The smaller wineries tend to have more charm and intrinsic interest than the larger commercial operators and it’s here you’ll often get to talk personally to the winemaker or snare some wines not generally available in wine shops. Groups are welcomed by most wineries but are encouraged to book, although some places are too small to accommodate them. You’re under no obligation to buy wine, but coming away with a few of your favourites of the day and some fruity adjectives to describe them is part of the fun.

For a novice, wine tasting can be an intimidating experience. On entering the tasting area (or cellar door) you’ll be shown a list of wines that may be tasted, divided into whites through to reds, all printed in the order that the winemaker considers best on the palate. This is fine, but if you are visiting several wineries and are only interested in reds, by all means concentrate on the reds. Always look at the colour and clarity of the wine first, then give it a swirl and a sniff. Then take a deeper sniff with your nose inside the rim of the glass to try to appreciate the aroma or bouquets you can pick up. Then take a sip, rolling it around on your tongue before swallowing; there’s always a spittoon if you don’t want to swallow. A great way to learn more is to think about what you can pick up on your palate and then check it against the winemaker’s notes. Don’t be shy about discussing the wines with the person serving – that’s what they’re there for, and even wine snobs are down-to-earth Australians at heart.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Australia is a vast country, though most visitors stay on the same tried and tested track, ticking off well-touristed pitstops along the way. But, of course, …

07 Aug 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

Sun-soaked and healthy? Perhaps. A decent gateway to Western Australia? Definitely. But a cool place to spend a few days? Until recently Perth just couldn’t …

27 Apr 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month