The Vinophile’s Guide

The Vinophile’s Guide To Exploring NSW Wine Countries


Ever pondered what lies beyond the celebrated Opera House and the Harbor Bridge in New South Wales? Whilst these Sydney icons regularly capture worldwide focus, a hidden gem waits to be uncorked in this diverse Australian state — its flourishing wine industry! Indeed, NSW isn’t solely about magnificent buildings and breathtaking perspectives; it also houses some of Australia’s most scenic viticulture regions.

In celebration of the incredible landscapes and the even more astounding wine culture, we bring you 6 of the finest wine destinations the state has to offer. So, pour yourself a glass and read on to find out more about NSW wine countries.

Vinophile's Guide To Exploring NSW Wine Countries
Vinophile’s Guide To Exploring NSW Wine Countries

Hunter Valley

Without a doubt, the Hunter Valley is New South Wales’ most renowned winegrowing region, and for good reason. Just 2 hours north of Sydney, it produces some of Australia’s most iconic semillon, shiraz, and more recently montepulciano wines, with each frequently flying under the radar of most oenophiles. Begin your journey at one of the region’s famed producers such as Tyrrell’s Wines, Brokenwood Wines, or Audrey Wilkinson to see winemaking techniques that date back for generations.

Let’s not forget about the epicurean scene as well, where immersive tours provide a behind-the-scenes look from vine to bottle, amid expertly paired tastings with local cheeses and handcrafted chocolates. Take time to wander the gourmet dining scene as well, all the while considering a hot air balloon ride for unparalleled views of the vineyards as the sun rises. With each thoughtful sip, the Hunter Valley’s rich history of viticulture and scenic splendour become increasingly apparent.


Revel in the breathtaking surrounds of the Central Tablelands in Orange, where cool climate wines are turning heads of all wine lovers —  from its expressive chardonnays, to vibrant sauvignon blancs and nuanced pinot noirs. The town in the mountains boasts high altitude and volcanic soils which together produce a wine with a strong sense of place, evident in the character leaping out of each glass.

On your journey through the wine region of Orange, be sure to seek out a selection of the wineries, such as the renowned Philip Shaw Wines, whose innovative winemakers are producing award winning drops that will tantalise every taste bud. Many of the wineries run intimate masterclasses so you can take a peek at the soulful craft that takes place down in the barrels and see the love that goes into each bottle that comes from this unique terroir. For a full paddock to plate experience, pay a visit to the famous Orange Farmers’ Markets held monthly, to stock up on the freshest produce from the region.


With its handsome streetscapes and old-fashioned country charm, Mudgee is the most delightful of wine destinations for those who are looking for a chilled out weekend away. This region, set three and a half hours’ drive northwest of Sydney, is particularly celebrated for its wonderful heavy-bodied reds that thrive in rich soil and sunny days. Think robust, fruit-driven cabernet sauvignon and bold, cherry-scented merlot. 

As you travel through the Mudgee region, don’t forget to stop by family-owned wineries like the famous Robert Stein Winery, Lowe Wines and the Huntington Estate, where guided tastings amongst the vines will deepen your appreciation for the care and artistry behind every smooth, spicy bottle. Dine in some of the best paddock-to-plate restaurants in Australia (The Zin House and Pipeclay Pumphouse) and sample the breads, cheese and other mouth-watering artisanal products from local producers. 


Nestled amongst rolling hills dotted with vineyards, the picturesque town of Cowra beckons visitors seeking intimate winery experiences. Renowned for its warming climate and nutrient-rich soils, Cowra cultivates an array of varietals that beautifully express the distinctive character of terroir. From lively chardonnays showcasing bright acidity to bold, complex cabernet sauvignons and shiraz, the wines emanating from Cowra’s vineyards truly capture the essence of the place.

Venture out to family-operated gems like Kalari Wines and Windowrie Estate, where passionate vintners proudly share tastes and tales steeped in heritage. Linger amidst the vines, soaking in picturesque pastoral scenes while conversing with those tending the land. Beyond the glass, delve into Cowra’s rich cultural legacy with a stroll through the serene Japanese Garden or a reflective walk amongst the solemn remnants of the Prisoner of War memorial, adding layers of meaning and perspective to your rustic wine country escape.

Guide To Exploring NSW Wine Countries
Guide To Exploring NSW Wine Countries


At the heart of the Murray-Darling Basin, in the Riverina region, fertile soils and a temperate Mediterranean climate create the ultimate setting for grape-growing. This oasis of sorts is not only a perfect environment for viticulture but is also home to some of Australia’s largest wine producers, including De Bortoli and McWilliam’s Wines, two of the many distinguished names to be found here. 

As you travel throughout the Riverina, you will sample a wide selection of wines, which range from full-bodied reds to crisp whites, reflecting the depth of expertise that is exercised in their meticulous production. Here, amidst the vines and under the warm Australian sun, you’ll not only savour exceptional wines but also experience the genuine hospitality and passion of the Riverina winemakers.

Shoalhaven Heads

Last but by no means least, Shoalhaven Heads is a hidden gem nestled between untouched beaches and verdant vineyards, where visitors can encounter an altogether unique wine experience. This burgeoning wine region is producing vibrant, elegant wines that belong to a relaxed coastal life. Make a trip to boutique wineries such as the Coolangatta Estate, where tastings come with panoramic views of the ocean that spans the horizon.

This area is also rich in outdoor activities, from kayaking the pristine waterways of Jervis Bay to hiking nearby national forests that are home to rich native fauna and flora. If you appreciate fine wines, great local seafood, or just being at one with nature, Shoalhaven Heads will give you an experience you’ll want to keep coming back for more of time and time again.


And there you have it – a hand-curated journey through 6 of the best wine regions in New South Wales. So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re plotting a romantic weekend escape or a last minute road trip with the gang, let these wine regions be the backdrop for fond memories, shared laughter and tasty discoveries.