Open roads, fresh country air, and glorious grape vines in the Gold Coast Hinterland and Scenic Rim. If that sentence tickles your fancy, you’re in the right place, friend.
Turning your attention (and taste buds) away from the coastline, the green behind the gold is packing a solid number of boutique and award-winning wineries. Even better, we’ve added a wine tour option for each so no-one has to miss out on the quality vinos that await.
Here are six Gold Coast wineries and tours to add to your tipple list.
O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards
Swish through the historic homestead doors of ‘Killowen’ at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards, where wine enthusiasts have been flocking for over 85 years to dine, swirl and sip at their cellar door and vintage restaurant.
Order your famed vinos hand-picked right out front and bottled on Mount Tamborine, or sit back on the netted verandah with Paula’s scrumptious meat pie and enjoy the sight of 4,000 shiraz, chambourcin, verdelho and semillon vines.
Wine tour option: While you can book ahead for a gourmet picnic or BBQ hamper to enjoy on the manicured lawns by the Canungra Creek, why not up the ante and go all out with a private lunch courtesy of Pterodactyl Helicopters (jaw-dropping scenic views, wine tasting and 3-course lunch included).
Albert River Wines
The Albert River Homesteads’ grand demeanour is unmistakable, and no wonder why, as where you’ll stand in the wine sampling room wafts political royalty. This is the former Auchenflower House Billiard Room, once the home of three Queensland Premiers during their individual tenures. #historylesson
Once you’re over feeling star-struck, enjoy jivin’ music on the sweeping verandahs with a two or three-course Italian meal, while the kids keep busy with weekend boomerang throwing, whip cracking, animal feeding and sheepdog demonstrations.
Wine tour options: Ditch the kids and treat your better half to an epic six-hour scenic wine tour with Pterodactyl Helicopters, dropping in at Albert River plus three more award-winning wineries on the eastern side of the Scenic Rim. Or round up your crew for a guided bus tour with Cork ‘n Fork Winery Tours.
Sarabah Estate Vineyard
You can’t miss the opulent white and silver signage directing you onto the Sarabah (dirt) Road and taking you back in time with rolling cattle properties and a small causeway crossing.
The privately-owned estate exudes elegance at the base of Lamington National Park; the fairytale white chalet is home to the creme de la creme of crisp rosé and cabernet (best washed down with a slow-cooked paddock-to-plate beef cassoulet with goats milk feta and sweet tomatoes).
Wine tour option: Make like Arnie and get to the chopper with Pterodactyl Helicopters for their eastern Scenic Rim winery tour, ticking off yours truly plus the aforementioned Canungra Valley and Albert River, with a pit-stop at Mount Cotton’s Sirromet Winery.
Witches Falls Winery
Learn the ropes (or rather tannins and oak barrels) at Witches Falls Winery, sampling their three ranges of Granite Belt, Wild Ferment and Prophecy vinos inside the rustic cottage or kicking back on a picnic rug in the garden with local Tamborine cheeses and grapes.
Wine tour options: Those of you serious about your GC winery hop, hit up Tash Maree Travel for a deluxe wine tasting tour through Mount Tamborine, stopping here and at four more James Halliday-rated destinations.
After something a little more special? The Vino Bus offers a private Twilight Wine Tour with a guided tasting at Witches Falls before toasting the sun at Hampton Estate Wines with a two-course gourmet dinner.
Mount Nathan Winery
Set in the rich nectar of a Paulownia plantation on the lush Clagiraba Creek, this winery comes with a sweet twist – of honey, courtesy of the 200 beehive colonies producing fermentable goodies (you can also stock up on ports, creams, cocktails and mixer drinks).
The hands-on production means sampling wine from the barrel (come on, everyone wants to do that) and also sheep feeding, yabby and bee observation.
Wine tour option: For a thorough tasting of what the hinterland has to offer, rendezvous with the folks at Mount Tamborine Wine Tasting Tours for a full day’s chauffeured road trip to the best Gold Coast wineries.
Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery
Artistic folk listen up, as this stop is bound to blow your creative mind as well as your taste buds. Cedar Creek Estate is famous for their two varieties of grape, verdelho and chambourcin, which is also producing a sought-after Rosé. But the sensory experience doesn’t stop there.
Treat your peepers to the natural aspect and creations of Arthur Hamblin’s Australian Outback Art Gallery on site, or join a guided tour of the glow worm Cathedral Caves nested in the surrounding rainforest.
Wine tour option: Add another (unexpected) twist to your visit with The Vino Bus‘ Hole in Wine Tour, kicking off with mini golf at Thunderbird Park and ending with a wine tasting and two-course lunch at Cedar Creek Estate.
Just keen on the vino? Tash Maree Travel, Cork ‘n Fork and The Vino Bus offer full-day tours of the wineries listed above (the latter two also offer half-day tours) along with a few more boutique locales, including Mason Wines, Mount Tamborine Vineyard and Winery, and Hampton Estate.