When you feel the crisp, clean air and wake up to the gorgeous changing colours, you know autumn is in full swing. It’s the best time to get to know Australia’s wine industry and enjoy the sprawling vineyards.
So pack your bags (don’t forget your jumpers!), here are our top five wineries to visit when you’re in search of this season’s perfect bottle.
Guided by the simple philosophy that great wines taste better when you’re surrounded by beautiful scenery, founders Darren and Lucy created a gorgeous space for guests to enjoy Golding Wines. The range is carefully crafted to showcase what Adelaide Hills has to offer.
Located in the Lenswood appellation of Adelaide Hills, Western Branch Vineyard is the exclusive fruit source for Golding Wines and home to a lush garden, landscaped terraces and a stone barn that holds a tasting room, restaurant, and wedding venue.
Featuring fully immersive activities, Golding Wines also offer tailored tasting experiences, structured wine flights, and three irresistible wine adventures.
Named after the Aussie slang for lefty, Mollydooker is the fun quirky wine brand you always want on your dinner table. Founders Sarah and Sparky Marquis started as winemakers for Sarah’s parents in Fox Creek, tried their luck in the bulk wine market and worked on their joint venture, Marquis Philips, for a few years.
However, the couple realised they want to stay small, get more hands-on and become independent. With some help from their friends, Mollydooker was born.
In 2007, the Marquis family purchased their own winery that sits on the stunning Seaview Ridge in the middle of McLaren Vale. The cellar door offers exciting wine experiences from small and group tastings to full tours of the vineyards and winery.
Believing that great wine is made in the vineyard, the Bailey family carefully handpicks and sorts all estate-grown fruits to create Brown Hill Wines.
A trip to Brown Hill Estate takes you to the charming village of Rosa Brook. Featuring lush rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and a close-knit local community, the small and down-to-earth town reflects the brand’s traditional winemaking process and keen attention to detail.
Brown Hill holds unique experiences such as an exclusive winemaker-led tour of the vineyard and winery, and intimate wine tasting with one of the Bailey family members with their Reserve and Signature Wines. To showcase what the Margaret River region has to offer, they also hold a tour of other award-winning family-owned wineries.
The Chalmers family’s approach to winemaking is a result of years of experimentation and a reflection of their passion.
They first started with grape growing but delving into wine production. After some refinement, they decided to focus on Italian grapes and on individual varietal wines that reflect the fruit’s unique personality.
The Chalmers moved to Victoria and established two vineyards worth a visit. The Heathcote vineyard produces high-end wine grapes and is home to the cellar door and all branded Chalmers wines since the 2011 vintage.
The Merbein property holds a source block with the entire Chalmers collection of imported varieties. It also holds a winery carrying out the Chalmers’ Project– small-batch and experimental wines that push boundaries.
The Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, one of Australia’s oldest wineries, is perched at the foothills of the Brokenback Mountain Ranges in the heart of Hunter Valley.
Now owned by the Agnew family, Audrey Wilkinson is known for its multi-awarded 2006 Museum Semillon. The family has also acquired two other brands, Cockfighter’s Ghost and Poole’s Rock, producing more than 700,000 bottles each year.
A visit to its expansive cellar door rewards you with stunning landscapes and breathtaking views while the free museum educates you on the history and the winemaking process of the original winery.
Special experiences such as a picnic among the vines, premium wine tasting of museum and aged wines not available to the public and wine sampling direct from barrels and paired with locally produced fromage are also available.