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  • #winetime: Australia’s top wine regions revealed

    1 August 2016: Nothing beats a cheeky weekend 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*. 

    The 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.

    Australia’s favourite wine regions:

    1. Barossa, SA

    2. Margaret River, WA

    3. Hunter Valley, NSW

    4. Yarra Valley, VIC

    5. Mornington Peninsula, VIC

    6. Clare Valley, SA

    7. Tamar Valley, TAS

    8. Mudgee, NSW

    9.  Scenic Rim, QLD

    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.

    Jump on lastminute.com.au to start planning your next weekend of #winetime with the below hot list of where to drink, eat and sleep in Australia’s favourite wine regions: 

    1. The Barossa, SA:

    Drink: It’s all about the shiraz in the Barossa. Not to be missed is Artisans of Barossa, Seppeltsfield, Rockford, as well as Barossa’s most famous winery, Jacobs Creek.

    Eat: If you’re looking to treat yourself, book a long lunch at award winning Hentley Farm. Other great options include Harvest Kitchen and Ferment Asian. 

    Sleep: There are plenty of accommodation options in the Barossa however if luxury is on your mind, head straight to Barossa Pavilions. The Novotel Barossa Valley Resort is also a great option if you’re after centrally located, resort style accommodation.

    2. Margaret River, WA:

    Drink: Some popular taste testers include Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate, Sandalford, Leeuwin Estate and Xanadu. 

    Eat: Hit up the local deli and pack your own picnic filled with fresh produce and local delicacies. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss the local chocolate and fudge factory. Alternatively, if you’re after a long, lazy winery lunch, put Voyager Estate at the top of your list.

    Sleep: After a big day of indulging in food and wine, you are going to need somewhere cozy to retreat. Cape Lodge is a boutique stay filled with romance and luxury; while Willy Bay Resort offers comfortable apartment style accommodation with vineyard views.

    3. Hunter Valley, NSW:

    Drink: Just a two-hour drive from Sydney CBD is the Hunter Valley - a wine lover’s playground famous for its semillon. Sample a drop or two at Keith Tulloch Wine, Scarborough Wine Co, Mount View Estate and Audrey Wilkinson.

    Eat: Wash down the wine at local foodie hot spots such as Bistro Molines, EXP Restaurant, Muse Kitchen or Café Enzo, for a more casual style lunch.

    Sleep: The Grand Mercure Apartments at The Vintage not only delivers private and comfortable apartment style accommodation, it’s also the perfect spot to tee off, with a 18-hole course on site. Or if you’re looking to impress that special someone, you can’t go past Spicers Vineyards Estate.

    4. Yarra Valley, VIC:

    Drink: Champagne lovers note: Domaine Chandon, established by French champagne house Moet & Chandon, is a must-do. Other fabulous wineries in the area include Yering Station, Rochford Wines and TarraWarra Estate.   

    Eat: A Yarra Valley food safari is not complete without getting a sugar high at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Other great dining options include Isabella’s at Rochford (post wine tasting) and the oh-so-delicious high tea at Dame Nellie’s home, Coombe, The Melba Estate.

    Sleep: After a day of feasting and winery hopping, retreat for the evening to Balgownie Estate Resort & Spa located in Yarra Glen and home to a fabulous on-site restaurant, Rae’s.

    5. Mornington Peninsula, VIC:

    Drink: The cool climate grapes in this region are all about the pinot noir. Make sure you put Port Phillip Estate, Paringa Estate and Crittenden Estate at the top of your ‘to do list’.

    Eat: If you are after something a bit special, try the degustation dinner at Woodman Estate. Like many wine regions, some of the best dining options are located within the wineries. Hot tips include Ten Minutes By Tractor and Foxeys Hangout in Red Hill. 

    Sleep: For a slice of country relaxation with a side of luxury, the Lindenderry At Red Hill offers the perfect guest house experience. While staying at Peppers Moonah Links Resort is a great way to share your #winetime with #beachtime.

    6. Clare Valley, SA

    Drink: Just two hours from Adelaide, Clare Valley is all about the riesling. Make sure your wine trail includes stops at Taylors, Stone Bridge Wine, Pikes and The Wilson Vineyard.

    Eat: Enjoy lunch on the verandah overlooking the English style gardens at local icon, Skillogalee Winery. Or for a more casual affair, Wild Saffron, located in the main town of Clare offers breakfast and lunch, plus takes the hassle out of cooking with picnic hampers and delicious gourmet take-home produce.

    Sleep: Overlooking the lake and golf course, the Clare Country Club is close to the town of Clare, plus the local wineries. While for B&B style accommodation complete with a cozy fireplace, check into Brice Hill Country Lodge.

    7. Tamar Valley, TAS:

    Drink: If you’re a sparkling wine fan, the Jansz Wine Room is right up your alley. Other highly recommended cellar doors include Pipers Brook Vineyard, Bay of Fires Wines and Moores Hill.

    Eat: There’s nothing like a long lunch with rolling vineyard views and Josef Chromy Wines does not disappoint. While Stillwater in Launceston is perfect for a special occasion. 

    Sleep: Base yourself in Launceston, the gateway to the Tamar Valley. The Red Feather Inn located just out of town in Hadspen, is a luxury B&B which strikes the right balance between warm country styling with French influences and modern touches.

    8. Mudgee, NSW:

    Drink: Start your weekend with a cheese platter and glass of chardonnay at Logan Wines. Enjoy a drop of rosé at the unassuming Skimstone cellar door and relax with a riesling at picturesque Lowe Wines.

    Eat: The Zin House will instantly have you feeling like you’ve rocked up to a friend’s rustic country house for a lazy afternoon of grazing on local delicacies. Still got room in the stomach for dinner? Head to Pipeclay Pumphouse, with all produce on the menu coming from the property’s paddock, or from the local region.

    Sleep: Just five minutes from town and set on 40 acres, Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse is a character filled country B&B which will relax you into ‘Mudgee time’ immediately. Alternatively, stay in the heart of town at the Perry Street Hotel - A Fox-and Co hotel

    9. Scenic Rim, Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD:

    Drink: Queensland is known for its beaches, not its wine regions, but don’t let that stop you from heading inland to check out the grape vines in the Scenic Rim. Follow the trail and check out Witches Falls Winery, Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery and Albert River Wines.

    Eat: For views over the Great Dividing Ranges, The Polish Place is a great place to stop for a bite to eat, while the The Gallery Café also offers a fabulous lunch.

    Sleep: Base yourself at the Witches Falls Cottages nestled perfectly between the Witches Falls Winery and the Tamborine National Park. Other great options include Cedar Creek Lodges and The Escarpment Retreat.

    With deals on offer right up until the last minute visit lastminute.com.au to start planning your next weekend of #winetime.

    About lastminute.com.au

    lastminute.com.au®  looks after Aussies’ travel needs right up until the lastminute, no matter your reason for travel. From hotels, to holidays, flights to wine tours, lastminute.com.au is here to inspire Aussies to #livelastminute. lastminute.com.au boasts a loyal social media community of over 150,000+ across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus while our blog http://www.lastminute.com.au/blog/ also provides savvy travellers with advice and reviews on a range of travel topics. 

    *According to a 2016 survey of 2600+ Australians by lastminute.com.au.