The vineyards dotted around Melbourne are some of the most renowned anywhere in the country, with many offering guided tours that let you learn about the wine-making process – and try some of the produce too.
Known for both its fruitiness and its great value, Australian wine is considered among the best in the world. Some of the country’s best wine spots can be found in and around Melbourne, and there are several wine-themed excursions on offer that allow you to explore lush vineyards, visit production plants, and enjoy wine tastings. Taking into account value for money and customer reviews, TravelMag presents our pick of the best.
Macedon Ranges Winery Tour from Melbourne
The cool climate of the Macedon Ranges, less than an hour’s drive north of Melbourne, gives rise to some premium wines. This full-day tour sees you travel in an air-conditioned van with a small group from Melbourne to the region, where your expert guide will take you to visit three renowned local wineries. Here, you’ll meet the winemakers and enjoy wine tastings, plus local foods including a hearty lunch. The tour can also be tailored to the interests of the group, with visits to some of the 40 boutique wineries in the area, such as Granite Hills, Hanging Rock Winery or Mount Gisborne Wines, available. From AU$146 per person.
Full-Day Horses, Wine, and Beer Tour
Horses and alcohol aren’t normally the most sensible of combinations, but you can make an exception for this action-packed full-day tour that features both epicurean and equestrian delights. Your first port of call will be the Living Legends racehorse retirement village at Woodlands Historic Park, a 25-minute drive northwest of Melbourne. Here you’ll meet the horses and enjoy an energising morning tea. Next, you’ll make the 35-minute journey to Holgate Brewery, a traditional country pub where you’ll taste some of the home brew and relax in the beautiful beer garden over lunch. Finally, you’ll head to the Hanging Rock Winery for wine tasting before your return to Melbourne. From AU$256 per person.
Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour
Famous for its production of some of Australia’s finest pinot noir, sparkling wine and other cool-climate wines, Yarra Valley captivates visitors keen to explore one of the country’s best wine areas. This small-group guided tour transports guests in a comfortable heated minivan to boutique wineries and rustic cellar doors, where you can discover the secrets behind the region’s wine-making procedures by speaking to actual Yarra Valley winemakers. The tour includes transport, wine tasting and a lavish lunch paired with wine in a local restaurant. From AU$140 per person.
Around the Bay Food & Wine Taste Trail
This tour lets you take in two spectacular wine regions in one day. After a hotel collection, you’ll make the one-hour drive to the spectacular Geelong waterfront, breathing in the sea air as you walk along the esplanade. Next is the Scotchmans Hill Vineyard, set on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula, for wine tasting in an old French provincial barn house. You’ll then advance towards the Jack Rabbit Vineyard where you’ll grab lunch in a local eatery, before sailing into the bay over a Devonshire tea. St. Andrews Brewery is next, a craft brewery in the Mornington Peninsulas, where you’ll join locals for a beer-paddle tasting and the chance to watch the beer crafting process in action. On your return to Melbourne you’ll stop at Arthurs Seat to admire the panoramic views. From AU$197 per person.
Mornington Peninsula Winery Tours with Cheese, Chocolate Tastings
Taste the fine wines and mouth-watering food of the Mornington Peninsula on this full-day small-group tour, which can be customised to your group’s tastes. You’ll depart early morning from central Melbourne, traveling just over an hour aboard an air-conditioned luxury vehicle with panoramic windows. As for how you spend your day, you can choose how many of the renowned regional wineries you wish to visit, and there’ll also be the chance to stop for a gourmet lunch. Furthermore, you can also opt for other activities such as cheese tastings in a boutique dairy store, and chocolate samples in the artisan town of Flinders. From AU$145 per person.