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Australia’s Best Wine Experiences

Erin Dunn, Staff Writer

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a glass of fine white wine to finish off a busy day at work and if there’s one thing that Australia is known for, it’s our varied and breathtaking vineyards and award-winning wines. With an astounding 2,400 wineries in 65 wine regions across the country — of which I’ve only sipped the surface.

Here, sampling a fine vintage is a way of life and venturing out to nearby vineyards is the ultimate way to spend a long weekend or a short staycation. If you’re still scrambling for your next winery escape or you’re unsure of which wine region is for you — which is fair, considering each region boasts its own distinct grapes, flavours and terroir — then sit back with a glass or two while you get the insider scoop on some of Australia’s best wine regions, paired perfectly with exquisite Luxury Escapes Experiences.

1. Hunter Valley, NSW — Luxury Private Day Tour: Hunter Valley Ultimate Wine & Food Trail

A short two-hour drive from the bustling metropolis of Sydney, in the magnificent foothills of the Brokenback Ranges, Australia’s self-proclaimed ‘most visited wine region’ awaits.

Avid wine drinkers won’t be surprised to see Hunter Valley on this list, with more than 150 wineries renowned for their full-bodied chardonnay, earthy shiraz and aged semillions, restaurants aplenty and sweeping landscapes dotted by the odd kangaroo, this is the ultimate weekender.

Sydney Private Day Tours ‘Hunter Valley Ultimate Wine & Food Trail’ should be a must on every foodie and wine lover’s list: you’ll have the chance to discover world-class wines and gourmet delights on a full-day luxury private tour.

With several stops and wine tastings at award-winning vineyards, boutique wineries and local distilleries, you’ll gain a fascinating insight into the winemaking process. You’ll also have the to chance to speak directly with growers, organic farmers and artisan makers of fine cheese, golden olive oil and handmade chocolate. Trace the gourmet trail and savour ‘paddock-to-plate’ cuisine overlooking the vine-laced terrain and complete your day trip with a visit to the Australian Wildlife and Reptile Park where you will enjoy a VIP private koala experience.

2. McLaren Vale, South Australia — Private Luxury Tour: Coast and Fly

Just 45-minutes south of Adelaide and one of Australia’s oldest and most acclaimed wine regions, the Mclaren Vale hides a bounty of wine and gourmet offerings across more than 80 vineyards.

There’s no better way to savour the beauty of this magnificent region than with a scenic helicopter flight over the vines below, private tastings and a sumptuous lunch with exclusive inclusions just for Luxury Escapes guests.

Embark on Coast & Co’s full-day ‘Coast and Fly’ discovery with a 4WD experience into the spectacular 600-million-year-old Onkaparinga Gorge, enjoy the premium wines of Shottesbrooke Winery with a private tasting in their famous Picker’s Hut and ascend over the coast and vineyards with a 30-minute helicopter flight. With your feet firmly planted back on South Australian terra, taste the local produce over three-courses at Mclaren Vale favourite, The Currant Shed. To finish your wine lover’s discovery, visit the prestigious Bekkers Wine, crafted by husband and wife duo, Toby and Emmanuelle, who will guide you on a world-class tasting experience.

3. Yarra Valley, Victoria — Private Deluxe Tour: Yarra Valley Wine & Wildlife

Every proud Melburnian knows about the Yarra Valley’s rolling hills strung with vines, cellar doors and fine-dining restaurants — just a little over an hour from the CBD.

Vinetrekker’s incredible ‘Yarra Valley Wine & Wildlife’ tour offers the perfect introduction to the best of Victoria as you experience the iconic wildlife and taste the Yarra Valley’s exquisite wine and food.

Kick-off with a private pick-up from your Melbourne CBD accommodation and get up and close with the locals, aka kangaroos, koalas and birdlife at the world-renowned Healesville Sanctuary — includes reserved seats at the acclaimed Spirits of the Sky show. Be awed by parrots as they light up the sky and birds of prey as they feed on the wing.

Next, visit Victoria’s first vineyard, Yering Station, proudly established in 1838, and taste signature wines from the heritage cellar door, before enjoying a decadent degustation lunch with wine pairings and barista-made coffee. No self-respecting tour would be complete without a visit to the acclaimed De Bortoli Wines in this premier cool climate wine region, where you enjoy some of the finest pinot noir and chardonnay Australia has to offer, perfectly matched with a cheese platter.

4. Margaret River, Western Australia — Leeuwin Estate: Ultimate Wine and Food Experience

When you think of Margaret River, no doubt your mouth immediately begins to salivate at the thought of the endless wine and gourmet cuisine. Hidden in the southwest corner of Western Australia, this breathtaking province has built a reputation for having a wine scene to rival that of France and Italy in its 50 short years.

Be invited behind the scenes of one of the five founding wineries in the Margaret River, Leeuwin Estate, on a whirlwind ‘Ultimate Wine and Food Experience’. Be welcomed with a glass of Leeuwin Estate Brut to begin and prepare your palate for Leeuwin’s age-worthy, internationally acclaimed wines.

Enjoy a tutored tasting of the five iconic Leeuwin Estate Art Series wines, each accompanied by a perfectly matched canapé. The prestigious Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay has been included in US Wine Spectator’s editor’s annual top 100 list numerous times and the Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon named in UK Decanter Magazine’s Top 50 wines of the year.

Enliven your tastebuds with a three-course lunch from the award-winning restaurant’s seasonal menu to finish, accompanied by a selection of five wines from your tasting.

5. Barossa Valley, South Australia — St Hugo & Riedel Fine Wine Experience

Steeped in heritage, Barossa Valley is as full-bodied as the wines it produces with more than 80 cellar doors and some of the oldest vines in the world.

Fine wine isn’t just a masterclass in the swirl and sniff, it’s an experience that’s not wholly complete unless it’s with the finest glassware to concentrate the aromatic flavours, subtle undertones and unique qualities of even the youngest wine.

The ‘St Hugo & Riedel Fine Wine Experience’ allows you to sample the internationally acclaimed tastes of St Hugo, whose wines pay homage to the family’s wine history in this ‘St Hugo & Riedel Fine Wine Experience’.

Taste the difference of quality glassware with Riedel —established in 1756 and boasting over 250 years and 11 generations of glassmaking experience, there’s a perfect glass for every drop.

Together, these two powerhouses invite you to discover how the right wine, enjoyed using the right glass, can take you on a true sensory experience. Delve into why a specific wine glass is so important, followed by a degustation lunch carefully curated to match the outstanding St Hugo wines.

Round out this incredible experience with your choice of St Hugo vintage, which will be delivered to your home with Riedel glassware.

BONUS:

+ Barossa Valley, South Australia — Seppeltsfield: Taste Your Birth Year

For a special experience, browse through more than a century of para tawny bottling at Seppeltsfield, with the unique opportunity to taste the tawny vintage bottled the year you were born.

Descend into the Centennial Cellar for a fascinating insight into the aging process and sip wine that’s as old (or as young) as you are directly from the barrel. Sometimes it pays to be the oldest.

Luxury Escapes has a variety of experiences that can be booked with us when you purchase your next escape to one of Australia’s magnificent wine regions. If you’ve already booked a Luxury Escape, you can add an experience now by going to My Account > My Escapes.

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