Sip away the afternoon with the Moorabool Valley’s best wineries.
Nestled between Geelong & Ballarat, the Moorabool Valley is quite possibly Victoria’s best-kept secret. Representing one of Australia’s finest cool climate wine regions, it’s home to several small but stunning boutique wineries producing premium hand-crafted wines, gourmet food, awe-inspiring scenery and wine tastings that can easily turn into long, lazy lunches. `
Throw in the fact that the Valley is only a ninety-minute drive from Melbourne and just half an hour from Geelong CBD and you’ve got yourself the ultimate weekend (or day) away.
So, whether you’re planning a weekend winery trip with your mates or you’re in the mood to spontaneously hit the road, if the Moorabool Valley is your destination, there’s no chance you’ll be disappointed with the five-star wineries around.
Here are some of the unmissable Moorabool Valley Vineyards to add to your bucket list:
1. Austin’s Wine
It’s easy to lose a day at Austin’s Wine, with 1500 sprawling acres with 150 under vine and a charming cellar door to muse over.
Austin’s grows and produces single-vineyard, premium wines, and is owned and operated by second-generation family members, Scott and Belinda Austin. Harnessing 30 years of Austin’s winemaking history, they are driven to reshape the ‘typical’ Australian fine wine occasion into a vibrant, exploratory and welcoming experience. Crafting Pinot Noir for the people, and Riesling, Chardonnay and Shiraz to be seriously shared, you’ll find something you love across their two labels Austin’s and 6Ft6.
A favourite amongst locals for wine designed for sharing life’s best moments, both big and small, the winery’s cellar door in Sutherlands Creek is a must-visit, found inside a converted 1960s shearing shed featuring spotted gum and corrugated iron decor, with sweeping views of the Moorabool Valley.
The cellar door will be open Thursday to Monday from 11am to 5pm for wine tastings and is located in Sutherlands Creek, a beautiful but slightly hidden pocket of the world.
Where: 870 Steiglitz Rd, Sutherlands Creek
2. Barwon Ridge Wines
Soak up the understated elegance of Barwon Ridge Wines, a small family vineyard in the Barrabool Hills, just ten minutes west of Geelong.
Loved for its sustainable ethos, and 100% estate-grown grapes, Barwon Ridge Wines’ objective is to produce fine Geelong wines through the growing of premium grapes and production of quality handcrafted wines.
Here you’ll find a vibrant collection of award-winning pinot noir, shiraz, marsanne, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, sparkling brut, cabernet/shiraz and fortified shiraz, as well as Rousanne and Pinot Meunier, embracing the original Swiss vignerons of Geelong. All of theBarwon Ridge wines are vegan and absolutely delicious.
The cellar door – where you can taste the wines and indulge in tasting platters and homemade produce – is open at weekends and available by appointment for visits during the week. Here you’re offered front-row views of the valley and an extensive wine list, but if you want to get properly stuck into nature, you can also head out on a bushland walk through the revegetation area of native and indigenous vegetation of the Barrabool Hills.
Where: 50 McMullans Road, Barrabool
3. Clyde Park
The crème de la crème of the Moorabool Valley, Clyde Park is the largest wine grower in the region with thirty-five acres producing award-winning Pinot Noir’s along with Shiraz and Chardonnay, topped with magnificent views and picturesque hills.
Equal parts vineyard, winery, restaurant, and wedding venue, Clyde Park truly embraces the good life, especially with some of the oldest wines in the valley. The vineyard was established back in 1979 and has since seen gone from strength to strength, expanding from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to shiraz, sauvignon blanc and Pinot Gris and now being recognised as a James Halliday 5-star rated vineyard (meaning this place is one of the best!). The stunning rustic cellar door is where you can taste your way through some of the 20 award-winning wines.
The centre of the action is in the Barrel Hall and Bistro, where eating, drinking, and being merry is more than encouraged, it’s compulsory. Serving wood fired pizzas, antipasto tasting plates and hearty mains, guests can dine outside and take in sweeping views of the surrounding Moorabool Valley or venture inside to the spacious dining hall with wine barrels covering almost every wall.
Seriously, what’s not to love?
Where: 2490 Midland Hwy, Bannockburn
5. Lethbridge Wines
Lethbridge Wines has a hell of an origin story, started by three scientists, Ray Nadeson, Maree Collis and Adrian Thomas who recognised the importance of terroir (soil, climate, aspect and bio-diversity) in the production of distinctive wines.
Now with Ray and Maree at the helm, the passionate couple has transformed Lethbridge into one of Australia’s most environmentally sustainable vineyards, producing a range of award-winning, internationally acclaimed wines across four labels – Lethbridge, Between Five Bells, Il Modo and Nadeson Collis. We’re quite fond of the Lethbridge pinot gris but the pinot noir is certainly something to write home about.
For those who enjoy a relaxed wine tasting, Lethbridge Wines’ cellar door is a welcoming, laid-back space just a seven-minute drive from Clyde Park. Reminiscent of a casual dining room of a Tuscan villa, the winemakers are often available to chat about the wine and the region, before you head out to a spacious covered outdoor area where you can enjoy times with friends and family over a glass of wine and delicious cheese and charcuterie platter.
Where: 67 Burrows Rd, Lethbridge
6. Spence Wines
Spence Wines take their winemaking seriously, and their drops reflect the characteristics of the grapes. So serious in fact, that they exclusively use grapes grown in their vineyard (and hand-picked by the team themselves with little done to it to interfere with the natural fermentation process) to ensure the best quality grapes are used. Wine – shiraz, viognier, rose, naturale sparkling rose, pinot noir, and chardonnay – is made in small quantities, there’s limited availability and they are released with some bottle age, perfect for cellaring.
With their process perfected to a fine art, the result is some of the best cool-climate wines that Moorabool Valley has to offer, heavily reflecting the site they are grown on.
Here you can sample the exclusive wines away from the masses, with the cellar door only open on the first Sunday of every month for tastings. This is one of the most intimate – and unhurried – tastings you can have in the Moorabool Valley.
Where: 760 Burnside Road, Murgheboluc
7. Moorabool Ridge Vineyard & Café
Deep in the Valley is a humble stone shepherd’s cottage built in 1856, home to Moorabool Ridge’s cellar door with spectacular views of its quaint vineyard and the rushing Moorabool River.
Here the talented winemakers utilise the surrounding climate to their advantage, creating sustainable and award-winning cool climate red and white wines. With just over 14 acres under plantation, the understated property supports six varieties of grape: Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Semillon.
The perfect escape from the chaos of everyday life, the cellar door serves as a safe haven where you can taste the fine wines, browse the shelves stacked with handmade produce, walk amongst the vines or enjoy cheese platters, desserts and focaccias in the wonderful succulent garden whilst watching the Moorabool River slowly slide by. Don’t forget to pat the resident doggos
A place of peace and tranquillity, Moorabool Ridge is truly a special place and a must-visit for anyone exploring the Moorabool Valley.
Where: 37 Spiller Road, Lethbridge
8. Provenance Wines
Sitting pretty on the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong, Provenance Wines is a unique winery championing homegrown produce and world-class wine, all in a beautiful setting.
The family-owned cellar doors, restaurant and winery are housed inside a beautifully restored heritage-listed bluestone building nestled within Geelong’s historic Fyansford Paper Mill, truly making this gorgeous winery every foodie and wine connoisseur flat-out heaven on earth (plus, this place screams ‘wedding location of my dreams’).
When it comes to the wines, here they’re handcrafted with soul; Provenance Wines are all about exquisite balance starting with the highest quality grapes in the highest quality soil. With seven vineyards across Victoria, specifically planted to ensure the best match of vineyard site to grape varietal, Provenance Wines are made from the freshest fruit possible, resulting in an absolutely outstanding collection of wines renowned for their powerful elegance. From Pinor Noir, Shiraz, and Chardonnay, to Pinot Gris, Resiling, Rose, and Blanc de Blanc, you’re bound to find a drop to fall in love with.
Winning just about every award there is in the Australian wine industry, these beautiful wines are all thanks to founder Scott Ireland, a winemaker with more than 30 years experience and a whole lot of no-nonsense sensibility.
You can get cosy here with a 45-minute tasting experience in the stunning cellar door, or nestle in for a long lunch and let head chef Nathan McIver take you on a journey with local, season ingredients, from Slow Cooked Pork Belly or Charcoal Chicken Breast to cheese platters and Charcuterie boards, perfectly paired with their finest drops.
A quintessential Moorabool Valley food and wine experience.
Where: 100 Lower Paper Mills Rd, Fyansford