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Erin Dunn, Staff Writer

From avant-garde architecture to hidden hobbit-holes, these are nine of Australia’s most stunning cellar doors.

Australia is blessed with some of the most spectacular wine country in the world and while wine tasting is the ultimate aim, some cellar doors offer more than just a good drop. If you prefer your vino with a side of cinematic views, sensational design and heritage that’s lasted the ages, then set your sights on these spectacular cellar doors.   

Travel underground at TarraWarra Estate — Yarra Valley, Victoria

Despite first impressions, you have not stumbled into a Tolkien novel. Located in the Yarra Valley, this cellar door looks as though it’s been plucked straight out of Hobbiton. Access is via a wooden door hidden within a circular stone wall, which leads to an underground cellar door with moody, industrial charm and an elegant timber bar lit from the black funnel skylights overhead 

While the afternoon away underground in this Middle Earth-esque environment and then enjoy a stroll through 400 acres of farmland carpeted in rows of vines, vegetables and tall pine trees.

Go back in time at Tyrell’s — Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Walking through some of the Hunter Valley’s oldest vines to reach the cellar door of Tyrell’s winery is like stepping back in time. The original, rusted bark hut that Edward Tyrell lived in (back in 1858) takes pride of place, the old oak vats are still on display and the historic underground red cellar is still used in the wine-making process today.  

Experience 160 years of history and walk on the ground where six generations of wine-making prestige has been finessed, culminating in Vat 1 semillon — Australia’s most awarded white wine, whose vines were first planted in 1923.  

Avant-garde architecture at Levantine Hill — Yarra Valley, Victoria

This award-winning Yarra Valley winery could easily pass for an art gallery, with grand barrel vault ceilings and corrugated iron beams that direct your gaze out towards the vines insideMarrying architecture with award-winning drops, Levantine Hill’s cellar door is an avant-garde creation by the Fender Katsalid Architects, the same firm that designed MONA. The interior is filled with visually stunning barrel booths and two chef-hatted dining spaces, while outside the grounds are overflowing with wonderful paintings and sculptures by Australian artists.  

The wine is nothing to sniff at either (though, please do), with grapes handpicked and hand sorted into batches of 50kg to ensure only the best of the best fruit is used.  

Frolic through the sculpture park at Pt Leo Estate — Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

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“When you have lived a long time, you cherish what you have had and you celebrate life.” – Inge King. Inge King was one of Australia’s most acclaimed and prolific sculptors whose significant public commissions included the Royal Australian Air Force Memorial (1973) in Canberra, Forward Surge (1974-1982) outside the Melbourne Arts Centre and Sentinel (2000) on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne. King developed an exacting, austere and formidable style of constructivist abstraction. Much of her work is fabricated in steel or aluminium and painted black with occasional primary-coloured accents. Grand Arch was specially commissioned for Pt. Leo Estate Sculpture Park from a maquette created in 1993. The Sculpture serves as a symbolic entry portal to the park. #ptleoestate #ptleoestatesculpturepark #morningtonpeninsula #visitvic #grandarch #ingeking

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Pt Leo Estate is not just a winery. It’s 50 acres of vines tempered with cool, maritime breezes, a remarkable sculpture park with over 40 large scale pieces, a vast restaurant, a glamorous architecturally-designed cellar door and wine terrace with an unparalleled 180° view that extends towards Western Port Bay.  

On arrival, walk through sleek, fluid-looking concrete walls of the main building, designed to conjure the image of wine being poured into a glass, and kick back on the wine terrace with charcuterie, cheese, and a glass of pinot gris 

Wine with a side of art at Moorilla — Hobart, Tasmania

While MONA (next door) has a subterranean cave of wonders, the artwork in the tasting room of the neighbouring Moorilla Winery will literally go over your head.  

Established by the owner of MONA, David Walsh, this small-batch winery invites you to frolic among the cool climate vines of Tasmania’s second-oldest vineyard, swill a glass of signature Praxis and admire John Olsen’s stunning work of art, The Source (2002-03), in pride of place overhead.  

Take in sweeping views at Port Phillip Estate — Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Hidden deep in the earth with a dramatic staircase that descends into the cavernous cellar door and restaurant, Port Phillip Estate is a winery that knows how to set a first impression. Straddling a ridge in the cool Mornington Peninsula, this winery is an architectural monument with limestone walls that spiral into the earth and an outdoor deck overlooking seemingly endless vine-laced hills and the Westernport coast.  

You wouldn’t know it, but all wine production is internal with a winery and barrel room hidden in the basement, just underneath the cellar door. So, grab some friends and un-wine on the outdoor deck with that view and a glass of pinot noir.  

Explore the Rubik’s Cube design at D’Arenburg — McLaren Vale, South Australia

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How quickly things change. As of today, The d’Arenberg Cube, @darenbergcuberestaurant, @darrysverandah and @pollyswinelounge are closed indefinitely in line the governments new restrictions on licensed venues, including restaurants and cafes. The most important thing at this time is the health and safety of our guests and staff. While we wholeheartedly support the government decision, naturally we are disappointed for the customers who have booked an experience at d’Arenberg in the coming months. Rest assured we are currently working through the long list of people affected by this closure. We ask for your patience at this time and expect to hear from us as soon as we can. For urgent matters please email our bookings team at [email protected] or call (08) 8329 4888. The retail store at d’Arenberg remains open. Visit the Stables Antique Wine Store at d’Arenberg and restock the cellar. We are also currently offering complimentary delivery Australia-wide when you purchase six bottles or more from darenberg.com.au, or feel free to contact the stables directly on (08) 8329 4806 to discuss wine options.

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D’Arenburg’s cellar door marries a Rubik’s Cube-style design with the glitz of a disco ballOverlooking neat rows of shiraz and grenache vines, D’Arenberg itself is as much a spectacle as the panoramic views from its five stories 

Inspired by the complexities of winemaking, this architectural marvel was carefully designed to delight the senses with a wine aroma inhalation room, a 360° video installation that puts you (virtually) in a fermenter, an eclectic art collection and a tribal-themed restaurant with a degustation menu created by Michelin-trained chefs. Thanks to the unique puzzle-like design, one thing is for certain — you can drink in the valley views from wherever you stand 

Savour altar wine at Sevenhill Cellars — Clare Valley, South Australia

Sitting pretty amid the Clare Valley vines just off the Riesling Trail, overlooked by the stately St Aloysius’ Church, Sevenhill Cellars is one of South Australia’s oldest and most unique wineries. The cellar door was previously a Jesuit Monastery (established in 1851), but these days the close-to-holy drops are available for all to enjoy.  

Enjoy a picnic amid the vines, enjoy a near-spiritual tasting experience at the cellar door with a tasting of Sevenhill’s enduring altar wine, and tour the underground cellars and crypt.

English charm at Juniper Estate — Margaret River, Western Australia

A visual feast of rambling roses and flower-filled gardens with a quaint cottage of sandstone at its centre, Juniper Estate will fulfil your wildest Cotswold dreams. Nestled in Western Australia’s acclaimed Margaret River region, this beautifully intimate cellar door is a slice of English charm with the picturesque Wilyabrup Creek running through the middle and hard-to-resist grassy river banks either side; perfect for kicking back with a glass of 2013 cabernet sauvignon. 

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