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Wine

Your Definitive Hunter Valley Cellar Door Guide and Map

Plan the perfect escape to the Hunter Valley wineries and cellar doors with our carefully curated guide, list, and map to this premier wine region. 

There’s a fantastic range of Hunter Valley cellar doors to visit within a two-hour drive from Sydney or a 40-minute trip from Newcastle. To help plan your trip to this dynamic wine region , we’ve selected a collection of wineries that provide the best cellar door experience, plus we’ve included a handy interactive map below.

While the region is famous for its ShirazChardonnay and Semillon , there’s also a stunning selection of innovative new varieties on offer. You can also find out more about the region in the Hunter Valley guide we’ve put together here.

HUNTER VALLEY WINERIES LIST

With so many great cellar doors in the region, we’ve grouped our list into journeys through the region along the Hunter Valley’s iconic roads. Take a trip from Pokolbin to Broke with a sojourn along Hermitage Road to visit the world class wineries of Tyrrell’s, Margan, De Iuliis and Andrew Thomas Wines on the alluvial flats. Or you can spend the day following McDonald’s Road through the heart of Pokolbin to visit the myriad of innovative wineries for which the Hunter Valley is renowned.

EXPLORE LOVEDALE

Journey through the heart of Lovedale via Wine Country Drive.

HUNGERFORD HILL AND MUSE RESTAURANT

The Hungerford Hill winery, designed by renowned architect Walter Barda, incorporates a spectacular barrel-shaped tasting room in which you can sample exemplary wines from the Hunter, as well as from the cool climate regions of Tumbarumba and the Hilltops of Southern New South Wales. Join the EPIC Tasting Experience Wednesday to Sunday between 11 am and 3 pm on a guided tasting of their limited release wines matched to bite-sized dishes prepared by the acclaimed Muse Restaurant and Cafe (reservations are essential).

2450 Broke Road, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Hungerford Hill website

DOMAINE DE BINET

Domaine de Binet is leading the charge for left of centre experimental wines, alternate varieties, and blends. It is rare to call in and not be able to chat to the entertaining husband and wife duo of Dan and Nat at this family-run winery.

467 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open Friday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm

Visit the Domaine de Binet website

HOPE ESTATE

Hope Estate is a destination in its own right with a great cellar door, the Hope Brewhouse, the Harvest Restaurant, and sweeping views of rolling vineyards and picturesque lakes.

2213 Broke Road, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Hope Estate website

PEPPER TREE WINES

The stunning grounds, the old convent, Circa 86 restaurant and the gardens that surround the Pepper Tree Wines cellar door are an essential stop on your next visit to the Hunter Valley. With their consistently high-quality wines, Pepper Tree are a stalwart of the Hunter Valley.

86 Halls Road, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday to Sunday 9:30 am to 5 pm

Visit the Pepper Tree Wines website

EXPLORE BROKE AND HERMITAGE ROAD

Unearth the rustic township of Broke with a stop or two along Hermitage Road. 

TYRRELL’S

This salt of the earth Hunter Valley winery is a must-see destination, so is the tour of the old oak vats and the original red dirt cellar. Tyrrell’s have won many international medals and Trophies throughout their near 160-year history. Yet, they never rest on their laurels, continuing to impress on the world stage, earning respect as perhaps the most consistently high-achieving winery in the country.

1838 Broke Rd, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open Mon – Sat 9 am to 5 pm; Sun 10 am to 4 pm

Visit the Tyrrell’s website

LEOGATE ESTATE WINES

Just along from Tyrrell’s is this distinctive cellar door and estate. A relative newcomer to the Hunter Valley, Leogate are quickly establishing themselves as a rising star due in no small part to securing accomplished winemaker Mark Woods to lead the winery.

1693 Broke Road – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Leogate Estate website

MARGAN WINES & RESTAURANT

This striking Hunter Valley cellar door nestled amongst the vines is the perfect venue to sample their estate grown and made wines of a fine pedigree. This local focus translates to the superb Margan Restaurant, featuring ingredients from their kitchen garden, orchard, beehives and free range produce. Andrew Margan pioneered traditional and alternate varieties in the Broke region.

1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Visit the Margan website

DE IULIIS WINES

This modern, architect designed cellar door matches perfectly with Michael De Iuliis’ carefully constructed wines. Given he won the 2015 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year at the Hunter Valley Legends awards, his wines are sure to impress. As is the view over the Brokenback Mountain Range from the observation tower.

1616 Broke Road – view on our Hunter Valley cellar door map

Open daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the De Iuliis website

HUNTER'S DREAM

Discover the unforgettable tranquility and beauty of the estate owned and managed by renowned health care company, Nature’s Care. Hunter’s Dream is one of the oldest boutique wineries in the region first established over a half a century ago. Now, many years and vintages later the newly opened cellar doors are producing an award wining collection under the guiding influence of winemaker Kees van de Scheur. Come and taste some of the best wines the lower Hunter has to offer amidst an oasis of sprawling lavender fields, ripe olive groves and a serene Japanese garden..

149 Deasys Road – view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open daily 10 am to 4 pm Mon-Fri 10 am to 4:30 pm Sat-Sun

Visit the Hunter's Dream website

DAVID HOOK WINES

Set in a provincial-style sandstone building, this boutique winery specialises in single vineyard drops from the Hunter’s traditional varieties of Semillon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz, as well as emerging grape varieties such as Pinot Grigio and Barbera. While you're there, you can explore the grounds, and surrounds of the Peppers Barrel Room or enjoy a spot of breakfast or lunch at Cafe Enzo.

Crn Broke & Ekerts Road, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 4:30 pm

Visit the David Hook website

ANDREW THOMAS WINES

This sleek, boutique and modern cellar door is the perfect place to sample Thomas Wines’ uncompromising single vineyard wines. The 2014 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year, Andrew Thomas only produces the region's renowned varieties of Semillon and Shiraz, allowing your tasting experience to uniquely examine and note the subtle differences across a focused bracket of his medal and Trophy winning wines.

Cnr Hermitage Road and Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Andrew Thomas Wines website

KEITH TULLOCH WINES

The Keith Tulloch Wines estate is world class with its grand buildings and gorgeous courtyard encompassing the cellar door, winery, Muse Kitchen, and Cocoa Nib artisan chocolate cafe. The unique tasting experience out on the verandah overlooking the sprawling vineyard and Brokenback Mountain Range will make a memorable stop on your next visit to the Hunter Valley

Cnr Hermitage and Deasys Road, Pokolbin NSW – view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Keith Tulloch Wines website

EXPLORE THE HEART OF POKOLBIN

Explore the stunning array of new and old names along McDonalds Road with a stop at Pokolbin Village.

USHER TINKLER CELLAR DOOR AND SALUMI

Set in the original Pokolbin church, this cellar door renovated by Usher and Ebony Tinkler, blurs the lines between a traditional and contemporary wine experience. Their approach to wine tasting incorporates the food and wine lifestyle. Usher’s excellent wines can be accompanied with a superb range of local and imported Salumi and Cheese, making it a unique social destination.

97 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Usher Tinkler website

AUDREY WILKINSON

As one of the oldest vineyards in the Hunter Valley, the Audrey Wilkinson Cellar Door and Winery is not to be missed on your next visit. The winemaking museum, housed in the original winery, the heritage-listed open cement vats and the spectacular views over their 270-acre winery are reason enough to visit. However, the true star is the spectacular selection of fine Semillon, Shiraz, and Verdelho on offer.

750 De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Audrey Wilkinson website

BROKENWOOD

Next door to McGuigan wines is Brokenwood, an institution in the Hunter Valley, consistently producing excellent wines and picking up awards for their Shiraz and Semillon. The friendly hospitality and the great selection of excellent wines for tasting are superb. The ‘tour & taste’, available for their members, offers the unique chance to explore the winemaking process and taste straight from the barrel!

401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Mon-Sat 9:30 am to 5 pm, Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Brokenwood website

HART & HUNTER

Winemaking duo Jodie and Damien focus on sourcing the best fruit, letting the individual vineyards in each of their wines shine. This rustic cellar door is a great setting to experience the unique impact of the differing terroir in the Hunter Valley.

463 Deasys Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320 – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Thur-Sun 10 am to 4 pm

Visit the Hart & Hunter website

MCGUIGAN WINES

The quality and consistency of McGuigan Wines can’t be overstated, especially given they won the International Winemaker of the Year award in 2016 for a record 4th time. Stop by their relaxed cellar door to taste the wide range of quality wine on offer, or book for the tour of the winery, which departs daily at 12 noon. It is conveniently located next to the Hunter Valley Gardens, Hunter Valley Cheese Company and adjacent to Roche Estate in the heart of Pokolbin.

Corner of Broke & McDonalds Roads, Pokolbin NSW 2320 - view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Daily

Visit the McGuigan Wines Cellar Door

SMALL WINEMAKER’S CENTRE

This Hunter Valley cellar door has been showcasing the best of the Hunter Valley for 30 years. With an enviable line-up of winemakers such as the Little Wine Company, Thomas Wines, Silkman, David Hook and Hart & Hunter, the Small Winemaker’s Centre is a must visit for anyone seeking out the best boutique producers. From iconic Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz, to emerging varieties such as Vermentino, Barbera and Tempranillo, there are over 45 wines on offer. This is a very warm and welcoming cellar door with uber-friendly staff dedicated to guiding visitors on a wonderful wine journey.

426 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320 – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Small Winemaker’s Centre website

TAMBURLAINE ORGANIC WINES

As Australia’s largest producer of organic wines, Tamburlaine is a pioneer of innovative organic winemaking and vineyard management in the region. Incorporating practical and sustainable strategies, they continue to produce a swag of award-winning wine with a relaxed and generous approach, which translates through to their cellar door staff.

358 McDonalds Road Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Daily 9 am to 5 pm

Visit the Tamburlaine website

TULLOCH WINES

Tulloch Wines are an institution in the Hunter Valley, who continually impress with the classic varieties that made them famous through to their innovative new varieties in their unique Cellar Door Release range. Their cellar door is excellent with casual tastings upstairs overlooking the stunning vista or with their pre-booked alternate variety tastings in their stunning restaurant downstairs.

638 De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open daily 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Tulloch Wines website

FIRST CREEK WINES

This cellar door is a hive of activity as one of the largest winemaking and bottling providers in the region. Many wineries and vineyards trust their precious drops to First Creek’s Chief Winemaker Liz Silkman, the Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year in 2011 and 2016. With this unrivalled access to the region's best vineyards, it's little wonder First Creek have amassed an impressive 14 Trophies and 29 Gold medals since 2015.

600 McDonalds Rd Pokolbin - view on our Hunter Valley Winery Map

Open Daily Mon-Sat 9:30 am to 5 pm Sun 9:30 am to 4 pm

Visit the First Creek website

 

EXPLORE MOUNT VIEW

Rediscover the iconic wineries in the hills between Mount View and McDonald’s Road.

DRAYTON’S FAMILY WINES

This iconic cellar door, rebuilt recently after the tragic 2008 winery accident, has a long history stretching back to Joseph Drayton, who arrived in the Hunter in 1853. With a great range of traditional styles through to their renowned range of fortified and stickies, Drayton’s is well worth a visit.

555 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320 - view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open Daily Mon-Fri 8 am to 5 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Drayton’s Family Wines Website

MT PLEASANT WINES

Mt Pleasant is an iconic, family-run Hunter Valley winery with a long and superb history of producing fine wine. The future is bright too, with Jim Chatto at the helm of their winemaking efforts, producing a growing range of alternate and innovative wines.

401 Marrowbone Road Pokolbin – view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open Daily 10am - 4pm

Visit the Mount Pleasant website

PETERSONS WINES

Situated on a small hill surrounded by vineyards, the position is perfect, with uninterrupted views of Mount Sugarloaf and the Watagan Mountains. This warm and friendly cellar door is the ideal place to taste their delightful award-winning wines.

552 Mount View Road Mount – view on our Hunter Valley Winery map

Open Mon-Sat 9 am to 5 pm Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

Visit the Petersons Wines website

Hunter Valley Winery Map

Planning a trip to the Hunter Valley? Download our interactive Hunter Valley winery map. To save on your browser or device, click here

For more information on visiting the Hunter Valley, be sure to visit the official Hunter Valley Wine Country website or stop by the Visitors Centre in Lovedale when you're in the area. But, if you’d like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our wide selection of Hunter Valley wines and find out more about the wineries listed in this guide in our Meet the Makers section.

And, with our Hunter Valley Releases program, you can experience the best the Hunter Valley has to offer from the comfort of home. You’ll discover wines from regional icons such as Tyrrell’s and Tulloch, through to unique drops from the Valley’s leading boutique wineries. Visit our Hunter Valley Releases page to find out more!

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Wine
The Granite Belt: Beautiful One Day, Perfect Wine The Next
Words by Paul Diamond on 8 May 2017
Cool climate wines from Queensland – if that sounds strange, head to the  Granite Belt wine region  and you’ll find plenty! It’s well established that the first ‘official’ Australian wine region was Farm Cove NSW, planted by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788. But what about the second? If you assumed it was in South Australia, Victoria or even Tasmania, you would be wrong.  It is, in fact, Queensland’s Granite Belt, planted in 1820, preceding Victorian and South Australian regions by 15-plus years. Given most of Queensland is hot and tropical, we usually associate it with beaches and reefs rather than grape vines. However, the Sunshine State has a rich and varied agricultural history and people are now starting to favour the Granite Belt’s cool climate, Euro-style wines. Three hours south west of Brisbane on the southern Darling Downs, the Granite Belt is situated around Queensland’s apple capital, Stanthorpe. This is heralded on your arrival by a massive apple on a pole, a bold indicator of local pride in the tradition of Coffs Harbour’s big banana, Ballina’s prawn and Goulburn’s Merino. Originally known as ‘Quart Pot Creek’, Stanthorpe was settled when tin was discovered in the late 1800s. Fruit production followed as the altitude and climate started to attract Italian immigrants who’d come to Australia to cut cane and then moved south to take up pastoral leases.  Cool Climb Wines As you travel south west from Ipswich along the Cunningham Highway, you start the gradual climb through the Great Dividing Range. By the town of Aratula, a popular resting spot, the temperature drops considerably and you realise how cool it gets at 110 metres above sea level.  The Granite Belt has some of Australia’s highest altitude vineyards and it is the associated cool climate that is the perfect setting for the region’s fine boned wines. So don’t visit this region expecting big, ripe wine styles that are popular in warmer areas. The cool climate dictates that the Granite Belt’s wine styles are closer to those of Europe. Think medium bodied, savoury reds with fine tannins and pronounced acidity. In the whites, expect lighter, citrus driven styles with elegant layers and fine acid lines. Adding to the Granite Belt’s wine identity is the fact it excels in alternative styles. While you’ll certainly find mainstream varieties like  Shiraz ,  Cabernet   and  Chardonnay , real excitement comes from discoveries like  Fiano ,  Vermentino , Chenin Blanc, Savagnin, Barbera, Graciano, Durif, Nebbiolo and Tannat. Granite Belt producers have long recognised that these varieties are the future and with their unique alternative identity, have dubbed themselves the ‘Strange Birds’ of the Australian wine scene. In fact, visitors can explore this fascinating region by following one of the Strange Bird Wine Trails. BOIREANN WINERY Established in the early 1980s by Peter and Therese Stark, Boireann has been a Granite Belt standout for decades. While quality and consistency are high, production is low, with reds the specialty and only a very small amount of  Viognier  grown to co-ferment with Shiraz. Standouts are their Shiraz Viognier, Barbera, Nebbiolo and the ‘Rosso’, a Nebbiolo Barbera blend. www.boireannwinery.com.au/ GOLDEN GROVE Third generation winemaker Ray Costanzo has made wine all over the world, but is passionate about the Granite Belt. Golden Grove is one of the oldest wineries in the region, making a wide range of wines including Sparkling Vermentino, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and  Tempranillo , but it is Ray’s  Vermentino  that has developed a solid following.  www.goldengroveestate.com.au JESTER HILL Established in 1993, Jester Hill is now a family affair, having been bought by ex-health professionals Michael and Ann Burke in 2010. With the new focus that Michael is bringing to the wines, the estate is building momentum and picking up accolades along the way. Standouts include their Roussanne, Chardonnay, Shiraz and  Petit Verdot .  www.jesterhillwines.com.au/ BALLANDEAN With an extraordinary history of winemaking that stretches back to the 1930s, the Puglisi family have been operating their cellar door and passionately flying the Granite Belt flag since 1970. Fourth generation Puglisis Leeane and Robyn are warm, generous, regional advocates, who have a large cellar door from which they love sharing their passion for both the wines and the people of the Granite Belt. Tasting highlights include their  Viognier , Opera Block Shiraz and Saperavi, a full-bodied red that originally hails from Georgia.   www.ballandeanestate.com/ JUST RED Another family-owned winery, Just Red is run by Tony and Julie Hassall with their son Michael and daughter Nikki. Just Red’s organic wines are styled on the great wines of the Rhône and are winning awards in the show system. Their star wines include Tannat,  Shiraz Viognier , Cabernet Merlot. www.justred.com.au/ RIDGEMILL ESTATE WINERY Starting its life as Emerald Hill in 1998, Ridgemill boasts a modern but unpretentious cellar door looking out on dramatic mountain surroundings. The broad range of wines is crafted by winemaker Peter McGlashan and includes Chardonnay, Shiraz,  Shiraz Viognier , Mourvèdre and Saparavi. With its self-contained studio cabins, Ridgemill is a great place to base yourself. www.ridgemillestate.com/ SYMPHONY HILL Symphony Hill’s winemaker Mike Hayes is quite possibly the Australian king of alternative wine varieties. Mike won the Churchill Fellowship and travelled around the world studying alternative styles. His wines are highly awarded, vibrant and interesting. A trip to the Granite Belt is not complete without a tasting with Mike, including his standout expressions of  Fiano , Lagrien, Gewürztraminer,  Petit Verdot and Reserve Shiraz. www.symphonyhill.com.au/ TOBIN WINE Adrian Tobin’s wines are a strong philosophical statement, reinforcing the notion that wine is made in the vineyard.  Since establishing Tobin Wine in 1999, Adrian has been deeply connected to his vines and produces a small amount of high quality Sauv Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet. All of Adrian’s wines are named after his grandchildren and are collectables.  www.tobinwines.com.au/ GIRRAWEEN ESTATE Steve Messiter and his wife Lisa started Girraween Estate in 2009. Small and picturesque, it is home to one of the region’s earliest vine plantings. They produce modest amounts of Sparkling wines, including Pinot Chardonnay along with Shiraz, Rosé and Sauv Blanc. Their table wines include Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet.  www.girraweenestate.com.au FEELING HUNGRY There is no shortage of good food in the Granite Belt, but a trip to  Sutton’s Farm  is essential. An apple orchard, it’s owned by David and Roslyn Sutton, who specialise in all things apple, including juice, cider and brandy. Their shed café also pays homage to the humble apple with the signature dish being home made apple pie served with Sutton’s spiced apple cider ice cream and whipped cream. For breakfast, try  Zest Café  located in town, where the coffee is fantastic and their baking game is strong. Their breakfast will definitely see you going back for seconds.  A delicious choice for lunch or dinner is the  Barrelroom and Larder , lovingly run by Travis Crane and Arabella Chambers.  Attached to Ballandean winery, the Barrelroom is casual in style and fine in output. Everything that Travis and Arabella cook comes from within a three hour radius and if it doesn’t exist in that area, they don’t cook it. A fantastic way to spend an afternoon is with Ben and Louise Lanyon at their  McGregor Terrace Food Project . Based in a Stanthorpe, this neighborhood bistro with a gorgeous whimsical garden offers cooking from the heart with the surrounds to match. Whether your choice is a Granite Belt alternative ‘Strange Bird’ or a more traditional varietal, take it along to Ben and Lou’s Food Project, sit out the back and you’ll feel like you’re in the south of France. You will, in fact, be in Queensland, thinking that it is a pretty cool place to be; literally and figuratively.     
Wine
Wine Traveler Riverland
Words by Dave Brookes on 28 Dec 2017
While South Australia’s riverland region has always been famous for bulk wine production, innovative local winemakers are changing the landscape by planting a range of grape varieties perfectly suited to the hot, dry climate. As I sit down to pen this brief piece on the Riverland , I’m reminded of the words of that great American philosopher LL Cool J who rhymed, “don’t call it a comeback; I’ve been here for years; I’m rockin my peers; Puttin’ suckers in fear”. Mic drop from Queens. Perhaps I’m getting carried away. I’ve always been told I have a fertile imagination, but who would have thought a decade ago that boutique winemakers from Margaret River to Coonawarra would be sourcing fruit from the Riverland and proudly displaying that fact on their wine labels? The Riverland has always been, along with several other regions that lie along the life-giving artery of the Murray, the engine-room of the Australian wine industry. The Riverland accounts for over 50% of South Australia’s wine crush and around 30% of the national total, some 470,123 tonnes in 2017. It is a very important region for Australian wine. One winery alone, Berri Estates, is the largest grape processor in the southern hemisphere, crushing some 220,000 tonnes of grapes annually or around one-third of the total grape crush of South Australia. Several years ago, I recall driving with the Berri Estates winemaker to the crushers; a journey through a huge truck marshalling area complete with traffic wardens. He turned to me and said, “Can you feel the romance?” Funny, but the sheer scale of the operation was astounding. The Riverland is also a region well aware of the hardships of farming; of extended droughts and the plunging grape prices of boom & bust cycles. But the droughts, while devastating for growers already struggling with low grape prices, have forced some changes for the better. Included among them are sustainable irrigation, drought hardy rootstock and clonal research, and the planting of alternative varieties, or, as one local winemaker described them, “appropriate varieties.” King of grapes
One of the larger producers is Kingston Estate, established by Greek immigrants, Nina & Steve Moularadellis in the mid-1980s after they met picking grapes in the early 1960s. Today, you can still find them in the winery most days, but it is son Bill who steers the ship. Kingston Estate produce a range of wines that offer great value for money and drinking pleasure. Their portfolio centres around the European classic varieties, but for me, when I think of the estate, it is their Petit Verdot that springs to mind and it is certainly a variety they have hung their hat on. Deeply coloured and laden with rich fruit and spice, it possesses an ample structure with plenty of ripe tannin and is a variety that seems to thrive in the warmer climes of the Riverland. Salena Estate, another of the larger operators, has around 520 acres under vine, roughly half of which is certified organic. Their range includes classic varieties, across different price points that provide great drinking, and their ‘Ink’ series concentrates on the ‘appropriate’ varieties with some great examples including Montepulciano , Graciano, Bianco d’Alessano and Vermentino . The Banrock Station cellar door is top-notch with the complete range of wines available for tasting, a great little restaurant if you are feeling peckish and the amazing wetlands ecosystem with walking trails if you need to stretch your legs. The Angove cellar door in Renmark is another must visit for the quality and diversity of their range of wines with fruit sourced from the Riverland and further afield across South Australia. In recent times, the interest in sourcing fruit from the Riverland by winemakers based outside the region has been pleasing to see. There are several factors at play here. Better farming practices and increased interest in some of the varieties that end in ‘O’ that seem well suited to the region are certainly in the mix. Another is the tireless efforts, boundless energy and great farming nous of Ashley Ratcliff of Ricca Terra Farms, who has done much to raise the profile of the Riverland as a source of well-farmed, alternative varieties. Part of this nous was knowing when to take a risk on doing something new. As he explains, “During the boom times in the Riverland, grape prices were up and getting people to change their practices was hard. Why would you decrease your yields and plant new varieties? When things turned, however, others panicked, but we were brave; buying up vineyards and planting alternative varieties that now fetch sustainable prices.” Ashley’s Ricca Terra Farms is just outside Bamera and is planted with many of the varieties that are now sought after in the region – Nero d’Avola , Fiano , Vermentino , Montepulciano , Zibbibo, Muscato Giallo and the curiously named, Slankamenca Bela. As well as supplying grapes for other winemakers, Ashley has his own ‘Ricca Terra’ label featuring inventive blends of these varieties. Another producer riding the wave of the alternative varieties that are well-suited to the Riverland is Alex Russell Wines. Viticulturist and winemaker Alex Russell crafts a range of delicious wines from Montepulciano, Vermentino, and Lagrein to Nero d’Avola, Saperavi and Graciano. Alex’s range of wines hold true to the tenet that a wines ‘raison d’etre’ is to be above all else, delicious to drink and they have picked up a swathe of awards at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura . small names, big impression
Other small local producers who farm in a thoughtful, sustainable fashion to seek out include Whistling Kite, whose biodynamically farmed range includes a fantastic Petit Manseng and a Montepulciano that is a benchmark for the region. The organically farmed Bassham Wines is another, with delicious, racy whites including Vermentino and Fiano, along with lovely examples of Lagrein, Nero d’Avola and Graciano. Also check out 919 Wines, whose range of table wines provides beautiful drinking across both the classic and alternative varieties, including a killer Pale Dry Apera style. And last but not least, the Delinquent Wine Co has a fantastic range of funkily packaged wines for “drinkin, not thinkin”, featuring new wave varieties, including the very drinkable Bianco d’Alessano Pet Nat Sparkling. Of the producers from further afield who proudly source fruit from the Riverland, the list is growing. Sue Bell from Bellwether Wines in Coonawarra produces a fantastic, award-winning Nero d’Avola Rosé and crisp, textural Bianco d’Alessano; Margaret River based winemaker Brad Wehr of Amato Vino produces a dangerously drinkable Riverland range including a wonderful Slankamenca Bela. In the Adelaide Hills, Unico Zela features amazing Fiano, Nero d’Avola and an enchanting skin-contact white blend. And from McLaren Vale, ex-NYC sommelier Brad Hickey of Brash Higgins Wines crafts a heady, textural Zibbibo using grapes from Ricca Terra Farms vineyard. a bright future
Riverland is on the up and up and if you haven’t sampled its wines, now is the time. Perhaps its reputation has been unfairly tarnished as a source of lower-end, bulk wine offerings, but today the wines have never been better and there is an undercurrent of innovation, sustainable viticulture and experimentation that bodes very well for its future.
Wine
Check Out the Best Barossa Valley Wineries
Words by Ben Hallinan on 9 Mar 2017
There’s a fantastic range of Barossa wineries and cellar doors to visit just outside of Adelaide. And, to help plan your trip to this internationally renowned wine region we’ve selected a collection of wineries that provide the best cellar door experience plus we’ve included a handy interactive map down below . A trip to the Barossa allows you to visit two world class wine regions on the same day, the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley . The former is internationally renowned for it’s bold Shiraz, of which there is plenty on offer. The Eden Valley enjoys a cooler climate, higher elevation, and shallow rocky soils, resulting in exquisite Rieslings and vibrant more medium bodied Shiraz . Many wineries in the Barossa will source fruit from individual vineyards in each region depending on the style they are searching for. This ability to quite quickly move between the two areas allows for a unique comparison and understanding of the impact of climate and soil to the winemaking process. You can find out more about the regions in our Barossa Valley and Eden Valley region guides. The Best Barossa Valley and Eden Valley Cellar Doors Chateau Tanunda Established in 1890, the grand buildings and exquisite gardens of Chateau Tanunda are built on the site of the Barossa's earliest vines. Be sure to book for the Discover the Chateau tour, which departs daily at 11:30 am, unwind with a game of croquet on the lawn and enjoy a wine tasting in the grand barrel room. 9 Basedow Rd, Tanunda - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm Visit the Chateau Tanunda website Elderton Wines Elderton’s cellar door is quintessential Barossa, with its stunning views, fantastic wines and warm welcome from their friendly staff. There is a stunning array of wines on offer for tasting, from their Nuriootpa, Craneford and Greenock vineyards. 3-5 Tanunda Rd, Nuriootpa - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 10 am to 4 pm Mon-Fri 11 am to 4 pm Sat-Sun Visit the Elderton Wines website Pindarie Wines The old farm buildings that make up the Pindarie cellar door were hand restored over a period of 20 years by vigneron and winemaker couple Wendy Allan and Tony Brooks. This determination and eye to detail is present in their exquisite estate grown wines featuring Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and unique range of Mediterranean varietals such as Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese. 946 Rosedale Rd, Gomersal - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 11 am to 4 pm Mon-Fri 11 am to 5 pm Sat-Sun Visit the Pindarie Wines Website Henschke Wines The intimate and charming cottage that serves as the Henschke cellar door showcases the sustained six-generation focus on producing internationally renowned wines that make the Henschke family famous. Drawing on select vineyards from the Eden, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley regions, the Henschke cellar door is the perfect place to sample the unique effect of terroir in their premium single-vineyard wines. Selector caught up with Justine Henschke to talk Barossa food and wine in this interview 1428 Keyneton Rd, Keyneton - view on our Barossa winery map Open Mon – Fri 9 am to 4:30 pm Sat 9 am to 12 noon Visit the Henschke website Seppeltsfield Seppeltsfield is perhaps Australia’s most historic winery with a fascinating history forged in the pioneering vision of Joseph and Joanna Seppelt in 1851. This grand complex of heritage buildings is the perfect place to sample their unique 100-year-old fortified wines and to taste wine from the year of your birth. Seppeltsfield is a must for every Australian wine tragic or budding wine historian. 730 Seppeltsfield Rd, Barossa Valley - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 10:30 am to 5 pm Visit the Seppeltsfield website Thorn-Clarke This relaxed Barossa cellar door is the perfect place to unwind during your visit to the region. Enjoy the locally sourced regional platter in the winery garden while sampling the fantastic Eden Valley whites or Barossa Valley reds on offer sourced from their four estate-owned vineyards. 226 Gawler Park Rd, Angaston - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri 11 am to 4 pm Sat-Sun Visit the Thorne-Clarke website Two Hands Wines This boutique Barossa Valley winery allows visitors to sample their range of innovative wines in an intimate and informative setting out on the tasting deck with views across Marananga. 273 Neldner Rd, Marananga - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm Visit the Two Hands website Yalumba Established in 1849, Yalumba is one of Australia’s most iconic and important wine labels. The impressive wine room, built inside the original brandy store is the perfect place to sample the wide range of wines on offer from everyday table wines through to their exquisite reserve collections. 40 Eden Valley Rd, Angaston - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm Visit the Yalumba website Grant Burge Nestled atop of a hill along Krondorf road, the Grant Burge cellar door enjoys exquisite views over the Barossa Valley floor in one direction and rollings lawns and manicured gardens in the other. With a fantastic range of world class Barossa shiraz to sample, spend the afternoon unwinding on the lawn with one of their highly regarded platters. Krondorf Rd, Tanunda - view on our Barossa winery map Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm Visit the Grant Burge website Interactive Barossa Winery Map Planning a trip to the Barossa? Download our interactive Barossa Valley winery map. To save on your browser or device click here For more information on visiting the Barossa be sure to visit the official Barossa website or stop by the Visitors Center in Tanunda when you're in the area. But, if you’d like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit – explore our wide selection of Barossa wines and find out more about the wineries listed in this guide in our Meet the Makers section. With our Wine Selectors Regional Releases , you'll experience a different wine region each release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel , plus you’ll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our Regional Releases page to find out more!
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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