Featured image: Sirromet Winery
Whether you’re hitting the cellar door circuit, weaving your way through the vines, or pouring a glass by the fire, winery stays make a perfect winter getaway. From luxury vineyard glamping to design-driven hideaways, we’ve rounded up some of the best Australian winery stays for couples.
JACKALOPE, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC
It’s no surprise Jackalope made a stylish splash when it bounded onto the hotel landscape in 2017. Inspired by the mythical North American creature (think jackrabbit with antlers), this 46-room retreat is one of a kind — melding art, design, food, and wine to sublime effect.
There’s the seven-metre high Jackalope sculpture that greets you. The black infinity pool and heated plunge pool overlooking the vines. The hatted Doot Doot Doot dining room with its 10,000-bulb chandelier levitating above. And the onsite day spa where a pinot grape skin body scrub is among the treats.
The vision of founder Louis Li, Jackalope’s deeply seductive aesthetic extends to the guest rooms which carry a curated, zen-like feel. Think floor-to-ceiling windows, private terraces, and custom furnishings from Zuster. The spacious Signature Lairs offer a special treat for couples with deep-soak Japanese baths, double-sided fireplaces, and sunset views over the vines of the 28-acre Willow Creek Vineyard. At just 20 minutes from Melbourne, why wouldn’t you? Jackalope Hotel
Nearby: Chances are you won’t want to leave (ever), but you’ll also havethe country-to-coast delights, and around 50 cellar doors, of the Mornington Peninsula at your fingertips. Start with the 19-acre sculpture park and Laura restaurant at Pt Leo Estate.
MONA PAVILIONS, HOBART, TAS
Tempted by Tassie? Mona Pavilions ticks all the boxes for a couple’s escape that blends riverside digs with arty indulgences and wine. Lots of wine. The ‘luxury dens’ celebrate Australian artists and architects and share a site with maverick gallery MONA and Morilla Estate Vineyards. The original four stretch out across the River Derwent while the newer pavilions are set back in the bushland and come with kitchens and laundries. For a penthouse vibe (and a spa bath on the deck) try the stunning three-storey Roy. All are stocked with Aesop products, original art, and unexpected antiquities, and include breakfast at The Source restaurant.
While the pull of the gallery is strong, leave time to sample the boutique cool-climate wines at Morilla or grab an ale from micro-brewery Moo Brew. There’s also a heated lap pool, gym and sauna to work off all that southern indulgence. Our tip? Arrive by boat. The 25-minute trip from Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier is best enjoyed in the Posh Pit of Mona’s high-speed catamaran, Mona Roma. Mona Pavilions
Nearby: Follow the Southern Wine Trail to discover Tassie favourites including Stefano Lubiana, Pooley Wines, Frogmore Creek, and Pipers Brook Vineyard, and Jansz.
Want more Tassie goodness? We have some ideas here.
EMPIRE RETREAT AND SPA, MARGARET RIVER, WA
Making tracks for Margaret River? This stylish retreat is right in the heart of the action at Yallingup, a 2.5-hour drive south from Perth. Empire Retreat and Spa is set on an expansive property of pastures and pristine bushland, with 12 glorious acres dedicated to grape vines. The natural-luxe vibe is an effortless extension of the brand’s Empire Homewares stores. A stone and timber farmhouse sets the mood while rooms and suites are kitted out with gorgeous pieces from Empire.
For a romantic escape, see the Luxury Villa which offers maximum space and privacy plus a sunken lounge, open fireplace, and timber balcony with daybed and panoramic views. Sink into the large bath which overlooks your own garden courtyard or head over to the day spa which draws on products from coveted WA brand Sodashi. The spa’s Relax Together journey is the perfect treat for two. Empire Retreat and Spa
Nearby: You’ll have the world-class wines of Margaret River on your doorstep. Coast-loving couples will also love Yallingup Beach nearby, with one side offering lagoon-like waters and west-coast waves on the other.
SEVILLE ESTATE, YARRA VALLEY, VIC
Named Winery of the Year by the 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion, Seville Estate has serious cellar door appeal. But that’s not the only reason to linger longer at this Yarra Valley gem as the accommodation is also top notch.
Travelling with friends? The elegant Seville Homestead accommodates up to eight — originally built by Dr. Peter and Margaret McMahon, who also planted the first vines here in 1972. Thanks to a recent magazine-ready makeover by interior designer Leora McMahon, the homestead is now a destination in itself. And there’s a strong family connection with Leora married to Seville’s chief winemaker (and grandson of the original owners), Dylan McMahon.
For couples, the self-contained Vineyard Apartments are ideal, complete with a private balcony overlooking the estate. A top spot to enjoy a glass of Seville’s legendary shiraz. There’s also a lovely, light-filled restaurant that leans into the seasonal bounty of the region’s superb produce. Seville Estate
Nearby: Victoria’s oldest wine-growing region is only an hour from Melbourne, making it perfect for a romantic weekender. Hit the cellar doors or pick your own fresh cherries and berries on the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges U-Pick and Farmgate trails.
SPICERS VINEYARDS ESTATE, HUNTER VALLEY, NSW
Familiar with Spicers Retreats? Then you’ll know this Hunter Valley hideaway is built for romance. Just over two hours from Sydney, the glorious estate features acres of bushland and vines plus 12 luxury rooms and suites and a separate four-bedroom residence, Vineyard House. The Luxury Spa Suites come with all the trimmings for a winter escape including a bluestone fireplace, king bed, ensuite with bathtub and underfloor heating, and choice of private courtyard or balcony.
Settle in and soak up a signature Spicers experience. Think sunrise hot air balloon flights over Australia’s oldest wine region or a private gourmet picnic among the gum trees and vineyards of the estate. Then indulge with a couple’s treatment at Spa Anise and float on to dinner vine-side at Restaurant Botanica. Oh, and fun fact about Vineyard House: guests can bring their fur babies along with a Pooch Package. Spicers Vineyards Estate
Nearby: When you’re not winery hopping through the Hunter, make a leisurely stop at Pokolbin’s Hunter Valley Gardens where ten internationally themed gardens draw a crowd alongside a 25-metre, Italian-made Ferris Wheel.
MITCHELTON HOTEL, NAGAMBIE, VIC
From the refined luxury of its Hecker Guthrie-designed hotel to its iconic observation tower and celebrated cellar door, Mitchelton is a must see. A 90-minute drive north of Melbourne, the estate sits on the banks of the Goulburn River in Nagambie, with grapes grown onsite as well in sister vineyards at Heathcote. The impeccably styled hotel and swimming pool share real estate with riverside restaurant The Muse, a day spa, and an underground Aboriginal art gallery. All excellent. But don’t be surprised when you keep gravitating back to the fireplace of the much-awarded cellar door where chief winemaker Andrew Santarossa showcases his outstanding range.
If you’re looking for a change of pace when it comes to winery accommodation, try Mitchelton’s most recent addition — well-appointed Airstreams with vineyard or bush views. Take a seat on your private terrace at dusk and watch for the kangaroos who venture out to soak up the sunset. With a glass of Mitchelton shiraz in hand, it’s hard to beat. Mitchelton Hotel
Nearby: Check out the thriving cellar door scene of Heathcote (about 40 minutes away) or dip into the gold rush history of Bendigo, just over an hour from Nagambie.
THE LOUISE, BAROSSA VALLEY, SA
Food and wine. This classic pairing is synonymous with the Barossa Valley (and with our favourite holidays) and The Louise brings them together in memorable style. Around an hour from Adelaide, this ‘luxury culinary retreat’ feels immersed in the Barossa’s iconic viticultural landscape. A range of suite styles is sure to please including the couple-perfect Premium Suites. We’re talking private terrace, gas log fireplace, king bed with luxe linens, marble ensuite, and even an outdoor rain shower.
Settle in with a sundowner at the property’s perfectly positioned bar (three75) or enjoy a Barossa red on your private terrace as the sun sinks below the vines. Ready to wine and dine? Head over to the superb onsite restaurant, Appellation, and select a regional beauty from their extensive wine list. The Louise
Nearby: The Louise team is only too happy to share the bountiful Barossa region with their guests, offering an excellent range of wine and food-focused experiences. From a gourmet breakfast with the local kangaroos to vineyard safaris, walking tours, and a ‘backstage pass’ to harvest you’ll be spoiled for choice.
SANCTUARY BY SIRROMET, MOUNT COTTON, QLD
One of Queensland’s best-known wineries is also home to Queensland’s first vineyard glamping experience: Sanctuary by Sirromet. The estate’s safari-style ‘tented pavilions’ are set amongst the Laguna paperbark trees and giant scribbly gums with the Laguna Suite an indulgent option for couples. Cocooned by bushland, it features sweeping views across the lagoon from a ‘floating’ deck together with a generous bathroom and just the right amount of creature comforts.
The picturesque property looks out towards Moreton Bay and offers plenty of scope for roaming. Chances are you’ll be sharing a track with the resident wildlife as there are wallabies galore! Get your vigneron on with behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at the state-of-the-art winery which sources many of its grapes from the cooler climes of Sirromet’s Granite Belt vineyards. Worked up an appetite? Fine dine at Restaurant Lurleen’s, catch a bay breeze on the Tuscan Terrace, or find a secluded spot to throw down a picnic blanket and enjoy a premium winery hamper for two. Sanctuary by Sirromet
Nearby: While you won’t find a cellar door circuit around here, you will have the wild beauty of North Stradbroke Island nearby. Hop on a ferry from Cleveland, just 15 minutes from Sirromet.
PORT PHILLIP ESTATE, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC
Jaw-dropping vistas and an equally arresting cellar door are just two reasons to bunker down at Port Phillip Estate in the Mornington Peninsula. The sculptural, rammed-earth wall that ‘welcomes’ you to the estate has become a landmark of the region while the glass-walled dining room offers a must-do gourmet experience. Warm up by the grand open fireplace, head out to the timber terrace where vistas stretch to Bass Strait, or sidle up to the cellar door which is also housed in the main building. Two labels are showcased here (Port Phillip Estate and Kooyong) with a significant swathe of the property under vine, and a museum wine store and barrel room tucked away below ground.
Ready to retreat? Six luxe contemporary suites are hidden directly below the restaurant and enjoy spectacular vineyard and coastal views, private terraces, and plush interiors. The little luxuries elevate this stay even further: think eggshell bathtubs big enough for two, silk throws, luxe Missoni bathrobes, and Aesop bath treats. You may only want to surface to top up your supply of the estate’s esteemed pinot or chardonnay. Port Phillip Estate
Nearby: Discover why the Mornington Peninsula is Melbourne’s favourite coastal playground.
WINMARK WINES, HUNTER VALLEY, NSW
When Gourmet Traveller WINE named Winmark as the Hunter Valley’s ‘Cellar Door with Best Accommodation’ in 2021, we took note. Two hours from Sydney in the peaceful haven of Broke, this is a dream destination for chardonnay lovers with 28 acres of the sprawling estate under premium chardonnay vines. Owner Karin Adcock is an avid art collection so after you’ve stopped by the cellar door for supplies, lose yourselves in a fascinating sculpture walk which is immersed in the serene green countryside.
And the accommodation? There are several beautifully appointed private residences available on site but couples will want to check out the super-cute Villa Vino which embraces tiny house living. A pitched roof frames the vineyard and mountain views while a queen bed, mini fridge (to keep that chardy chilled) and ‘bathroom pod’ with Appelles bring the comfort. Commune by the firepit with a glass of golden goodness as the sun lights up the landscape and the stars come out to play. Winmark Wines
Nearby: You’ll have the excellent Broke Fordwich Wine Trail right on your doorstep.Or head south-west where you’ll discover the World Heritage wilderness and Aboriginal cultural sites of the Yengo National Park.
OCEAN VIEW ESTATE WINERY & COTTAGES, MOUNT MEE, QLD
Sitting pretty on Mount Mee (about 90 minutes northwest of Brisbane) this charming winery stay is all misty mornings and crackling fires over the winter months. In Queensland! Chief winemaker Thomas Honnef (assisted by his daughter and son-in-law Hannah and Andrew Hathway) cultivates viognier, chardonnay, shiraz, and ruby cabernet on site, with additional fruit sourced from Queensland’s South Burnett region.
The estate’s Vineyard Cottages offer a comfortable retreat after a day of tastings and touring your way around the vineyards and winery. Couples will love the Cabernet Cottage which overlooks the lake and vines with a spa bath and barbeque on your private deck and cosy fireplace. Dine in the a-la-carte restaurant, alfresco with a view of the vines, or request your lunch to go and find the perfect picnic spot amongst the 100+ idyllic acres. Ocean View Estates
Nearby: You’ll be in the heart of the Moreton Bay Hinterland (between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast), one of Queensland’s hidden holiday gems. Explore the country townships of Dayboro and Samford or enjoy the breathtaking vistas and bushwalks of Mount Mee.
Want more Queensland accommodation with a fireplace? It’s right here
THE VINEYARD RETREAT, MCLAREN VALE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Part of the Marmont estate, The Vineyard Retreat is located 50 minutes from Adelaide in McLaren Vale wine country. The six self-contained guest houses are lovely — think country-luxe furnishings, wood combustion fires, and private decks. But we can’t go past the new container-style Cadoles (a French word describing a small vineyard building) which were designed by Escapod.
These twin retreats overlook the estate’s shiraz and old vine heritage grenache blocks and feature log fires, three outdoor decks, and a rainwater-fed shower. Your stay includes a complimentary mini bar (to enjoy with Riedel glassware no less) and locally sourced breakfast provisions. The retreat’s perfectly positioned Jacuzzi offers stellar sunset views over the property and out to the Gulf St Vincent. But for winter we also love the thought of toasting marshmallows over the piazza firepit with a glass of grenache in hand. thevineyardmv.com.au
Nearby: Your Vineyard Retreat ‘concierge’ will point you in the right direction. Start with the attention-grabbing d’Arenberg Cube just down the road where you can play winemaker at the Blending Bench or take in panoramic views from the top-level Tasting Room.
BALGOWNIE ESTATES, BENDIGO & YARRA VALLEY, VIC
What’s better than one winery stay? A choice of two at Balgownie Estates. First up: suite retreat, day spa indulgence, and hot ballooning from your door at Balgownie Yarra Valley (an hour from Melbourne). Choose from suite or apartment-style accommodation and leave plenty of time for a Bliss for Two treatment at the Natskin Day Spa and a hot air balloon flight over the valley. Balloons lift off directly from Balgownie and are followed by a Champagne breakfast back at the estate.
Want to try vineyard glamping? Head two hours north of Melbourne to Balgownie Bendigo’s luxury tents, dotted among the property’s native gums, olive trees, and vineyards. The luxe Safari Tent is a winner for couples, positioned for maximum privacy with an ensuite and an outdoor bath where you can enjoy a glass of Balgownie’s renowned red under the stars. Or, enjoy a more traditional winery stay in self-contained cottages and homestead accommodation. Balgownie Estates
Nearby: Sip your way around legendary wine country from your base at Balgownie Yarra Valley or explore the Bendigo town centre and its renowned regional gallery, just ten minutes from Balgownie Bendigo.