THERE are little pockets of Australia where the wine is flowing and the guests are nowhere to be seen. These are the little gems that haven’t been overrun with booze buses and weekend tourists.
If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur, it is suggested you get on the next budget flight to these secret wine regions before it is too late.
Broke Fordwich, NSW
This little wine region, just outside the Hunter Valley in NSW, is packed full of old-school country charm.
It is the kind of place where a local will invite you over for a cup of tea, kids run along the charming roads giggling and the fresh air soothes away the city stress.
An easy two-hour drive out of Sydney, the area is becoming known for its charming restaurants, delicious wines and mind-blowing scenery.
The drop of choice in this sleeping town is Verdelho and Shiraz. Natural wines are making their mark here too, especially the organic wines coming out of Ascella vineyard and biodynamic options from Krinklewood.
So grab some olives at Whispering Brook, a bottle of your favourite wine and settle down with the backdrop of Brokenback Mountain Ranges for a rural experience like no other.
North West and Derwent Valley, Tasmania
There was a time when the Aussie island would have only been visited by 60-plus pensioners looking for an escape. Then the controversial MONA gallery opened a few years back and ever since young, cultured things have been making their way south.
And with all that travel, comes the thirst.
Art goes better with wine, so after you’re exhausted from your critiquing, drop into Moorilla Winery at the MONA for a drink at the wine bar.
Tassie is known for its cool climate wines so after checking out all the museum has to offer, a drive north along the Derwent River is in order.
There are some stunning vineyards in the Derwent Valley region. Stop at Laurel Bank Wines for a chilled riesling while enjoying the wild views, then continue on to Stefano Lubiana Wine to get your organic hit.
Once you’ve soaked in the magic of the Derwent trail, head north to the other wine region currently making a big splash.
For a culinary journey like no other – complete with interactive map – take the Cradle to Coast tasting trail. The lush North West has white sand beaches, mountains and quaint fishing villages plus an abundance of wine ready for the tasting. Want Salmon fishing? They’ve got it.
Handmade wines? Done.
The beautiful hills of Gippsland.
This little country delight in Victoria is known for its sheep and rolling hills, but if you look closely there is a booming wine industry looking to be discovered.
The area specialises in cool-climate wines with over 45 cellar doors. It prides itself on rich chardonnay and pinot noir. But the one to watch is the sparkling coming out of this region.
If you live outside the state of Queensland, the sunny place is somewhere you associate with theme parks, long sandy beaches and meter maids. But for all those who prefer a quiet night in with a glass of red over raging through surfer’s night spots, there is something on offer for you.
The Granite Belt is the main wine region in Queensland and it is having a moment.
Named after the stunning prehistoric granite formations in the area, it has a cool climate and high altitude which creates award-winning wines.
It’s been a long time since 1870, when the first grapes were planted by a Catholic priest to make church wine, but finally the Granite Belt is becoming a recognised region – with the help of respected wine critic James Halliday.
There are 40 boutique cellar doors with highly respected wine. The main players here are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot – but even with a small percentage of plantings, Verdelho has made its mark.
Head to the Granite Belt to discover small can be beautiful.
Langhorne Creek Wine Region, South Australia
In love with a red? This is the region for you. Need a new experience? Perhaps a White Cabernet Sauvignon Shalistan is more suited.
This little region in South Australia sells itself as “an intimate country town with passionate families that have been making the wine for six generations” and this shows in the feeling you get as soon as you set up a picnic on the banks of the Angas River.
Forget the Barossa, Langhorne Creek is where you want to be.
The area is steeped in history of family owned and run vineyards. Make sure you take a peek at the heritage-listed Bleasdale Winery, where the first grapes were planted in the 1860s.