For the oenophiliac (wine buff) Australia offers a rich variety of wine styles to tantalize your palate. Grapes grow extremely well in the moister areas of the country, and there are world-renowned wine growing districts in most states (as well as many lesser-known but almost equally-as-good areas.) To add to your enjoyment, many of these areas are in easy reach of the capital cities. Some can even be visited in a few hours, although you'll want longer to enjoy the many wineries on offer.
There is only one thing to be wary of - Australia has a strict blood alcohol limit of 0.05% for the driver of a motor vehicle (zero percent for a P-plater or inexperienced driver.) Limit your tasting or appoint a designated driver... or if you prefer, take one of the many professional winery tours on offer and let someone else do the driving for you.
New South Wales
- The Hunter Valley. Hunter wineries can be loosely divided into two main regions: the Lower Hunter Valley (which includes the Pokolbin district), and Upper Hunter Valley wineries.
- The Orange area of the Central West specializes in cold climate wines, especially chardonnay and cabernet.
- The Canberra region (including Lake George, Murrumbateman) of higher-altitude cool-climate wines, including those of Clonakilla and Lark Hill.
- The Riverina area (Towns include Leeton and Griffith)
Queensland is emerging as a wine-producing region with dozens of high quality reds and whites being grown in the south east corner and around the Wide Bay (Bundaberg) area. Grapes do not grow well in northern Queensland, however there are a number of interesting tropical fruit wineries in Queensland. For those who enjoy spirits, Bundaberg is famous as the home of Australian rum and for a small fee you can take a guided tour of the production plant (with tasting).
- The Granite Belt, near Stanthorpe