One of the most beautiful aspects of Australia is the fact that you don't have to travel far to enjoy a relaxing break from city life. Even our busiest capital cities lie within easy reach of beautiful bushland, beaches, mountains, creeks, rivers, and waterfalls.
If you need to take a break from Brisbane, you're in luck because whichever direction you head in, you're likely to find a stunning winery nestled among the natural wonders you're seeking out.
Five of Brisbane's best wineries have been covered below, including where you can find them and how long you'll need to be on the road. I've also thrown in five quick tips from wine tasting experts to ensure you have the best possible experience.
The Finest Wineries in the Brisbane Region
1. Ocean View Estates
Location: 2557 Mt. Mee Road, Ocean View, near Caboolture
Time to get there: Approximately 1hr 10mins
The trip out to this award-winning winery will take you through Samford and the lush hills that skirt the D'Aguilar National Park. The drive itself is a treat, but when you reach Mount Mee and the Ocean View Estates, you'll be in your own little pocket of paradise.
The winery has a beautiful restaurant which overlooks the vineyard, and if you're interested, they'll teach you a little about how to select the ideal wine to pair with your meal.
One of the best parts about Ocean View Estates is that you can pick up a picnic basket and head out to the lake or the vineyard to enjoy all the decadent treats outside in the sunshine.
2. Witches Falls Winery
Location: 79 Main Western Road, North Tamborine
Time to get there: Approximately 1hr 10mins
Witches Falls Winery will take you south of Brisbane and up into beautiful Mount Tamborine. Once you escape the M1, you'll have a lush drive ahead of you, and since you're in the area, it's worth exploring the beautiful Bamboo Down Under garden centre, having a swim at Cedar Creek Falls, and having a go at the high ropes course and ziplines at Thunderbird Park.
Back to the winery! For around $10 per person, you can enjoy a relaxed, alfresco wine tasting experience at Witches Falls Winery, complete with local cheeses and other complimentary snacks to suit the occasion.
One of the best aspects of the Witches Falls Winery experience is the service provided by staff. If you want to learn about wines from people who are passionate about the subject, this is the place to go.
3. Sirromet Wines
Location: 850 Mount Cotton Road, Mount Cotton
Time to get there: Approximately 40mins
A trip to Sirromet Wines will take you up into the greenery of Mount Cotton. Just 40 minutes out from the Brisbane CBD, this is a great choice for a spontaneous wine tasting adventure.
The lush estate offers views over Moreton Bay, and they're thoughtful enough to provide a variety of wine tastings experiences. You can opt for a straightforward tasting or a comprehensive winery tour. If you go for the tour, you'll also get a take-home booklet designed to teach you how to distinguish tasting notes.
If you're heading out to Sirromet, it's worth booking ahead to reserve a gourmet hamper and a private spot on Lavender Hill. The winery provides everything for you, including a picnic rug, cushions, and umbrella.
4. Bunjurgen Estate Vineyard
Location: 121 Brent Road, Bunjergen
Time to get there: Approximately 1hr 30mins
We're heading a bit further out of Brisbane now, but the next two vineyards are within minutes of each other, so if you're committing to the road trip, it may be an idea to visit both.
Bunjergen Estate is ideal for fans of red wine, rose, and port. It's also perfect for those who love to pair their favourite wine with a good book. Bunjergen Estate offers a regular wine tasting that combines literature, wine, and delectable snacks into one lush afternoon that dissolves into a spectacular sunset over the vineyard.
5. Kooroomba Vineyard And Lavender Farm
Location: 168 F.M.Bells Road, Mount Alford
Time to get there: Approximately 1hr 35mins
Just five minutes down the road from Bunjurgen Estate, you'll find the stunning Kooroomba Vineyard And Lavender Farm. The place is even more beautiful than you're imagining right now, and there's something special in the air there (probably all that lavender) that fills you with an instant sense of serenity.
The food is as amazing as the views, and the wines are ideal for those who enjoy soft, fruity flavours. There's also a gallery to explore, and if the artist in residence is at the studio, you're usually welcome to go in and watch them work. It truly is a special place.
Tasting wine is a deceptively simple activity. All you have to do is sip away and listen to your friends trying to sound like they know what they're talking about.
Though this approach will get you through a wine tasting, you'll likely miss all the subtle details that make the long trip out to a winery truly worthwhile. To make the most of your mini-adventure, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Don't drink all the wine
This may sound wild, but you're not expected to swallow every mouthful of wine you enjoy at a wine tasting. It's actually common practice to spit some out as this allows you to pace yourself.
Wineries provide spit buckets for this very reason, and since it's the only time you'll ever be considered classy for spitting in public, it's worth taking advantage of the spittoons.
2. Designate or hire a driver
If you have a friend who's keen to come on a winery road trip and who can also be relied upon to stay sober, lucky you! Having a designated driver is an excellent way to ensure you're able to fully relax while at the winery.
Another option is to look into hiring a driver. This could mean hiring someone from a site like Airtasker or perhaps even joining a winery tour.
3. Try something new
Of course, you'll want to sample your favourite wines, but this is also an excellent opportunity to get a little adventurous and try something new, or even something you swear you don't like.
Lovers of dessert wines and the sweeter varieties like Moscato may want to test out a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. If you're already a fan of dry white wines, perhaps it's time to delve into red wine territory with a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you don't dig it, you can simply take advantage of the aforementioned spit buckets. Just try not to look too disgusted!
4. Take some time out between tastings
If you head into the Gold Coast hinterland to check out Witches Falls Winery, you will be in wine-lover's heaven, with Mason Wines, Heritage Estate Wine, and others within easy reach.
There's nothing wrong with hitting two or three wineries in one day. However, it's important to give yourself a bit of time between each one. Go for a swim, wander through the botanical gardens, explore the local shops – whatever takes your fancy. The idea is to let your last experience settle so you can build up a bit of excitement and anticipation for the next one.
5. Protect your palate
There are two things you have to be careful of on the day of a wine tasting – flavours and scents.
Flavour-wise, it's best to avoid candy, chewing gum, and coffee in the hours leading up to your winery tasting. These will all affect your palate, and though you'll most likely still enjoy yourself, you won't be able to pick up all the subtleties you otherwise could have noticed in the wines you sample.
Scents are even more important as these can mess up not just your experience but the experience of those around you. Perfume, cologne, cigarettes, and vaping should all be avoided when visiting a winery.
I hope you found these winery recommendations and wine tasting tips helpful. If you've visited any of these spots, I'd love to hear about your experience!
Sounds like you'd be the perfect designated driver! One thing I love about wine tasting is that many non-drinkers are able to enjoy it too (depending on your reasons for not drinking, of course). You can still taste the wines and develop your ability to distinguish subtle flavours - just spit after each sip.