A winning combination of wine, beer and gin results in a glass-half-full kind of itinerary, where exciting tours and experiences await around Regional NSW. From helicopter rides to vineyards, to craft beer bars peddling tasting paddles, you’ll discover some of the state’s most exciting beverage producers and sample the best of NSW’s drinks.
As well as inviting visitors to taste wines at their cellar doors, many NSW wineries offer additional experiences, ranging from posh picnics in the vines to food pairings, winery tours and masterclasses. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, glass in hand, be sure to visit some of the star winemakers in the state.
Enjoy a scenic helicopter ride over picturesque wine country from Sydney to Swinging Bridge Wines in Orange, where you can try the exceptional cool-climate chardonnay and cab franc shiraz during a tutored tasting. Learn about the journey from grape to glass at Rowlee Wines during a Varietal Wine Experience or pick up a picnic hamper to go. At nearby Printhie Wines, the vineyard picnic gets a luxe twist with Bateman’s Bay oysters and bubbles.
Join Richard and Amanda de Beaurepaire for the Vigneron Experience at De Beaurepaire Wines in Rylstone, which includes a guided walk through the vineyard and a private masterclass focusing on their French-style wines. The single-estate vineyard is known for its méthode traditionnelle sparkling, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and botrytis semillon.
Enjoy a private tasting in a mystery vineyard location at Briar Ridge Vineyard in Mount View in the Hunter Valley as part of the Picnic Package. The experience includes a tasting of the winery’s exclusive single vineyard wines accompanied by a cheese and antipasto platter. You can also enjoy a tasting experience on the terrace or in the pet-friendly courtyard.
Learn how to make wines in the French traditional method at Calais Estate Wines under the expert tutelage of one of the estate’s winemakers. After deciding how sweet or dry you would like your bubbles, you can complete the experience by enjoying a relaxing picnic accompanied by your very own hand-crafted bottle of sparkling wine.
Budding vintners looking to bolster their wine knowledge should book a Journey Wine Tasting Experience with Brokenwood Wines. The behind-the-scenes tour includes a guided food and wine flight in a private tasting room, and ends with a pre-release wine tasting straight from the barrel in the beautiful Barrel Hall.
Meet the winemaking team at the historic Audrey Wilkinson vineyard and learn all about the winemaking process during a VIP tasting experience that includes a cheese platter. The Tulloch family are part of the Hunter Valley winemaking fabric. Visit Tulloch Wines to sample artisan chocolate expertly paired with Tulloch wines.
Experience the perfect weekend at the annual vintage grape stomp at Bago Maze and Winery on the North Coast, a 30min drive from the coastal city of Port Macquarie. Now in its 22nd year, the event features live music and entry into the huge hedge maze, as well as the chance to stomp on some of this year’s grape crop.
Brewery & distillery experiences
While the Hunter Valley is best known for its wine, it also has an impressive range of breweries. Forego the car and join Dave’s Brewery Tours to sample some of the bold brews made in the region or take the Newcastle tour for three hours of craft beer discovery. The tours will give you a taste of each region, where you can go from a classic pilsener to an IPA in one sitting.
The Distiller Tasting Plate Tours detour to both the Tweed and Byron Bay to showcase craft distilleries and breweries dotted around the Northern Rivers. You’ll have the chance to sample Ink Gin and Husk Rum at Husk Distillery, Brookies Gin at Cape Byron Distillery and craft beer at Stone and Woodin the hipster heartland of Byron Bay.