A wine pilgrimage through Australia’s 72 wine regions.

wine regionsIt might come as a surprise to many people, as it did to us, that there are so many wine regions in our lucky country.  Most people are able to name about half a dozen (think Barossa Valley, Margaret River, Hunter Valley etc) which lead us to consider that there are a lot of regions that make great wines that need some uncovering.

It seems only reasonable therefore that the Wine Wankers review as many as we can in an effort to spread the word on our wonderful wine (it’s work, really it is).  We will do these posts over a period of time, peppered in between our regular content.

Part of the inspiration for this came from a couple we overheard in a winery on the weekend stating that they had been to 66 of the 72 wine regions. They had decided to do this following their wedding, as a wine journey through the length and breadth of the country, nice, expensive.  Now the husband in this tryst did display some concerning wine wanker tendencies, however we will attempt the journey ensuring no such ticks emerge (see this post on how NOT to become a wine wanker).

Now there is some argy bargy around the total number or regions as there are a few not formally recognised yet, however we will defer to the the expertise of James Halliday on the subject and have therefore settled on 72.  Wine Australia, the peak body of the wine industry here list 62 (the top graphic), but rather than fuss over the number we will assume the differences are unclassified/emerging regions.

We will start with New South Wales (NSW) as it is closest to home. Within NSW there are the following 17 wine regions; Canberra District, Cowra, Gundagai, Hastings River, Hilltops, Hunter, Mudgee, Murray Darling, New England, Orange, Perricoota, Riverina, Shoalhaven Coast, Southern Highlands, Swan Hill, Tumbarumba and Upper Hunter.

conrad and neal at sydney cellar doorPurely under the guise of research the Wine Wankers were lucky enough to attend the Sydney Cellar Door as part of the annual NSW food and wine festival currently running in Sydney.  This event had wineries categorised by region so was a great start to our adventure; without even leaving our home town.  For $25 you purchased a tasting glass (plastic) and received 5 tickets that allowed you 10 x 30ml pours of wine.  This was a great experience and we were invited to quite a few wineries and made some great contacts. As expected the wine was sublime, even tasted from the plastic cup.

We are happy for any suggestions on wineries or regions we should feature.  Stay tuned for our first “Wine Pilgrimage” post.


Neal (The Wine Wankers)



  1. So the paranoia about glassing continues to a wine festival. Not that I’m saying wine drinkers would never get nasty but IMHO wine and plastic don’t get on very well.
    ps I thought a perricoota was a small native mouse?


  2. When you come over to the West, our winery and vineyard are in the bottom SW corner of the Geographe wine region. We are well worth a visit and only a short 20km drive from Busselton! We also source grapes from Margaret River and Great Southern regions. Our wines are all single vineyard and single varietal, except our Redtail sparkling shiraz which has a dash of viognier in it – Cathy


  3. I used to get invited once a year to a marine insurers ‘not Christmas’ party. Each year featured a wine region, with a variety of wines served with delicious canapés. One year I went home raving about the WA red ‘infidel’ – as in, the infidels are at the gate. I scoured the grog shops in Sydney without success. Next year, I was reliably informed that I meant Zinfandel, which turned out to be almost rose, which I am not fond of. Please, please get to WA and solve my problem 🙂 and can you bring back some Sandalford late harvest while you are it? pls?


  4. The Taste of Rutherglen is on shortly; it’s got great food & wine over 2 weekends.
    Try the Durifs & Sparkling Shiraz, & the vintage ports.


  5. White zinfandel is a rosé and may have been what Gwendolyn encountered. I do not love it, but I don’t tend to be a fan of pink wine. Not that I hate all of them, but I am probably pickier about pinks than any other.

    I am a little envious of your local wines. The wines of North Carolina tend to be crap. Tobacco farmers are looking for alternatives as smoking falls more and more out of favor, even here. And far too many people think “I’m a farmer. I grow stuff. Therefore, I can grow grapes. Making wine is easy because all I have to do is ferment the grapes I grow. ‘Buying local’ is the new buzzword. This will give me an instant following.”

    Ohmyghod, help me. They frequently use native grapes, muscadines and scuppernongs. And the growers are frequently people who haven’t tended to drink wine that wasn’t made by a relative last season. So, NC wines tend to be thin and sweet. In my moderately humble opinion.

    I/we keep tasting, though, hoping that NC wine will mature into something delightful. We just don’t buy much, yet, bcasue it has NOT gotten there.


  6. Barossa, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Langhorne Creek…the list goes on here in SA. “Two Hands” Winery in the Barossa is a personal fave also “Ekhidna Wines” in McLaren Vale. (plenty of others too)
    And just so you don’t think I am totally biased to SA, Tallis Wines near Shepparton Vic has some very nice wines too


  7. I had no idea there was such a diversity and range in your wonderful country! Of course you know Niagara grapes/wineries, since you are in the industry…but many of us ordinary folk admit ignorance to the wine wonders of Australia. Thank you for sharing the knowledge!


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