Anyone aged around 40 or less probably doesn’t realise that Australia is still a “new” wine country. Of course, these sorts of things are measured in centuries rather than decades and by the producers of Italy and France, the New World’s wine producers are still regarded as cheeky young upstarts without a proper basis for their imitatory works no doubt!
Nevertheless, the country does produce some of the best wines in the world these days and for lovers of the grape, this is a great reason to visit – or at least an essential part of any vacation down-under.
Today, Australia boasts over 60 officially designated wine regions. From the country’s oldest Shiraz vineyards in McLaren Vale or the Barossa Valley to the award-winning Sauvignon Blanc region in Western Australia, there are plenty of opportunities for wine lovers to pursue their passion here.
Each one of Australia’s wine-growing regions holds an annual wine festival. These are celebrations not only of the fruit of the vine, but of local food produce and culture. The biggest of all these different wine-based events is the biennial “Tasting Australia” event, which is also one of Aus’s biggest all-round culinary festivals.
Perhaps New South Wales’ Hunter Valley is the country’s best-known and most-often visited wine region overall? This is, after all, the oldest wine-growing region in Australia and its proximity to the largest city, Sydney, means it’s very popular with visitors. But don’t worry – this is a big region and doesn’t feel too busy with tourists at any time of the year.
Many English cricket fans make their way north from Sydney when they’re following their team down-under, to sample quite a few of the local brews, of course! The forthcoming winter tour will be no different. England, India and host country Australia will be playing a triangular series this winter, with England taking on Australia in their first one-day match in Sydney on Sunday 18th January 2015. This is a great time of year to visit and to take in a Hunter Valley wine tour.
The countries are very close culturally speaking, but Australia has a wee bit more sunshine! In Australia cricket betting is hugely popular just as it is in the UK, as is sitting in the sunshine drinking too much beer whilst watching the thwack of leather on willow. But if you are intending to come to Australia this year and you’re a wine lover, then a day or two in the Hunter Valley really is a must.
This is a real culinary paradise renowned for its fine dining along with its wines and wine tours. You can sample from a hugely wide range of wines at any one of over 150 different cellar doors. You can even take in a hot air balloon or helicopter flight over the region – and simply marvel at the vineyards here which stretch as far as your eyes can see; heaven on earth for wine-lovers!