Wine Tasting in Melbourne: 11 Places You Have to Try
As one of the world’s truly great wine-producing countries, Australia is naturally a travel destination for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Being located near the fertile Yarra Valley and regions, Melbourne has become a mecca for wine tastings.
If you’re going to visit Melbourne, first drop off your bags with Bounce, and then you'll absolutely want to taste wines from Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula. Going on a winery tour in the surrounding countryside is an obvious idea for a day trip or a fun afternoon, but you can also find plenty of excellent wine-tasting experiences within the city limits. With a stellar live music scene and some fabulous things to do in Melbourne at night, it’s unsurprising that the city is home to some of the coolest wine bars in all of Australia.
With the staggering number of phenomenal local producers, there is no shortage of delicious wine to choose from. Whether it’s cool climate wines or a refreshing rosé, there are plenty of options for pairing with a delicious lunch or sharing during a romantic getaway. Here are the best vineyards, wine tours, wine bars, restaurants, food tours, and wineries in Melbourne:
Yarra Valley Wine Tours
It’s no secret that tasting the fine wines of Yarra Valley is a can't-miss experience for enthusiasts traveling through Melbourne. If you want an amazing day trip idea, taking a winery tour is the best way to go on a culinary adventure through this fertile wine-producing region. You’ll get a winery lunch, an educational experience, and so much more. The private group tours are ideal for families and friend groups, and it’s so much more than just a winery tour. You’ll be led through wineries, distilleries, an ice creamery, a craft brewery, and even the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, which makes for quite an amazing day.
A common sight on these walking tours is bachelorette parties, known locally as “Hen Parties.” This is a great tour for a bride-to-be looking to celebrate with her closest friends and family. The tour guide will program the afternoon to suit the occasion, with a wine and cheese tasting, which makes for a fun outing and some even better photos!
If you’re looking into a winery tour, this has to be on your shortlist. Reserve tickets ahead of time with free cancellation because this Yarra Valley Wine tour tends to book up quickly!
Various pickup points in central Melbourne.
City Wine Shop
One of those delightful little establishments that functions as a wine bar and a bottle shop, this Melbourne CBD mainstay is an anchor for the city’s wine scene. There is minimal seating at the bar and the few tables, but it’s a casual spot where most patrons drop in for a glass off their tasting menu and grab a bottle to take home. The selection is superb and leans trendy. It’s not uncommon to find orange wines and natural or organic selections on the shelves, but local options are king here. It’s worth the time to chat with the staff and consider their recommendations, it’s a great way to discover your new favorite wine!
159 Spring St, Melbourne
De Bortoli Winery Tour (Yarra Valley)
You cannot truly experience Melbourne’s wine without encountering Yarra Valley. Whether you find their labels on the menu of a local bar or take a winery tour where this delightful liquid is produced, it’s hard to avoid the cool climate wine produced by vineyards near the towns of Yarra Glen and Healesville. Luckily, this legendary wine region is located about 90 minutes from Melbourne city center.
De Bartoli is a standout vineyard in the area and a wonderful day trip idea for Melbourne locals or visitors. Their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are both favorites for Melbourne wine connoisseurs, and you’ll be able to buy these bottles at quality wine shops around the world. The end result might be the main draw, but booking a walking tour with an expert tour guide is highly recommended. Book ahead because these tours tend to book up fast; luckily, there is free cancellation.
58 Pinnacle Ln, Dixons Creek
This restaurant and wine bar is one of the most popular spots in Melbourne, and it so happens to offer one of the best wine selections in the city. While this is one of the go-to’s for local wine geeks, you’ll find stylish yuppies throughout the sleek dining room and bar area. The staff is hyper-focused on making every customer feel comfortable navigating the at-times daunting wine list. They take an unhurried approach to explaining each bottle and recommending the best possible variety and vintage, which is a nice change of pace with much of Melbourne's crowded bar scene. Cumulus Up also curates a wine list that will appeal to any budget.
F1/45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
From the same people as Melbourne-mainstay Gertrude comes Marion, a classy bar and restaurant that has been turning heads within the city’s wine scene. Located in Fitzroy, Marion is one of the best hidden gems for a low-key night out in one of Melbourne’s coolest neighborhoods.
The industrial-chic design of the space makes for an impressive date night, with painted brick walls, comfortable but stylish seats, and smaller tables for intimate occasions. There are a few rooms, a curved bar that can seat plenty of customers, and, most importantly, a sidewalk patio for those perfect Melbourne summer afternoons.
Their wine list is extensive, with a format that is easy to navigate. Everything is grouped by grape varieties, which fully illustrates how many different types of wine Marion carries. Grüner Veltliner, orange wine, Riesling, and other “deep cuts” are common options at Marion. While Australia is one of the best producers of wine in the world, it’s far from the best importer. This sets Marion apart because you have the world at your fingertips with their menu, while most other Melbourne wine bars only focus on local products. They also have around 15 different wines you can order by the glass, so sampling is encouraged!
53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Melbourne’s southern neighborhoods on the Mornington Peninsula have unexpectedly become hotbeds for nightlife and restaurant scenes, and Cheltenham is at the heart of this development. One of the neighborhood’s anchors is Bar Savarin, a new spot that seems to check all the boxes for an upscale wine bar. With a small but impeccably curated menu that focuses on natural wines, especially the uber-trendy orange wine category, which is all the rage with yuppies. Look for elevated bar food and oysters on the menu, all of which can be paired with their wine-by-the-glass menu. If you’ve been on a weekend-long wine tour of Melbourne and need a break, they also have an excellent cocktail menu.
132 Keys Road, Cheltenham
Most traditional wine bars rarely appeal to a young crowd. This is certainly not the case at Gerald’s Bar, which on weeknights becomes a hipster hangout. The no-frills environment and laid-back staff make this wine bar feel like a dive bar that happens to serve outstanding local and international wine. The menu is hand-written as the wine list changes rapidly, which makes no two visits to Gerald’s Bar the same! This is the perfect spot for twenty-somethings looking for an inexpensive and social night out in Melbourne CBD. Well-traveled visitors will enjoy a respite from the at-times stuffy nature of most upscale establishments.
3386 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
Fitzroy North has become a go-to stretch for stylish locals for shopping, nightlife, restaurants, and especially wine bars. This dimly-lit wine-focused restaurant sets a nice mood, which explains the high number of customers who are clearly on dates. Their vintage sound system plays retro jazz and funk, complimenting the moody vibe and stylish interior.
The French-inspired cuisine is delicious, and the rotating menu is designed with wine pairings in mind. While many Melbourne bars focus on local wines from Yarra Valley and other producers, Neighbourhood curates a list that sources labels from around the world. This is a great spot to try wines from non-traditional countries like Japan and Lebanon, but you can also find standard offerings from South Africa, France, Italy, and the US.
1 Reid St, Fitzroy North
Yering Station Vineyard (Yarra Valley)
If you’re planning on taking a day trip from Melbourne, one of your best destinations has to be the stunning Yarra Valley. This lush area is brimming with outstanding wineries and vineyards where you can tour the grounds and taste wine. Yarra Valley’s wineries are all superb, but a standout is Yering Station Vineyard, which offers tours from Melbourne. The beautiful grounds are expansive, and they have a number of rooms that will accommodate large gatherings like weddings, but most travelers stop in for tours, a delicious lunch, and wine tastings.
Yering Farm grows a variety of grapes and walking through their cellar doors, you’ll find dozens of different vintages and varieties resting in their barrels. Yering Station hosts its famous cellar door tastings, where an expert vintner walks small groups through the wine production and cellaring process while providing tasting notes. Because it’s a few hours there and back, it’s recommended to have a designated driver or look into various shuttle services. While you’re out in this stunning region, check out some of the natural areas to enjoy hiking and local wildlife. If you’re renting a car or staying with a local, it’s highly recommended to venture out into the gorgeous countryside, and this should definitely be one of your stops.
38 Melba Hwy, Yering
The Alps Wine Shop & Bar
This delightful little storefront is one of the best places for wine tastings in Melbourne, and with an easy-to-miss locale, it’s a hidden gem. It’s not just good wine that makes The Alps a great place to treat your taste buds. The atmosphere and staff are certainly one of the draws. The cozy tasting room is surrounded by exposed brick and touchwood, and there is a fireplace that creates a lovely ambiance. Wine classes and workshops are also held at this store, giving customers a chance to learn from the shop’s sommeliers, but the Alps Wine Shop & Bar functions best as a hangout. If you're taking a day tour of Melbourne CBD and need a place to relax after getting those steps in, The Alps is your spot.
64 Commercial Road, Prahran
Underwood Wine Bar
This stylish spot, located in the trendy Fitzroy neighborhood, is all about local. With a wine menu and beer list exclusively devoted to Australian producers, this is the ideal spot for travelers interested in tasting products that can’t be found anywhere else. The intimate space makes it perfect for date night, but it fills up on Friday and Saturday nights to make for a social atmosphere ideal for a pre or post-dinner drink.
181 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North
Going on a Yarra Valley winery tour or stopping at one of the excellent wine bars along the beautiful Mornington Peninsula is one of the best ways to spend time during a visit to Melbourne. One might say it’s a can’t-miss experience! However you choose to taste wine in Melbourne, drop the bags off at a trusty Bounce luggage storage location first so you can relax!