BEST FOOD & WINE FESTIVALS IN AUSTRALIA
Life is too short to drink average wine, and living in Australia, a nation with a robust and internationally respected wine-producing industry, means we are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying the highest quality wines.
We are also spoilt for wine and food festivals, where each spectacular and unique wine region comes alive in a fun and flavoursome celebration of their skilfully crafted products. Below are 10 of our favourites to add to your bucket list.
McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival
Anytime is a fabulous time to visit South Australia’s gorgeous winemaking region, McLaren Vale, but if you were looking for an excuse the McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival is the irresistible reason to ink it into your diary immediately. Held over four deliciously indulgent days of the June long weekend, the festival is a showcase of everything the area has to offer, from food to beaches, trails and markets, and of course world-class wine. Choose from intimate degustations with renowned winemakers and chefs, live music, cooking classes, long lunches, interactive winery tours and masterclasses, or better still do it all. With over 25 wineries participating, nominate a designated driver and treat yourself to a selection of exceptionally crafted wines.
Noosa Food and Wine Festival
Feel the sand between your toes as you sip and savour the many delights at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival. Noosa welcomes over 10,000 people to enjoy the more than 40 events that take place on the main beach, along Hastings Street, by the river, in restaurants and markets, and throughout the hinterland. Beautiful local produce takes centre stage along with the finest wines to wash down each mouthwatering morsel, created by some of Australia’s best chefs. The drop-in wine and produce village The Woods is a must-visit destination, which features some of Australia’s best wine and food producers and enables you to try the incredible local food, along with charcuteries and cheese from around Australia.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Melbourne is renowned as a hotspot foodie destination, so you would expect a festival that celebrates both wine and food would impress even the most particular of connoisseurs. And that’s exactly what the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival does, drawing discerning wine and food lovers in their thousands to over 200 events. Highlights include a wine weekend, which features dinners with Australian wine legends and wine tastings with a difference. As well, you can look forward to regional world’s longest lunches, masterclasses with chefs whose restaurants have featured on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and the House of Food & Wine, which will host wine tastings, sit-down dinners and block parties.
Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival
Canberra has been quietly building an impressive reputation for its cool climate wines and the Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival is the perfect time to drop in and confirm this undeniable fact for yourself. While you’re there you won’t want to miss the fantastic food and live entertainment that features. Held annually in April among Canberra’s picturesque vineyards, you can meet the winemakers at their cellar doors as they share the fruits of their harvests, enjoy guided tours of vineyards, indulge in food tastings, and sip the latest wines from a district known for its diverse geography and variety. The fabulous 10 day program is held across Canberra and the surrounding areas of Murrumbateman, Yass, Hall, Bungendore and Gundaroo, and culminates in the sensational Harvest Festival over the final weekend.
Cellar Door Wine Festival, Adelaide
With so many magnificent wineries across South Australia and so little time to visit each and every one of them, thank the wine gods for the Cellar Door Wine Festival, showcasing more than 180 wineries, breweries, distilleries and food producers, all under one roof in the heart of Adelaide. It couldn’t be easier to explore the very best of each winemaking region with complimentary wine tastings, informative masterclasses, Long Table feasts and much more. Meet the Maker Sessions allow you to get up close and personal with the talented and passionate people who create each moreish drop of wine. Once you decide upon your favourites, you can narrow your focus and plan a trip to the vineyards that have captivated your taste buds.
Mudgee Wine & Food Festival, NSW
Beautiful Mudgee has firmly established itself on the culinary map of must-visit destinations, and is a town that well and truly punches above its weight when it comes to the array of wonderful wines and fine food on offer. The Mudgee Wine & Food Festival is an unmissable month-long celebration of a place that is home to some of Australia’s oldest vineyards as well its highest. Featuring a diverse range of events, many hosted at cellar doors, the program offers delectable lunches and dinners, wine tastings and live music. In addition, don’t miss the signature events of Go Grazing (an opportunity to try the exquisite regional produce matched to local wines), Go Tasting (sample entries into the Mudgee Wine Show), and Flavours of Mudgee (dine on Mudgee’s main street as it closes to traffic).
Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival
The Hunter Valley has such an extraordinarily varied offering of high quality vineyards, restaurants and providores that they require a festival that spans not a mere weekend, week or month, but rather two months packed with more than 70 epicurean events during May and June. It can be hard to decide where to start, but why limit yourself to just one visit when several trips to the festival will deliver significant rewards. Masterclasses, wine tastings, and vineyard tours are all part of a well curated schedule, but you’ll also have the chance to unearth hidden gems on a wine and food trail, learn from the experts in hands-on cooking classes, and at the very least enjoy a glass of the Hunter’s finest in front of a roaring fire, accompanied by a delicious cheese plate of course.
Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Billed as an extraordinary festival of food and wine, Margaret River Gourmet Escape certainly delivers on this promise and then some. Previous festivals have attracted a who’s who of the food and wine world like Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein and Guy Grossi, along with Western Australia’s top winemakers, restaurants, food producers and brewers. It is hard to dispute that few places are more stunning than the Margaret River to enjoy a gourmet beach BBQ, a perennially popular event. The Gourmet Escape Village is the buzzing focal point of the festival, shining a spotlight on the outstanding culinary culture of this unique part of the world. Factor in brunches, long lunches, tantalising tastings, feasts in the forest and so much more, and you should start planning your escape now.
Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend
One of the first food and wine events of its kind in Australia, the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend continues to impress, ably demonstrating what makes the area so special. The natural beauty of the Clare Valley provides a striking backdrop to the many events of this memorable weekend. Held every year in May, thousands make the pilgrimage to a place that has a winemaking history dating back 150 years. With more than 20 wineries taking part, visitors can meet the winemakers, try regionally inspired cuisine, immerse themselves in the buzz of live music, and discover firsthand why the Clare Valley has earned a reputation as a source of amazing wines.
Grampians Grape Escape, Victoria
The majestic Grampians National Park is the setting for one of Australia’s longest running food and wine festivals. This is a festival that passionate foodie and wine aficionados will appreciate, with the opportunity to taste the signature wines of more than 35 wineries produced by some of the oldest vines in the world. While the adults are well and truly catered for with over 125 food and wine artisans sharing their finely crafted wares, Grampians Grape Escape is also a welcoming space for kids with an activity tent, rock climbing and a traditional grape-stomping experience. Celebrity chefs, incredible live acts, fascinating masterclasses, among many other treats, round out an unmissable program.
These exceptional wine and food festivals are just a superb sample of the many wonderful events that take place Australia-wide throughout the year, but any one of them represents an ideal opportunity to dip your toe into the world of unparalleled craftsmanship and flavour.
While a wine and food festival will provide you with a memorable experience, you don’t need to leave home to enjoy some of the finest wines available. MoCU curates an exclusive collection of wines, along with beers and ciders, all delivered to your door. Many of the products featured on MoCU cannot be found anywhere else. Plus, you’ll enjoy free delivery to metro areas on orders over $50.
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