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No doubt you have heard of the Hunter Valley, the Barossa Valley and Margaret River but did you know that there are over 50 wine regions in Australia? Some of the smaller and lesser known regions are absolutely fabulous places to visit; and not just for the wineries. In this blog, I’m going to tell you about two hidden gems: Mudgee in NSW and Mount Benson in SA. Distinct but equally stunning. Mudgee is a beautiful country location and Mount Benson is a gorgeous coastal location.
Vines were established as early as 1858 at Mudgee, a leisurely 4 hour drive from Sydney and a wonderful place to escape the rat race; where you are truly amongst nature and the people are incredibly welcoming and friendly. Mudgee itself is a small historical country town with an agricultural past; the local produce is divine. September is a great time to visit as the Mudgee Wine and Food Festival is on at that time. There are over 20 wineries in the area.
Where to stay: There are many fabulous B&Bs in Mudgee but we recommend The Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse
Must visit wineries: Botobolar and Lowe
Must try wine: Any local Chardonnay but do also try Botobolar’s Marsanne
Where to eat: The Zin House
Things to do other than visiting local wineries and eateries: Museums, cycling, bushwalking, kayaking and even a hot air balloon flight!
Must see or visit: The Drip’ Gorge, Mudgee Observatory, Fairview ArtSpace
Vines were only established at Mount Benson in 1989 so it’s one of Australia’s newest wine regions. Mount Benson is a lovely 3 ½ hour drive from Adelaide and there are now over 10 wineries in the area. Cape Jaffa alone is worth the drive. The charming seaside town of Robe is the ideal base. A stunning coastal location, that’s a fisherman’s dream. January is a great time to visit as the Cape Jaffa Seafood and Wine Festival is on at that time.
Where to stay: Driftwood House
Must visit winery: Cape Jaffa
Must try wine: Any local Shiraz. Be sure to try Cape Jaffa’s La Lune Shiraz
Where to eat: Wild Mulberry Café
Things to do other than visiting local wineries and eateries: Surfing, swimming, fishing, sailing and 4WD trekking
Must see or visit: Cape Dombey Obelisk, Naracoorte Caves, Robe Sealife Centre, Wilson’s At Robe
Hope you do get a chance to visit either or both of these fabulous wine regions. Do tell us about your experience or about any other hidden gems you find!
First published 17/11/2014