Top Wineries of Australia 2024 top performing regions

The Barossa remains the powerhouse of Australian wine. St Hugo Wines

Top Wineries of Australia 2024

There are almost 400 wineries in the Top Wineries of Australia 2024 list (that’s about 16% of the total in Australia), but we put special focus on the top 52. Here’s how the regions fared.

Barossa (11 wineries)

The Barossa remains the powerhouse of Australian wine. It may not have as many hectares of vines as the inland ‘fruit bowl’ regions along the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers but it has the most wineries, the most winery tourists and the most recognised name of all the wine regions. The Barossa actually consists of two subregions: the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, so for our purposes we combine them. Even if the two Eden Valley wineries—Yalumba and Henschke—weren’t included, it is still the number one region. And, we could well include Rieslingfreak which would take it to 12, as Rieslingfreak has a cellar door in the Barossa and makes some Eden Valley wines, although its main fruit sources are in Clare and it utilises wineries in both regions. We have included Penfolds, which makes most of its wines in the Barossa and takes grapes from all over the state of South Australia as well as the Barossa Valley.

Big reds are the order of the day and shiraz still reigns supreme in Barossa.

Excitement comes not only from the established wineries such as Seppeltsfield, Rockford and Torbreck but also relative newcomers like Eisenstone, Hentley Farm and John Duval Wines.

McLaren Vale (7 wineries)

“The Vale” is closer to Adelaide and rivals the Barossa as a destination for winery tourism, with dozens of cellar doors as well as good places to eat. The wineries tend to be smaller and family owned, many with long histories. Bekkers, S.C. Pannell, Dandelion Vineyards, Hickinbotham and Yangarra are younger entities, joining the longer established d’Arenberg and Hardys. Big reds are traditional here but newcomers are reinventing the wheel, with more elegant and fruit-driven renditions of old favourites grenache and shiraz as well as newer Italian and Spanish grape varieties that include fiano, mencia, tempranillo, touriga, sangiovese, vermentino, montepulciano and barbera.

Yarra Valley (6 wineries)

When we think of the Yarra Valley these days we probably think first of the Burgundy grapes—chardonnay and pinot noir—but cabernet sauvignon has a longer history here and is today making some of the best wines. Indeed, five wineries that figure on our list—Yarra Yering, Mount Mary, Oakridge, Levantine Hill and Yering Station—all produce outstanding cabernet sauvignon or/and cabernet-based red blends. That they also produce fine chardonnay, pinot noir and many other wines is testament to the versatility of the region and its winemakers and viticulturists.

The depth of flavour, richness and quality of Tasmanian pinot noir has reached new highs in recent vintages Wine Tasmania

Tasmania (4 wineries)

Riesling and chardonnay have long excelled in this state, while the bottle-fermented sparkling wines continue to grow in stature. But the depth of flavour, richness and quality of Tasmanian pinot noir has reached new highs in recent vintages, thanks to a warming climate, vine maturity and the growing experience of viticulturists and winemakers. Hence Tasmanian wineries are attracting at least as much attention for their pinot noirs today as their whites and bubblies, and Chatto, Pooley, Stargazer and Tolpuddle are prime examples.

Hunter Valley (4 wineries)

The Hunter is still trying to be more than a three trick pony, but those tried and tested vines are still the ones that score their top points. Shiraz, semillon and chardonnay win by the length of the straight. Verdelho fourth if you like that kind of thing. I predict fiano will be big in the future. Tyrrell’s, Mount Pleasant, Brokenwood and Pepper Tree excel, although the last two choose to venture into other regions for their top chardonnay grapes. By happy chance today’s market wants lower alcohol wines and more elegant, fruit-driven reds, and that’s what the Hunter has always done.

Clare Valley (4 wineries)

The Clare Valley’s four wineries in the top 52 include two modern, one doggedly traditional, and one in between. Full bodied reds and riesling are the glue that binds them together. Wendouree does one but not the other; Rieslingfreak does the other, but not the one. Jim Barry Wines and Grosset do both, and do them exceptionally well. The Clare is the often overlooked gem of South Australia: those who make the effort to drive beyond the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale are well rewarded.

Adelaide Hills, Mornington Peninsula, Margaret River, Beechworth, Rutherglen – 2 each

Orange, Coonawarra, Gippsland, Macedon Ranges, Geelong, Western Victoria – 1 each

Taste the Top Wineries of Australia 2024

Join us in celebrating the Top Wineries of Australia. Meet their winemakers and taste their must-try wines at our tasting events, masterclasses and dinners. Buy your tickets before May 31 to win a six-pack of wines from our Top Wineries valued at over AUD $500. Find out more below.

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