The Best Gourmet Experiences Happening in Regional Australia This Winter

Margaret River Gourmet Escape | Photo from Tourism Australia
Margaret River Gourmet Escape | Photo from Tourism Australia

Winter might be the most unpopular season, but there’s no denying cold weather makes for the cosiest, most comforting gourmet getaway experiences. We sum up a few of our favourites from around Australia taking place during the chilly months of 2019…

Dalwhinnie Wine Lunch

11th May, Lakehouse Daylesford

This May, winemaker David Jones will host a special four-course lunch at the beautiful Lakehouse Daylesford in Victoria, showcasing wines from the iconic winery, Dalwhinnie.

Located near the small village of Moonambel in the heart of the Pyrenees region of Western Victoria, Dalwhinnie is one of Victoria’s oldest, family run vineyards and is regarded as a super-premium producer of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

James Halliday doesn’t lie, and he has said of Dalwhinnie: “wines with tremendous depth of flavour, reflecting the relatively low-yielding but well maintained vineyards. The vineyards are dry-grown and managed organically, hence the low yield, but the quality more than compensates.”

If it’s good enough for James Halliday, it’s more than good enough for us!

Tickets from $295 from

Lake House Daylesford
Lake House Daylesford

Dom Pérignon Retreat

Lizard Island

For those who prefer bubbles in their drinks, is there any looking past an event that brings together one of the most prestigious champagne labels with one of Austrlaia’s most luxurious resorts?

Chase the sun and the warmth up to Queensland and indulge in the Dom Pérignon Retreat. Take a decadent private boat charter to explore the Great Barrier Reef’s world renowned marine life, and follow it with a private picnic on an idyllic corner of the island, Sunset Beach. Lobster rolls and seafoods are then served, perfectly paired to Dom Pérignon 2009.

Guests can also choose a beachside Dom Pérignon Dining Under the Stars experience for up to ten people. Guests will explore the Dom Pérignon universe, including the P2 2000 Champagne, paired with the islands freshest, locally sourced produce and seafood prepared by Lizard Island’s Executive Chef, Ryan Locke.

Rates and bookings at

Sparkling Saffire Weekend

19-21 July 2019, Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania

Following the success of last year’s Pinot Noir weekend, Saffire is adding some effervescence to the mix with its Sparkling Saffire Weekend hosted by International Wine Communicator of the Year Tyson Stelzer. The weekend will showcase Pol Roger champagnes including the highly anticipated Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2008 alongside the finest Tasmanian wines and present a vintage champagne and Tasmanian sparkling masterclass.

As for what’s for dinner, you can expect Saffire’s signature degustation dining experiences, cocktail and gala dinners as well as lunch on the terrace with its magnificent views. You’ll event learn how to blend your own sparkling wine in a brand new interactive blending experience.

Rates from $5,600 for two people for two nights including all meals, lounge beverages, signature experiences, additional Schouten Island sparkling and seafood cruise, minibar and $100 property credit.

Sparkling Saffire Weekend, Saffire Freycinet
Sparkling Saffire Weekend, Saffire Freycinet

Winter Cooking Class

28th July, Lakehouse Daylesford

Lakehouse Daylesford does it again! In this hands-on masterclass guests have the chance to  learn from two of the award-winning team at the hotel, producing a three-course seasonal menu. Spend a few hours working with the region’s best produce, learn new techniques, tips, and ideas to take home to your own kitchen, and at the end of the three hours sit down and dig into the feast you’ve created.

Tickets are $395 and include a three-hour cooking session, Cooking School apron, sit down lunch of the dishes produced, wine, refreshments and a recipe folder. Space is limited to 10 guests per class.

Winter Cooking Class, Lakehouse Daylesford
Winter Cooking Class, Lakehouse Daylesford

Cheese Making & Tasting Experience

Any time at Cupitt’s Winery

On the New South Wales South coast you’ll find Cupitt’s, a boutique winery, brewery, fromagerie, restaurant and wedding venue with cottage accommodation. And if its extraordinary views over the vineyard to Burrill Lake and the Budawang Ranges isn’t enough for you, we think tasting melt-in-the-mouth cheeses at the onsite fromagerie will be.

With Cupitt’s cheeses all made and matured using traditional techniques inspired by the great cheese producing regions in France and Italy, you’ll have Cupitt’s head winemaker as your host as you take a behind-the-scenes tour of the fromagerie along with the brewery and winery.

Discover the 14 cheeses made by award-winning author and certified cheesemaker Rose Cupitt, learning about how they are developed, and then dig into a tasting session that includes the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards gold medal-winning cloth-bound cheddar.

For the perfect end to your cheesy, foodie experience, head to the cellar door for a tasting of Cupitt’s current releases of wine, and then purchase a cheese board to take outside and enjoy with those stunning views.

Tickets for $40 from

Cupitt's Cheese Making & Tasting Tour
Cupitt's Cheese Making & Tasting Tour

Helicopter Tour, Blending Bench & Degustation

D’Arenberg, McLaren Vale

In South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region you can experience an unforgettable gourmet experience thanks to d’Arenberg winery – home of the iconic d’Arenberg Cube tasting room. A family-run business since 1912 with fourth generation family member Chester Osborn now at the winemaking helm, d’Arenberg is known for its distinctive wines – particularly shiraz – made using traditional methods.

On this gastronomic journey, you’ll take a private helicopter transfer to soak in views of South Australia’s stunning coastline and the McLaren Vale wine region, before landing back at the property. There, working with three barrel samples of single vineyard wine, each with distinctive flavours, you’ll be guided through the blending process to create your own personalised Shiraz, which will then be bottled to take home.

Finally, settle back, relax, and indulge in an eight-course food and wine degustation at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant replete with sweeping views of the rolling hills of McLaren Vale.

McLaren Vale transfers from $580pp at

d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale
d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale

Thomas Wines Chef Series

Various locations around NSW, VIC and QLD

Andrew Thomas is known for his signature wine, Thomas Kiss Shiraz, along with Semillon, produced at Thomas Wines up in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley.

Having been making wine for more than 30 years, he now produces more than 18 different wines from just these two varietals that the Hunter is best known for.

Each May he travels around the eastern states showing off his wines from the vintage two years prior and this May, his single vineyard Shiraz wines from the acclaimed 2017 Hunter Valley vintage will in his bag when he hits the road alongside fabulous dining experiences from chefs also at the top of their game.

Kicking off the tour on 23 April, he’ll be showing off the ’17 reds at One Penny Red, Bentley Restaurant & Bar and Bistro Mosman in Sydney, EXP Restaurant in the Hunter Valley, new lifestyle hotel The Calile in Brisbane and L’Hotel Gitan in Melbourne.

Dates, locations and prices at

Thomas Wines
Thomas Wines

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