Aussie Wine Month puts the fun into exploring the country’s fine wine and food. With events unfolding around Australia, including vineyard concerts and bicycle tours of wine regions, visitors can head off the beaten track or let the wine come to them at a major city event.
Reasons to attend
1. This is a great chance to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Australian wine. With the focus firmly fixed on top home-grown drops, it’s Australia’s biggest celebration for wine-lovers. Over the course of a month, the country hosts more than 150 wine-related events, from food and wine festivals and vineyard concerts to behind-the-scenes tours, tastings, degustation dinners, blend-your-own wine classes, winemaker talks, cycling tours of wine regions and more.
2. Sample in the city: enjoy the free pop-up wine tasting event in the middle of Sydney’s business district. Wine Australia’s City Cellar Door has proved to be very popular, allowing wine lovers to experience the quality, diversity and regionality of Aussie wines.
3. Embrace the unusual – try a high tea with wine. In northern Victoria’s Rutherglen region (three hours’ drive from Melbourne), Pfeiffer Wines serves up delicious desserts matched to luscious fortified wines such as Topaque and Muscat.
4. Get back to nature in South Australia’s Clare Valley. The Gourmet Weekend adds extra fun to the region’s wineries with fine food and entertainment, and is a fixture on the Aussie Wine Month calendar. The picturesque region (90 minutes’ drive from Adelaide) encourages visitors to explore its famed wine trail on two wheels over two days. The Tour De Riesling cycling trail connects eight wineries set among gorgeous rolling hills.
5. Hit a high note in Queensland’s Granite Belt wine region, three hours’ drive west of Brisbane. Each May, it hosts its annual Opera in the Vineyard charity concert, where 2000 lovers of wine and music flock to Ballandean Estate Wines to enjoy opera music on its own or combined with lunch, dinner or both. Past programs have included Opera Queensland artists such as tenor Rosario La Spina, who has appeared in opera houses globally singing roles such as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Rodolfo in La Bohème.
6. Enjoy a true epicurean adventure at restaurants across the country, with many offering exclusively Australian wine by the glass as part of the nationwide celebration, Aussie Wine Month. Highlighting the diversity and range of Australian wines, each wine list has been carefully selected by leading sommeliers. Whether that is by a regional exploration, vertical or vintage tasting, sommeliers have ensured there is something for every wine lover. In the past leading restaurants and wine bars such as Quay, the Hilton’s glass brasserie, Flower Drum and fermentAsian have taken part in this initiative.
What to look out for
Tastings at the Top might be off the beaten track – it’s hosted at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in north-west Tasmania – but this gourmet extravaganza set in the wilderness is considered one of Australia’s very best food and wine experiences. The two-day festival showcases the finest Tasmanian produce, with a buffet created by the lodge’s executive chef Jee Whan Lee and a five-course degustation dinner matched with Tasmanian wines. Packages include two nights’ accommodation – the best room is a King Billy Suite, with a double-sided log fire and large deck with secluded hot tub.
How to get there
Events are held at various locations around Australia, visit the website for more information.
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