Nothing beats a cheeky romantic weekend getaway in wine country and according to online travel site, lastminute.com.au, South Australia’s Barossa has taken the title as the most popular wine region in Australia.
A survey of more than 2600+ people revealed the Barossa is the number one spot, followed hot on the heels by Western Australia’s Margaret River and the Hunter Valley in NSW.
lastminute.com.au’s spokesperson, Kate Norris, says that Australians are spoilt for choice when it comes to wine regions, however it’s not all about the vino, with the gourmet food offering just as important for many Australians.
“The research showed that one in two (56%) people believe that a holiday destination’s food and wine offering influences their decision to visit there.
“With many of our most famous wine regions all within a couple of hours drive of most of our main cities, a weekend escape to wine country is the ultimate way to combine a food and wine fix with fresh country air.
“Australian wine regions are also really starting to raise the stakes against big city destinations for delicious eating experiences, with the Barossa clearly leading the charge.
“Barossa is a popular choice for Australian travellers due to its world class wine, paddock to plate produce and close proximity to South Australia’s capital, Adelaide. Making Barossa a quick and easy last minute escape for Adelaide locals, and interstate travellers alike”.
So what were the top wine regions in Australia? We've got all the weekend getaway inspiration for you wine-lovers (or romance lovers) out there.
1. Barossa, SA
It's no surprise that South Australia's Barossa has been named Australia's best wine region. A culturally diverse region with a proud focus on food and wine, the Barossa is famous for its award-winning produce and picturesque landscapes.
Here you'll find anyone who's anyone in the Australian wine industry – popular names include Jacob's Creek, Peter Lehmann and Penfolds. For the ultimate romantic getaway, wind your way from cellar door to cellar door on a wine trail before spending the night in one of the region's charming accommodation options.
Be sure to check out the little country town of Angaston. Home to enticing restaurants and farmers markets, it's a foodie's heaven with a relaxed, welcoming vibe and almost endless views of rolling green hills and historic red-roofed buildings.
Related article: Romance in the Barossa Valley: A Weekend in Angaston
2. Margaret River, WA
Situated on the remote West Australian coastline, the town of Margaret River is where you'll find a unique fusion of sea and vineyards. A haven for wine-lovers, foodies and surf-buffs alike, the region is blessed with simply gorgeous sights and an almost endless list of wineries.
If you're not busy sampling wine after wine, indulge yourselves and visit Bahen & Co stone-ground chocolate or check out the Lady Marmalade range at Gilbert's Fresh stores for old-world cakes and even devillish chilli chocolate strawberry jam – yum!
Related article: 48 Hours in Margaret River
3. Hunter Valley, NSW
Just two hours north of Sydney, New South Wales' Hunter Valley is the quintessential charming country escape, peppered with boutique vineyards, glamorous resorts and quaint little cottages for two. Famous labels such as McWilliams', Tullochs and Tyrells are produced in the region, while many smaller wineries invite couples to sample what's on offer and admire the picture-perfect views.
Also known for its food, the Hunter Valley is the perfect place to lazily explore the countryside hand-in-hand, visiting the many restaurants and cafes that call the region home. Or if you and your partner like things a little more action-packed, join a bike tour and see the magnificent region in a different, more dynamic way.
Related article: 48 Hours in the Hunter Valley
4. Yarra Valley, VIC
Synonymous with quality wine and food, Victoria's Yarra Valley was actually Australia's first wine growing district. With an impressive heritage behind it, it's no wonder why the region is still a popular place for loved-up couples and wine-lovers alike. A short 45km from downtown Melbourne, it's the perfect way to top off a luxurious city getaway.
You'll happily stumble across well-loved names when you visit the Yarra Valley – such as James Halliday's Coldstream Hills – as well as smaller boutique labels. Take a tour or hop from winery to winery and find your new favourite tipple before curling up together in front of a roaring open fire at your accommodation of choice.
Related article: Regional Victoria: Foodie Heaven
5. Mornington Peninsula, VIC
If it's views of vineyards bathed in sunlight and rolling green hills you're after, look no further than Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. Reminiscent of the wine regions of Tuscany and Spain, this little gem may be less well-known than the Yarra or Hunter valleys but has plenty to offer.
Lying within the waters of Port Phillip Bay, the Mornington Peninsula boasts enchanting coastal towns such as Portsea and Sorrento which make for the perfect day-trip destination. A perfect fusion of Australia's famed wine and beach cultures, you'll fall in love with the many wine-tasting, swimming and sun-baking opportunties the region affords.
6. Clare Valley, SA
Historical charm, spectacular views and amazing wine – what more could you want? South Australia's Clare Valley may be small compared to the country's more well-known wine regions, but it's in this magnificent region you'll be enchanted by the Australian outback.
As one of our writers, Craig Tansley put it, you wouldn't be surprised to find the Man from Snowy River or the women from McLeod's Daughters here. Blissfully rugged and dotted with Australian bush, the Clare Valley welcomes couples to not only sample of the country's best wines, but also meet its proud producers.
Related article: DiVine Romance – Ten of Australia's Favourite Wine Regions
7. Tamar Valley, TAS
Ah, Tasmania. With its views of rolling green hills and glittering seas, the state and great wine just go hand in hand – especially in the Tamar Valley. With a unique sense of family and tradition, the region is home to a range of family owned and operated wineries, as well as restaurants and cafes serving delicious fare. Yum!
Known for pinot noir and reisling, the picture-perfect Tamar Valley is full of historical charm. As you drive from winery to winery you'll pass old settlers' cottages and orchards full of blueberries and raspberries – time your visit right and spend an afternoon picking berries together before taking them back to your accommodation for a scrumptious snack. Be sure to stop at the many historical towns along the way, such as Piper’s River, George Town, Beauty Point and Beaconsfield and meet the colourful characters that call this beautiful part of the world home.
Related article: Treat Yourself to Tasmania
8. Mudgee, NSW
Surrounded by ancient, extinct volcanoes, New South Wales' Mudgee is rich with fertile soil, making it a wine makers paradise. A decent four hours' drive from the busy city of Sydney, the region is where time slows, crowds disappear and romance simply blossoms.
One of the state's oldest wine growing regions, Mudgee also plays host to a calendar of cultural events throughout the year, including the popular Music in the Vines festival. If you're not busy sampling wine from the variety of wineries, get your camera out and prepare to take some stunning photos. Lending itself to amazing holiday snaps and romantic weekends, Mudgee is proud to show off the best the region has to offer.
Related article: Discover What Makes Mudgee So Special
9. Scenic Rim, QLD
When it comes to natural beauty, fantastic wine and dreamy accommodation, Queensland's Scenic Rim has it all. Located in the state's south-east region, the Scenic Rim's hinterland towns are just made for lovers – think Mount Tamborine and Lamington National Park.
In this fusion of rainforest and agricultural plains you'll discover boutique wineries, restaurants and wine bars all with an impressive wine list that showcases the region's produce. For a winery visit with a differece, visit Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm in the Scenic Rim's Fassifern Valley. Wine tastings are available at the stylish cellar door, while romantic walks through the rows and rows of fragrant lavender await you.
Related article: 48 hours in Queensland's Scenic Rim
With deals on offer right up until the last minute visit lastminute.com.au to start planning your romantic weekend getaway now.