People from all corners of the globe have developed a taste for Australian wine, thanks to the country's status as one of the top five wine exporters in the world. Millions of litres of whites, reds and roses are produced (and consumed) every year, from the cool-climate valleys in the south to temperate coastal vineyards. Whether your palate is under-developed or perfectly balanced, a journey into wine country always comes with a side serve of spectacular scenery and delicious food.
The great romantic escape that is South Australia's Barossa region is perfectly primed for Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Semillon and a great many grape varieties in between. One of the earliest wine regions in the country, the Barossa is an easy hour from Adelaide – ideal day-trip or overnight material with plenty of cosy B&Bs to be found.
A popular haunt for Melbournians, the Yarra Valley combines award-winning wineries with postcard-perfect townships to create a great countryside escape. With vines dating back to the 1830s, the Yarra is best known for its oaky Chardonnays from notable labels such as De Bortoli and Yering Station, with some 150 wineries scattered across the rolling hills.
At an enviable coastal position three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is a place where wine lovers and surf seekers mingle before making their way to the premium vineyards or offshore swells respectively. Dozens of cellar doors don the Margaret River-Augusta area, offering the chance to sample a range of Cabernet blends with an organic or biodynamic spin.
The lauded Hunter Valley is mecca for wine buffs who happily make the two-to-three hour pilgrimage from Sydney. Tastings, tours and tutorials can be experienced across the Hunter, which is known not for its size, but for outstanding heritage and quality, crafting some of the best Semillon and Verdelho vintages around.