minute drive south of Adelaide.
Winery choice: Visit the site where it all began – Currency Creek Estate.
While you’re at it…Drive a further half-hour east and you’ll unearth another hidden gem, the Langhorne Creek Wine Region, well-known for its delicious reds.
Accommodation option: Port Elliot Holiday Park is only minutes from the heart of Currency Creek.
Do you have a favourite wine region that our readers should know about? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Isn’t it time you treated yourself to an indulgent weekend? Book your wine adventure today with BIG4.
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