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When it comes to Australia’s best wine producing regions, Western Australia’s Margaret River or South Australia’s Barossa Valley may come to mind. However Australia has more than 60 designated wine regions across the country and many regions on the East coast have also developed a worldwide reputation for award-winning wine.

So while the largest wine production region is South Australia, and Western Australia receives similar fame, don’t discount wine regions along the East Coast. Remember these names!

Australian Wine Producing Regions Along the East Coast

Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is known for it’s flagship chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wines, as well as its cellar doors and delicious local produce. Less than an hour drive from Melbourne, it’s a popular destination among locals for a weekend break, offering vineyards, fine dining, and luxury day spas.

Dating back to 1838, this is Victoria’s oldest wine region, though it is also known for its local breweries and artisan cider producers. Before you start on the trail, get up early for a one hour hot air balloon ride. Departing at sunrise, this offers a stunning view of the valley, and afterwards, guests are served a champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate.

There is no public transport to the Yarra Valley, so the best way to get there is on an organised tour or by hire car.

Before you start on the trail, get up early for a one hour hot air balloon ride.

Tasmania

Tasmania is one of the country’s fastest growing wine regions. Its unique cool climate is similar to those of famous grown European grapes, and the State produces exceptional Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sparkling wines.

Most of the vineyards in Tasmania are located around Launceston and on the east coast, and one of Australia’s greatest road trips, the Great Eastern Drive, will take you along the path of the East Coast Wine Trail.

This leads straight to the coast’s outstanding cellar doors, and it’s here that you’ll find tastings and wine sales, as well as a number of east coast restaurants who showcase the finest vintages.

Hunter Valley

Two hours drive north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine growing region. With more than 120 wineries, gourmet restaurants, and spa retreats on offer, a popular way to explore is to hire a car from the city, or, if you don’t want to fight over who’s playing designated driver, you can join a tour to visit several wineries in a day.

This region is known for putting on a diverse calendar of festivals and events, including concerts in the vineyards, jazz in the vines, and progressive-style dining events which wind through several of the wineries and restaurants.

Semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of the region but the Hunter also produces Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho, as well as popular hybrids like Chambourcin.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Wine

NSW South Coast

There are 14 wine regions in NSW, with diverse climates and growing environments and a range of grape varieties. The South Coast includes two regions; Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands.

The Southern Highlands’ wine scene is home to more than 60 vineyards specialising in pinot noir and pinot gris. This spans over the towns of Exeter, Moss Vale, Sutton Forrest, Bowral, Berrima and Mittagong.

The area also cultivates impressive cool-climate chardonnay, merlot, riesling, sauvignon blanc and shiraz, as well as award-winning sparkling wines.

The Shoalhaven Coast region stretches from Kiama in the North to Durras in the South, and west to Kangaroo Valley. It produces a wide range of varieties including Chardonnay, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

This region is also highly acclaimed for its produce markets, fresh seafood, and as the gateway to Australia’s Oyster Coast (taste freshly shucked local oysters).

Taste freshly shucked local oysters

Queensland

Queensland isn’t a heavy weight when it comes to Australian wine tourism, however its wineries at South Burnett and Granite Belt have won a string of awards at State and National shows, and are served in many leading restaurants throughout the State.

The South Burnett wine region is Queensland’s largest, located 200km north-west of Brisbane, and home to the States largest vineyard, Clovely Estate.

There are 25 vineyards in the region, and while barely more than a decade old, excellent results from young vines have seen the production of award winning white wines. Varieties grown include Chardonnay, semillon, shiraz, merlot, cabernet, verdelho and some Italian varieties.

Granite Belt wine country saw its first grapes planted in 1965, and since then Shiraz has outshone all other varieties (with the possible exception of Semillon).

This region offers a smorgasbord of cellar doors, distilleries and orchards in what is considered to be Queensland’s premier food and wine region. It is only three hours drive from either Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Yarra Valley Balloon Festival by Kym Wallis. Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley via Flickr user Roderick Eime.

    28 Comments

  1. I have never been to Australia, but I think there are a lot of similarities between the wine producing regions of East coast Australia and West coast of Canada. I don’t know how many wine regions are here in Canada? But I have seen some of the wine regions in BC and they are really too big. One thing is in common, that the wineries are a lot of fun, no matter where they are located?

    • We in turn haven’t yet made it to the West Coast of Canada, but it would be interesting to compare the two regions :)

      I’m not sure about wine regions in Canada actually, but you’re right that the one thing all wineries have in common is that they are a lot of fun!

      Happy travels Vishal :)

  2. My company has imported wines from Yatra valley:Andrew Peace wines & they hv a good market in Asia.

    • Fantastic Gopinath! Yes, Australian wineries have quite high exports, especially to the market in Asia. Yarra Valley wines are superb :)

  3. I am not sure how it is that we have not been to any of the wine regions you mentioned here. We have been near to plenty of them. I still can’t believe we didn’t get to Margaret River when we were in Perth last November. Next time.

    • I think a lot of people overlook the wine regions along the East Coast, many have been close but not made it the extra hour out that way. They are superb though, so definitely carve out some wine time when you make it back!

  4. These wines sound amazing! We actually just did a wine tasting last night and had wine and oysters– it was a really great combo. I’ve had some really great Australian wines but I need to try more.

    • Shoalhaven is the best place to go for a wine and oyster combo :) Hope you have the chance to visit soon!

  5. I have to admit that I know nothing about wine other than: “That’s a nice one!” or “Yuk! Can I get a water?”
    That being said I love roaming through wine regions because the endless rows of vines lióok simply stunning, and FOOD… So the vicinity of the NSW South Coast regions to Oyster Coast has definitely put it on my map :-)

    Happy continued travels!
    C

    • Haha, I agree with you, even for those who don’t have a particular taste for wine, the food and local produce is always incredible in these regions!

      Happy travels – hope you have the chance to take in the NSW South Coast soon!

  6. I love how there are so many luxury spas in the same regions as the winery lol! Sounds like the perfect pairing. Melbourne is a place I really want to visit, so it’s great to know that I can spend a day in Yarra Valley indulging in some great tasting wine and relaxing at a spa!

    • Luxury spas and wine are a good pairing aren’t they! Highly recommend the Yarra Valley if you’re in the Melbourne area at some stage :)

  7. Thanks for an educational post on the wine regions in the east coast. I’ve had wines from Tasmania, but not from the other regions! Would need to try those in the NSW south coast and pair it with seafood!

    • Absolutely – Shoalhaven for your oysters and fresh seafood! :)

  8. The East Coast of Australia has so many amazing wineries. I love living here in Victoria and exploring the Yarra Valley. It seems like every second farm down there is an award wining winery.

    • Yarra Valley is a pretty amazing spot to have in your backyard! We’re based up in Canberra at the moment, so perhaps we’ll bump into you during a road trip some time :)

  9. Sad to say, but I don’t know much about Australian wines. I have never visited a winery or gone on a wine tour either, but at least now I know a little about the Australian wine producing regions along the East Coast. :-)

    • Never a bad time to learn :) Glad we could introduce you to some of our regions here on the East Coast – if you visit Australia in the future, maybe this can be the stage for your first wine tour :)

  10. As everyone who knows me knows I’m not a huge wine fan. I will drink it every now and then but I do love ice wine, maybe because it’s sweet. What immediately jumped out at me is a balloon ride over the Yarra valley which reminded me of my balloon ride over Cappadocia in Turkey. I like wines tours because of the history, scenery and the process. Australia is already on my to go to list, this is one more reason…

    • The history of the region, the landscapes and the attractions like hot air balloon rides are definitely reason to visit these regions in their own right :) Hope to see you in Australia soon!

  11. These wines sound amazing!

    • Hope you have the chance to experience Australia’s wine regions soon :)

  12. I haven’t tried many Australian wines, but those that I did have were quite good. I’m usually more into the Italian varietals, but it seems that most Australian wine is the French grape varieties (Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, etc).
    I’m wondering if there is more variety in Australian wine than what I see at the supermarkets in my city.

    • Yes, you’re right that many Australian wines are the French grape varieties. I don’t know this for a fact, but I heard the other day that France and Australia are the opposite ends of the world on some type of spectrum which means certain regions have very similar climate and landscapes.

      I heard this when talking about how Tasmania has a lavender farm which is very similar to once in France. So perhaps that’s the reason, that the climate and landscapes are similar in certain parts, so French grapes flourish here too.

  13. Sounds like the perfect pairing. Melbourne is a place I really want to visit, so it’s great to know that I can spend a day in Yarra Valley indulging in some great tasting wine and relaxing at a spa!

    • Absolutely, the Yarra Valley is a great day trip from Melbourne. Hope you have the chance to travel soon :)

  14. hey…I read in a newspaper South Australia is the largest place of the world in producing wine. There are 14 to 17 regions in that who producing the wine. It seems like every second farm down there is an award-winning winery.

    • That wouldn’t surprise me – definitely seems like every second farm is a winery, and they always take out the awards!

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