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Some wineries manage to do it so well. Great wines, knowledgeable and passionate staff, somewhere to dine, a great architectural cellar door, wonderful views or even a providore shop. These are the places that take it to the next level and tick several boxes giving the wine traveller an abundant of reasons why they should visit their cellar door. If wineries don’t make it about an experience then we should all stay at home and just buy wine from a bottle shop.

These are the wineries that you want to take international or interstate visitors or even a first date to.

In no particular order

shadowfax-6Shadowfax, Geelong VIC

On one of our impromptu visits for lunch on a glorious spring day we forgot that everyone else would be out doing the same thing. With a fully booked restaurant we were sure we were going to miss out but the excellent staff offered us a rug and the chance to sit on the lawn and do it picnic style. The relaxed live band’s music was piped outside for all the dinners to hear so we felt like we missed out on nothing. To tell you the truth a picnic rug with some small bites and great wine was just heaven.


Dalzotto, King Valley VIC

A great Italian restaurant, Italian or traditional wine styles at your beckoning call, a bocce court and an outdoor ten pin bowling lane to keep you busy who wouldn’t be happy. Add to that great service beautiful surrounds and of course Dalzotto’s fantastic Prosecco then you definitely have it made.



Sam Miranda King Valley VIC

An extensive range of wines is just the beginning to this wonderful cellar door. Apart form spending a whole lot of time tasting and learning about the wines of Sam Miranda there is a wonderful café that serves excellent food with top-notch service.



montalto-5Montalto, Mornington Peninsula VIC

A café with tables scattered amongst the herb and vegie patches, a high-end restaurant or picnic hampers with your own site has all your food options covered. There is, of course the wonderful wines with stunning views to match and a sculpture trail around the grounds and that is why Montalto is one of our top picks on the Mornington Peninsula.



all-saints-1All Saints, Rutherglen VIC

All Saints is a big set-up but is by no means one large cattle shed. We like the fact that there were many different parts to the winery where you could relax and soak up the atmosphere, whether it was on the lawn, by the pond or even at a bench in the rose gardens. A wonderful produce store sits away from the main building where you can organize platters or there is the signature Terrace restaurant. Great wines and knowledgeable staff round out the palate of All Saints as a winery that ticks many boxes.


de-bortoli-1De Bortoli, Yarra Valley VIC

Cheese has always been a great partner for wine and here, De Bortoli have their own specialty cheese room opposite the wine counter where you can grab a selection of cheese and enjoy it with your wine tasting. A large selection of wines with professional service from the cellar door in the basement is a great place to start then head to the top for an Italian inspired meal in De Bortoli’s restaurant.


yering-station-2Yering Station, Yarra Valley VIC

Why drive to a winery when you can fly! At Yering Station why not hire a pair of flash red helicopters with pickup and drop-off from Melbourne city. With lunch and wines included surely this is an opportunity not to be missed. Spread over several buildings there is plenty to see and do especially if you visit on a day when there is the farmers market. There are two options to satisfy your hunger with the gorgeous restaurant or the more casual Matt’s bar located on the second level above the produce store.

artisans-barossa-2Artisans Of Barossa, Barossa Valley SA

Silky smooth service, wonderful passionate staff with an abundance of wine knowledge, excellent wine from small producers, especially for those who are searching for something different to drink and cracking food. To me Artisans of Barossa ticks all the boxes.



two-hands-9Two Hands, Barossa Valley SA

Want to feel special? Want a great wine tasting experience? Then visit Two Hands. The more structured approach to the wine tasting from Two Hands makes you feel like you are being waited on in first class of a Qantas plane and it’s a nice change of pace from the more casual tastings most cellar doors offer. There are plenty of cool spots both indoors and out to enjoy a wine at this beautifully designed cellar door that marries the old and the new together harmoniously.

wynns-coonawarra-2Wynns, Coonawarra SA

I must admit Wynns was not high on my list of priorities of wineries to go and visit as so many of their wines are easily found in almost every bottle shop, but… The cellar door set up was spectacular. Plenty of space, modern interior and lots of the things to keep you interested when you are not tasting their wine. The tasting room is housed in a beautiful old building built in 1896 and Wynns is the oldest operating winery in the region. Please don’t be put off visiting Wynns if you are concerned the wines are too commercial because the cellar door is a great spot to a visit and the wines are very good. Go and Enjoy!

primo-estate-9Primo Estate, McLaren Vale SA

I love this building; it’s boldness and how it sits on the landscape. The love affair doesn’t stop there as the Primo wines are truly special and to leave without having done the tasting of their premium wines is surely a crime. Of course the entire range is available to taste, but its the premium tasting with nibbles of Grana Padano cheese, crusty bread and Joseph Extra Virgin Olive Oil that heightens the experience with the wonderful Italian grape varieties.

Clairault, Margaret River WA

Nestled amongst the native bush and vineyards Clairault with its lush manicured lawn and the native grasses is a class act. Polished hardwood floors lead you to the tasting bar where the wines will bedazzle you with their elegance and complexity. The café with its bi-folding doors to the bushscape is the place to relax with tapas and shared boards of tasty morsels.



Chateau Tanunda, Barossa Valley SA

Yes it is a real Chateau and no its not France, but is sure as hell could be. An impressive building of gigantic proportions that was once at risk of falling into disrepair has been saved for all to enjoy. Taste some wine, walk around the old barrels and organise a game of croquet.



Brown-Brothers-2Brown Brothers, King Valley VIC

Brown Brothers is a big operation that have been able to keep that family run vibe. There is a massive range of wines to try, starting with the relative inexpensive up to some real crackers that will bring all who thought they had out grown Brown Brothers back to again. There is a restaurant next to the tasting room, winery tours and a good Easter festival with live music, face painting for the kids, winery tours and a small farmers’ market located in the gardens of the winery.


Olive Farm, Swan Valley WAOlive Farm winery

Cellar doors take note! The bar has been set HIGH! If you could write a list of what a good cellar door needs to have then Olive Farm ticks every box and then some. There are no printed tasting notes with wine spills, instead you’ll find a number of iPads mounted on the bar allowing you to easily scroll through their wines. All wines from the whites, to the reds and the fortifieds are brilliantly executed from the picking to the selling. Their fortified wines are presented in beautifully crafted decanter-style bottles.

Have your say in the comments below.

Have we got it right? Is there a winery we missed that should be on our list?

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  • Patrycja

    August 7, 2016 #1 Author

    Yarra Valley is such a great winery and I agree about the amazing cheese selection.


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