Wine Tasting in Sydney is an experience that you want to make sure you include in your itinerary, during your visit to Sydney.
We had limited time in Sydney, and so we had to be creative to fit this adventure in our schedule, which is proof that everything is possible when you think outside the box.
Ways to go Wine Tasting in Sydney
There is more than one way to go Wine Tasting in Sydney.
1. If you know your way around, you can drive to the Wine country of Australia and create your own tasting schedule, but I wouldn’t recommend this option unless you are with a local.
2. You can take a traditional tour to Hunter Valley, the closest wine country area to Sydney, yet this tour runs to about 10 hours which means there goes a day of your trip.
Since Ben and I were in Sydney only for 5 days, we really didn’t have the time to do this type of tours, though I would have liked to do it, and I did do some research about it and so might as well I’ll share it with you.
I found that this particular Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney that you can get here with 5 stars reviews, offers the most value and richer experience at the best price.
It’s around $112 and includes 11 hours of fun in your way to Wine Tasting.
The Itinerary goes like this:
After pickup by luxury bus in Sydney, your day trip starts by heading up the Highway to Hunter Valley, stopping 90 minutes from Sydney for a tea or coffee break.
Throughout the day, you’ll visit four wineries for tastings.
Wine tasting is accompanied by a detailed description of the vineyard, the vintage you’re tasting, and the style of wine typically made by the winemaker.
Lunch is enjoyed at one of several venues, depending on the day, and you’ll also visit cheese and chocolate outlets, which are popular stops in wine country. The tour ends in Hunter Valley in the mid-afternoon.
If you’re traveling back to Sydney, relax on your coach for the return drive to the central business district, where your day trip ends with drop-off.
3. You can do what we did, and arrange your own Wine Tasting in Sydney by visiting local bars and trying different wines from the Australian Wine Country Region.
This option not only allows to pace yourself while enjoying some fine beverages but also will help you stay within your budget if that’s a concern.
Where did we go Wine Tasting in Sydney
We were in a mission to really try and become knowledgable about Australian wines since to be honest I hadn’t had much of it in the past.
We quickly learned about the regions, and that helped us focus on the regions we liked to ensure we were tasting wines that at least met our expectations.
Personally, I liked these regions for Australian wine: Barrosa, Adelaide, Canberra, but also the “South Australia” region, which just means you are having a mix of grapes from all these regions above mentioned.
Our Wine Tasting in Sydney took place in the following establishments:
Black, where we enjoyed a bottle of Rockford Cabernet. Around $95 at the restaurant, which was, by the way, the only good thing that happened at that restaurant if you remember I mentioned this was the one place I wouldn’t recommend going to in my post, Best Restaurants in Sydney and which one to avoid.
This was one of the first Australian wines we had before we got more adventurous and I would recommend it. In fact, we tried to buy to bring back home, but we couldn’t find it at the last minute wine shopping stop we made the day we left Sydney.
Meat & Wine Co, which was one of my favorite restaurants in Sydney delighted us with a Wood Semillon (white wine) and a Langmeil Shiraz, both from Barrosa. We had lunch at this restaurant and we were walking on our way to the Sydney Opera House Tour and so I was hot, and decided on the Semillon which was great. So refreshing and light.
Ben is a red wine kind of guy, so he stuck with the Shiraz which he enjoyed too.
Next, we had a Broken Back Shiraz at Aria by Darling Harbour, which is a great place to eat too. This Shiraz was smoky smooth but slightly acid. I’d say medium body. Not bad at all, and I think I’ll give it 3.5 stars.
We, of course, had to stop by the Fortune of War, which is the Oldest pub in Sydney. We learned about it during our Big Bus Tour of Sydney, and boom from the sign at the door that you can see on the left to the cuteness of such tiny bar. The bartender was a star, and even though the place was in the middle of Circular Quay (touristy area), seemed like the bar was filled with locals, which was neat.
At this stop, I had a Nova Vita Pinot Gris which was fruity and light, just what I needed on a beautiful hot Australian afternoon. Ben decided to go with beer (since it was a pub).
Continuing the fun, one day we decided to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We got tips from a local on how to do such a journey that you should read in my other post about it. Part of his instructions included stopping at The Glenmore on our way back. This is a rooftop bar at The Rocks, which is on the Sydney side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Here I also had white wine, a Bird in Hand Sauvignon Blanc in this case, as you can imagine after walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I needed something refreshing, which I found for sure.
Our Hotel, Novotel at Darling Harbour, had a wonderful bar at the lobby called The Ternary, where I was able to try some great wines including a bottle of S&S Shiraz among some other delicious drinks.
I know this post is about Wine Tasting in Sydney, but since I’m mentioning The Ternary in the Novotel at Darling Harbour, I must share with you that if you are around the area at happy hour time, you need to try a Cherry Blossom.
I can’t describe how amazing this drink was.
Bonus points… I also looked pretty.
I heard the Old Fashions where D’ bomb too.
Continuing our Wine Tasting in Sydney, I just have few places left to share with you, say stay with me.
In the spirit of mixing things up, and recognizing that wine can be an ingredient in other drinks, we decided to go on a limb and try a Sangria at Toros which is a Spanish Tapas Bar.
You know when you ask for something, and all of a sudden when you live your life embracing the meaning of abundance, everything just gets better every day in your life?
That’s exactly what happened to us at Toros. Here we are thinking we are going to get a pitcher of Sangria or something similar, since with the price of AU$36 that’s what made sense, and instead we got this yard of delicious sangria made out of Australian Wine.
Fortunately, we were staying at a very centric place with lots to do around, so one night we ventured to Cyren just a few minutes walk from our hotel and tried what I would say was a super neat wine. Meet the Temus Two wine.
This was an excellent full fruit wine with a peppery complex finish. Nice balance of fruit, tannin, and acidity. Good length and went well with food.
Our Favorite Australian Wines
The last night of our short visit to Sydney, we had something special planned for the two of us. We had decided to go in a Sydney Harbour Cruise Dinner, you know the cherry on top to put a grand finale to our Sydney getaway.
There were few options, but since we were already going Wine Tasting in Sydney we decided to take the package that had Gold Penfold Wines paired with each course of the Dinner.
You need to read more about this Sydney Harbour Cruise Dinner in my other post because it was amazing.
The thing is that after such dinner, Penfold Wines has become one of our favorite wines, even in now that we are back home.
We were fortunate that we found and were able to bring these wines back home, but we are saving them for a special occasion because they were outstanding wines.
This part of our Wine Tasting in Sydney adventure allowed us to try the following wines:
1. Penfolds Koonuga Hill Autumn Riesling, and expressive highly aromatic Riesling. Floral and citrus notes combined with crisp mouth-watering acidity to make this a versatile wine suitable both as an aperitif or to partner with a diverse range of food.
2. Penfolds Max’ Chardonnay. Flavors of citrus, white nectarine, and lemon curd preside over complexing characters of almond meal and deft oak. A delightful textural and creamy palate with a soft line of acid fading ever so slowly to a distant palate horizon.
3. Penfolds Max’ Shiraz Cabernet. A medium bodied balanced wine. An approachable Penfolds style at release. Great from shelf to glass.
4. Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz. *** My favorite wine of all *** This is a time-honored Shiraz and unusual among high quality Australian red wines. Pleasing both sweet and savory tastes with a most appealing lingering impression. We bought some of this one even though they weren’t exactly inexpensive.
5. Penfolds Father 10 year Tawny Port. I started to taste this port with the expectation of not being good, because we have some amazing port at our house that we have acquired over the years, but was I wrong… This 10-year-old Tawny Port was replete with elegance and power. Exhibiting sweet fruitcake flavors, obvious wood aged complexity, and concentration. The finish is fresh with a wonderful balance.
Wine tasting in Sydney is an adventure that you need to add to your itinerary for Sydney. If you don’t have the time to go on the all-day Hunter Valley tour, then do what we did and create your own Wine Tasting in Sydney schedule.
Life is a Getaway, have fun with it!