GO BEYOND THE CELLAR DOOR
Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia (UWEA) is a hand-picked collection of Australia’s premium wineries offering exciting and immersive winery experiences based around world-class wines, warm and knowledgeable hospitality, and culinary excellence.
Australia’s signature wines have as much personality as their makers. 'Approachable', 'unpretentious' and 'gutsy' are words that could be used to describe Australia's world-renowned wines - and equally the people behind them. Walk into almost any cellar door from Margaret River to the Hunter Valley, and you're likely to find yourself chatting to the wine maker and several family members - often second or third generation vignerons. The relaxed and democratic nature of those in the industry belies Australia’s reputation as one of the most outstanding wine-producing countries in the world.
These experiences are designed to take visitors ‘beyond-the-cellar-door’ to discover characteristics unique to each winery and region. A pre-booked wine tasting experience can range from an intimate tutored wine tasting and chance to meet the winemakers, to a wine blending lesson to test and better understand your own palate. While tasting wine is the central theme, the variety of experiences on offer and the diversity of the wineries within the collection mean that no two are the same. Many experiences also include complementary activities to enhance connection with the region, such as a scenic regional flight, a cooking class, a relaxing bike ride, or on adventurous 4WD tour.
UWEA have also designed ‘Wine Trails’ – itineraries connecting winery experiences and regions with suggestions for additional activities and accommodation.
What sets the collection apart is a commitment to visitor experience and not simply venues to taste and purchase wine. They offer a memorable experience featuring quality restaurants, accommodation, winery and vineyard tours, as well as exciting behind-the-scenes winery packages allowing visitors to interact more directly with the product, the winemakers and enjoy first-hand the rich diversity that Australia’s wine regions have to offer.
UWEA MEMBERS IN AUSTRALIA’S WINE REGIONS
New South Wales
Hunter Valley :
Approximately two hours drive north of Sydney is the famous Hunter Valley wine region. The Hunter Valley is home to over 130 wineries producing a wide array of exceptional wines. It is recognized as a world leader in dry white wines made from Semillon. The region specializes in fine food and wine, and hosts a busy calendar of events. It's also renowned for its national parks, spa retreats, and great golf. UWEA member Audrey Wilkinson is one of the oldest wineries in the region and boasts award-winning wines and incredible views over the nearby Brokenback Ranges.
Yarra Valley :
Yarra Valley wineries produce some of the world’s best cool-climate wines and are renowned for restaurants that match their wines with regional produce sourced from nearby orchards, farm gates and dairies. Located less than one hour's drive east of Melbourne, the beauty, climate and fresh produce of the valley, just a stone’s throw from the city, is a popular choice for fans of fine food and wine. Award winning winery De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate is one of the valley’s largest. This family owned and managed winery produces high-quality cool climate wines from 240 hectares of vines, some more than 40 years old.
King Valley :
Victoria’s stunning King Valley is located at the foothills of the Alpine National Park, approximately 3 hours north-east of Melbourne. The King Valley wine region has become known as Australia’s home of Italian wine varieties although the region has also long been producing traditional cool climate wines. UWEA members Pizzini Wines and Brown Brothers Milawa offer highly diverse but equally engaging winery experiences that celebrate the wine, food and personality of the King Valley.
The unique and relatively unknown region of the Strathbogie Ranges is located just 60 miles (100 kilometres) north of Melbourne. This ruggedly beautiful and highly diverse region produces distinctive wines from over 25 vineyards. Fowles Wine cellar door based in Avenel at the foothills of the Strathbogie Ranges is renowned for making cool-climate wines to match with food. In fact, what really sets them apart is their 'Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch' and 'Are You Game?' wines - blended specifically to match with wild game.
Nagambie Lakes :
Located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Nagambie Lakes is known for its picturesque habitats of tall, shady red river gums and tranquil views of the Goulburn River and surrounding wetlands. Visitors can enjoy premium wines, pristine habitat and quaint towns filled with cafes, local produce stores, antique shops and galleries. Nagambie Lakes is home to Tahbilk. Established in 1860, Tahbilk is not only one of Australia’s oldest wineries but also boasts the world’s largest, and some of the oldest, plantings of Marsanne and Shiraz.
Mornington Peninsula :
On the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay and within an hour’s drive of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is famous for its exceptional wine, seaside villages, world-class golf courses, spa retreats and local produce.
As well as award-winning wine, Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove is highly regarded for its welcoming ambiance, relaxed Australian architecture, intimate cellar door, and the beauty of its grounds that include an olive grove, acclaimed restaurant and café, sculpture walk and wetlands.
Tasmania produces elegant cool climate wines at around 200 vineyards and wineries. Tasmania’s food and wine experiences spring from its pristine water and pure air and the skill of its growers and makers. As well as its stunning wines, it produces famous cheeses, premium beef, honey, and some of Australia's best boutique beers. The collection boasts two well known Tasmanian wineries – Josef Chromy Wines near Launceston, and Moorilla at the famous MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, in Hobart.
Adelaide Hills :
The Adelaide Hills wine region is known for its elegant cool climate wines. Located in the Mount Lofty Ranges just 20-minutes east of Adelaide, the region is Australia’s largest geographical wine region, and one of the most diverse in terms of climate, soil and topography. Esteemed Adelaide Hills wineries Penfolds Magill Estate and The Lane Vineyard are proud members of the UWEA collection.
Barossa Valley :
The Barossa wine region is a contemporary region with a European tradition of celebrating food and wine that spans seven generations. The Barossa wine region has a long history of making full-bodied reds, fortified and robust white wines. Here, world-famous wine brands Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Seppeltsfield offer beyond-the-cellar door experiences.
McLaren Vale :
Nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and white sandy beaches, the picturesque region features rolling hills, vineyards, a rugged coastline and charming villages. As well as exceptional wine, the region is known for its produce, on offer at its 110 wineries and 65 cellar doors, five-star retreats, quirky cafés and funky art galleries. The collection includes two of McLaren Vale’s best-loved wineries, d’Arenberg and Wirra Wirra Wines.
Margaret River :
Geographically isolated, Margaret River specializes in great wines, memorable regional cuisine and spectacular scenery. Highly regarded as a producer of powerful yet elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River is also famous for its white wines, especially its Chardonnay and Semillon/ Sauvignon Blanc blends. Margaret River’s ideal climate, good soil and maritime environment produce consistently superior vintages that confirm its reputation as one of the premium wine producing regions of the world. Three of the region’s best regarded wineries are members of the UWEA collection: Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix and Voyager Estate.