Discover some of Australia’s best winery, distillery and brewery experiences (and recreate the unforgettable flavours at home).
Brokenwood Wines, Hunter Valley, NSW ($1149 per person)
Start off your Brokenwood wine tour with a flight of three semillons thoughtfully paired with oysters three ways before going behind-the-scenes with winemaker Kate Sturgess. Enjoy a bespoke five-course lunch in a private dining room overlooking the barrel hall, snatch a taste of the current vintage of the Graveyard Shiraz while it matures in the barrel room, then end the day with a glass of the 2019 release over a grazing platter of local cheeses and condiments.
Brown Brothers, Milawa, VIC (from $650 per person)
This 130-year-old family-owned winery is the jewel of King Valley. Up the ante on your visit to Brown Brothers Winery by flying in on a private plane; taking off from Melbourne, you’ll soar across the Yarra Valley, Lake Eildon and the high country. After a tour of the Brown Brother’s cellar and a tasting of estate wines, you’ll finish with a five-course lunch with matching wines at Patricia’s Table Restaurant.
Château Tanunda, Barossa Valley, SA ($210 per person)
This Barossa Valley wine tour gives you unparalleled access to historic winery Château Tanunda. Begin with a walk through the vineyard and its century vines before following the journey from grape to glass. Then it’s on to the wine tasting room to sample a flight of rare museum wines. Watch your guide open bottles valued at more than $1000, and savour award-winning drops from what might be the world’s oldest planting of grenache, malbec and mourvèdre.
Vasse Felix Winery, Margaret River, WA (from $640 per person)
The Cape to Vine tour is an eight-hour blend of adventure and education. Move from cliffs to cellar then vineyard to barrel hall before returning to the restaurant for lunch. Three hours in, Vasse Felix Estate Brand Manager Evan Gill instructs you to sip the first of 10 wines in the private guided tasting. Brendan Pratt’s five-course tasting menu ties the region’s produce to wine. This unique tour helps cultivate an intimacy with the region through the lens of the Vasse Felix wine glass.
Spirit of Little Things, Perth, WA ($150 per person)
A private audience with head distiller Tom Martin sharing his expertise is the drawcard for this two-hour gin masterclass. It starts with a tour of the still before you are handed over to the boutique bar staff, who focus on building your cocktail knowledge. With a new-found appreciation for gin, you learn and, of course, enjoy the cocktails you make yourself. The option to take home your own gin cocktail kit at the end is an opportunity to seal the memories made.
Try: Spirit of Little Things Australian Botanical Gin, Spirit of Little Things Australian Dry Gin
Four Pillars, Sydney, NSW ($85)
Running for just over an hour, this relaxed yet lively experience at the hip Surry Hills laboratory of Four Pillars gin offers an introduction to distilling. You start with a welcome G&T, which sets the palate up for the gin flight that’s laid out on each table. You get into tasting 13 of them, including some of their most unique creations: the savoury Olive Leaf Gin (best enjoyed in a Martini) and the famous Bloody Shiraz Gin — a happy accident that can be traced back to the distillery’s humble beginnings in a mate’s winery.
Never Never Distilling Co, McLaren Vale, SA (from $130 per person)
When Never Never launched in 2017, the distillery immediately built a strong reputation upon its Triple Juniper gin. This gin masterclass offers an insight into how it happened. It starts with a G&T before you’re led back to the copper stills where the magic happens. Learn the inspiration behind classics like ruby-coloured “ginache” using grapes from the adjoining winery, and the enticing Med Gin that foregrounds Mediterranean flavours. Head back to the deck for a guided tasting and when you’re done, continue the fun at home with a 200ml bottle of gin and mixers.
Starward Distillery, Port Melbourne, VIC ($140 per person)
The sprawling bar rocking an industrial-chic vibe at Starward Distillery is the first port of call for the two-hour Whisky Masterclass. Sip on a classic Old Fashioned as bar manager Kyle D’Andrea performs the introductions. For the whisky tasting, sample the big, bold richness of the Fortis, which is made in the most intense American oak barrels, and the creamy, Christmas pudding richness of the Tawny. Be treated to the chance of tasting single-barrel special projects unavailable to the general public.
Beenleigh Artisan Distillers, Eagleby, QLD (from $95)
Australia’s oldest registered continually working distillery is just off the highway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, perched next to the Albert River. A range of different tours are on offer, but the two-hour experience is the one that you want to go for. A tour of the historic, 1884 distillery is followed by a rum tasting of 6 specially aged blending rums before you get to concoct your own. You have three attempts mixing and matching the flavours of different rums before you name and take away a 200ml bottle of your very own rum (and the recipe).
Try: Beenleigh XO Rum
Batch Brewing Co, Sydney, NSW ($50 per person, email howdy@ batchbrewingco.com.au)
Calling all craft beer lovers! Join the expert brewers at this small batch brewery and tap room in the hip inner west Sydney suburb of Marrickville to learn the art of brewing beer. At one of Batch’s fun open days, you participate in the brewing process of some of the most interesting brews, from Lemon Meringue Sour to Creme Brûlée Pastry Stouts. The three-and-a half-hour hands-on experience ends with a guided tasting of a range of signature beers.
Try: Batch Brewing What A Melon Summer Ale, Batch Brewing West Coast IPA