Wine Tours in Australia and New Zealand
Balsamic, buttery, lively, woody, intense… how would you describe your favourite wine? Highly acclaimed New World wines from the southern hemisphere are well known for their exciting fruity flavours. Many of the top 100 wines of the world are from New World wine regions, including Marlborough in New Zealand and Barossa in South Australia.
New Zealand produces sensational Sauvignon Blancs and perfect Pinot Noirs, said to rival the finest Burgundy reds. Australia’s Chardonnays can hold their own against the best from California and the top prize for reds are sumptuous Shirazes.
The best way to discover the wine-growing regions of New Zealand and Australia is to wind your way through lush verdant valleys and picturesque towns, admire the views and visit selected wineries chosen to suit your individual taste – travel independently or join an escorted tour, whichever you choose you will experience celebrated wine regions taking centre stage in the world of wine.
A Selection of New Zealand Wine Regions
Wairarapa produces world-class Pinot Noir in its Martinborough vineyards. The charming village of Martinborough has boutique wineries clustered about the square. The vineyards of the South Wairarapa are world-renowned yet still offer top-range wines at affordable prices.
North and west of Auckland are the Kumeu and Henderson wine centres where New Zealand’s quality reputation has its roots. Matakana is known for boutique vineyards and on Waiheke Island vineyards extend over its hilly terrain.
Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine-producing region in the country. The Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines are particularly fine and can be enjoyed at the numerous cafés lining the streets.
The Marlborough region is New Zealand’s largest producer of wine and is famous for it Sauvignon Blanc. Of the numerous vineyards in the area, about 30 are open to visitors, offering tastings and tours, the largest being Montana.
Although small, Central Otago is a rapidly developing wine growing region and the world’s southernmost winemaking region. With over 178 vineyards it has an international reputation for Pinot Noir. Other varieties that do well are Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling.
Top Tipples in NZ
Gladstone Vineyard Sav Blanc
Martinborough, New Zealand
Palate: A lush tropical nose, punctuated by ripe mango and pineapple with a supporting hint of ripe gooseberry and lime. The palate is full with concentrated fruit giving excellent weight.
Plate: Drink chilled with grilled sardines.
Carrick Unraveled Pinot Noir
Central Otago, New Zealand
Palate: Aromas of raspberry and cranberry fruit, with a touch of redcurrant and a subtle smoky note coming through. The palate is medium-bodied, fine tannins, dark plum, raspberry and strawberry with a harmonious, elegant finish.
Plate: Roast duck with dauphinoise potatoes.
A Selection of Australia Wine Regions
Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s oldest and most well known wine regions. Boasting over 120 wineries and world class produce you are spoilt for choice. It is home to Australia’s most famous wine Penfolds Grange Shiraz, widely considered Australia’s “first growth” and its most collectable wine.
Barossa Valley is home to an abundance of wineries, including world-renowned Wolf Blass and Jacob’s Creek.
Pick up local fare at the farmers market, a bottle of locally-produced wine and head to Mengler Hill for a picnic with unrivalled views of the Barossa Valley.
Just an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to a thriving wine growing industry and some of Victoria’s best wineries. The area’s relatively cool climate makes it particularly suited to the production of high-quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine.
To the south of Perth, the Margaret River region is scattered with award-winning wineries. It produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Shiraz, but the true backbone remains its exceptional Cabernets. It is a region to explore at a leisurely pace, enjoying long lazy vineyard lunches in between enjoying the spectacular karri forests and coastal views.
Top Tipples in Oz
Glaetzer ‘The Bishop’ Shiraz
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Palate: Complex nose of black fruit, fine oak, crushed juniper, clove and resin. In the mouth intensely ripe, concentrated fruit with balanced, not too noticeable acidity. The old-vine intensity and texture of this wine make the tannin hardly noticeable.
Plate: Rib-eye off the barbie!
Woodlands Cabernet Merlot
Margaret River, Western Australia
Palate: Brooding brambly fruit and classic varietal Cabernet Sauvignon characters of blackcurrant and red berry fruits. The wine shows a lovely balance of fruit, acid and oak. The finish is long and intense.
Plate: Roast beef Sunday lunch.
- in New Zealand: Boutique Wine Trail, which can be tailor made
- in Australia: Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley
Plan your own Antipodean wine adventure
If you would like to discuss the best holiday option to suit you, please contact our team of Travel Specialists. With first hand experience they can provide information and advice and create your ideal itinerary.