Reviewing the cellar door experience across some of the world's greatest and most beautiful wine regions
If you have had a cellar door experience that you would love to share with us and your fellow winery loving community, be it at one of the 350+ cellar doors we have reviewed to date or any other cellar doors that you have visited around the world, please feel free to add your own comments and ratings in the comments boxes on each of our pages.
We would truly love to hear what you have to say!
In focus this month - Coal River Valley, Tasmania
The Coal River Valley region is just 20 minutes from Hobart and has a good cross section of cellar doors ranging from a number of small family run establishments to one of the larger wine company's in Tasmania, Frogmore Creek.
Southern Tasmania's climate produces wines more like those of Europe than mainland Australia, with some amazing quality of both reds and whites on offer. Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon blanc are the main varieties here, however there is a broad range of other varietals on offer including some great Pinot Gris, Syrah and Merlot.
The region is also home to Richmond, a gorgeous historic town that is very popular on weekends and has some pretty shops, restaurants and a very beautiful bridge that was built by convicts (it is photographed in every tourist brochure of Tasmania, so you won't miss it!)
Located at the entrance to the Derwent River and set amongst the foothills of Mt Wellington, Hobart is a great city with a nice blend of historical buildings and modern conveniences. There are plenty of accommodation options here, a number of fantastic restaurants (including some beautiful winery dining options such as at Frogmore Creek and Riversdale Estate) and plenty to see and do. Take a walk along the iconic waterfront (be sure to pop by the many fishmongers and fish and chip shops and keep an eye out for the local sea lion!), explore Salamanca (including the fantastic Saturday outdoor market) or take a trip across to MONA for an interesting art experience, as well as a fantastic cellar door and restaurant experience (details of which can be found on our Derwent Valley Page). There are also a number of new waterfront bars and dining options that have popped up over the last couple of years, including the fantastic Lounge by Frogmore Creek.
If you are really motivated, a hike up to Mount Wellington is well worth it, but be sure to pack numerous layers of clothing if you are visiting in Winter!
This is a beautiful region that has something for everyone and we always look forward to visiting time and time again.
Congratulations to Craigow and Every Man and His Dog Vineyard who each received a "Hidden Gem" award, joining the regions previous award recipients.
Refer to our Coal River Valley page for detailed reviews and ratings of individual cellar doors visited on this and previous trips to the region.
In focus April 2019 - Alpine Valleys, Victoria
The Alpine Valleys wine region is situated in the north-east of Victoria and winds through the valleys at the base of Victoria's ski region. The area is known for it's stunning landscapes (including it's amazing Autumn leaves), premium cool climate wines and more recently, it's fantastic food culture.
Due to the many micro-climates in the area, the region is home to over 30 grape varieties, ranging from traditional varieties such as Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to less common varietals, such as Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Vermentino, Savagnin, Teroldego and Marzemino.
The cellar doors in the area tend to be smaller, more family run offerings, providing for a great personal experience as well as offering a number of different dining options.
The town of Bright itself is a quaint little town that seems to have had somewhat of a food, bar and lounge revival with a number of great newer options in the area. We popped into a number of the local offerings including Tomahawks, Dr Mauve Bar and Lounge and Reed & Co. Distillery and had a great time at each.
The area is also extremely popular with cyclists and whilst surrounded by mountains, the bike tracks between a number of cellar doors in the area are actually quite flat, making it a great region to explore on bike.
The Alpine Valleys is a great place to spend a few days and also makes for a fantastic stop on your way to or from the ski fields. We definitely look forward to stopping in again and exploring what else the region has on offer!
Congratulations to Feathertop Winery who received a "2 Door" award, Ringer Reef who received a "1 Door" award and Billy Button who received a "Hidden Gem" award.
Refer to our Alpine Valleys page for detailed reviews and ratings of individual cellar doors visited.
In focus December 2018 - New Zealand - Central Otago
Central Otago is an informal name for the inland part of the Otago region in the South Island of New Zealand. The area commonly known as Central Otago includes both the Central Otago District and the Queenstown Lakes District to its west.
The Central Otago District, which is the world's southern-most commercial wine growing region, is made up of a few different sub areas and is home to around 80 wineries.
The region is most famous for its production of Burgundy-style grapes, producing some world renowned Pinot-Noir. Outside of Pinot Noir the region produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer. Sparkling wine is made in the traditional style from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
There are a vast range of cellar door experiences in the area, but most still tend to be smaller, family run operations offering a more personalised tasting experience. One thing that stands out in this region are the views, with many of the cellar doors having amazing views of the magnificent backdrops of mountains, vines and lakes. A number of the cellar doors also offer dining options ranging from highly regarded restaurants to more casual food platters.
Outside of wine, there really is something for everyone in this region. Amazing ski fields situated within a short drive, beautiful and varied dining options, sensational vistas, a variety of hiking/walking tracks and for those a little more adventurous there are a multitude of adrenalin activities on offer.
When in the region we tend to stay in Queenstown which makes for a good base. While many of the wineries are a 30-45 min drive from here, they tend to be in clusters, so you can take a few day trips and cover off on a few at a time, leaving the ones closer to Queenstown for a shorter trip.
We really do enjoy coming to this area and if you haven't been, it is one of those places that really should be added to you must-do list!
Congratulations to Misha's Vineyard, Mount Edward and Wooing Tree Vineyard who each received a "Hidden Gem" award and to Amisfield and Wet Jacket who's ratings were upgraded.
Refer to our Central Otago page for detailed reviews and ratings of individual cellar doors visited.