As promised, here is another informative and fun post from KP! Enjoy. x
I am by no means a wine expert – far from it! But in the last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to visit some wine regions in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT. Australia has some brilliant wineries and if you’ve never been to a cellar door and worked your way down a tasting list, you’re seriously missing out! You don’t have to know much about wine to enjoy a great day at the wineries.
There are commercially available wine tours all over the place. I’ve been on a couple of those and loved them, but organising your own is surprisingly easy and much more cost effective, as long as you have transport, which brings me to…
Obviously if you don’t go through a tour company, you’ll need some form of transport. My preference is to have a designated driver who takes his or her own car (of course they can still taste the occasional wine and buy as much as they want). You might even be able to look into mini bus options for larger groups, or just take two cars.
Ask around – your friends or colleagues might know what’s good in the region that you’re visiting. In some of the bigger regions like Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, you can sort of wing it – just drive around and pull into a few that look appealing, or that you’ve heard of before. My tip is to find a couple of bigger wineries and a couple of boutique ones. At the bigger ones, ask what they have to taste that’s cellar door only – that way, you know you’ll be tasting (and perhaps buying) something you can’t find in the shops. It feels a little exclusive!
Some wineries will have a tasting charge, but might take that off the price of anything you buy. I think the most I’ve paid for any tasting was $5, but it was $5 well spent because the wines were lovely.
When tasting, be courteous. You’re often dealing directly with the winemakers and their families, who are obviously proud of their product. Also, be a little adventurous – try something you might not usually go for. You might enjoy it!
When you’re tasting wines all day and only have that morning’s muesli as sustenance, it’s a good idea to include lunch (or at least some substantial snacking) in your plan for the day. A lot of wineries sell some beautiful gourmet foods, such as olive oils, dukkah, jams and relishes, olives, crackers, and even cheeses! But while I love the food available at wineries, it’s often better for buying and taking home, rather than eating on the spot.
Research what your dining options are in the area in advance. Some wineries have beautiful cafes attached, or the town might have a few pubs, breweries and restaurants. Make a booking for larger groups – being turned away from a busy restaurant when you’re hungry is the worst!
Drive safe & enjoy!
Once it’s all planned, you can look forward to your indulgent weekend in the rolling green hills of Australian wine country. Remember to drive safely and taste responsibly!
In a couple of weeks, I’ll share some more specific tips for planning a winery day as a hen’s party. Stay tuned!
KP lives in Canberra with her husband and cat, spends her days dreaming about dinner and her nights dreaming about home décor. She loves spending time with her family and friends, and nurturing her love of lists by browsing Pinterest late into the night.