A Wine Lovers Guide to Mount Gambier

Delicious silky red wines, spectacular lake-filled volcanoes and world-class wagyu. If you haven’t already visited Mount Gambier’s lush countryside, it might be time to look ahead. 

Located near the South East corner of the dramatic Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier’s idyllic pastures yield an abundance of pleasure, from the boutique vineyards and welcoming cellar-doors to the iconic Blue Lake and award-winning restaurants.

Sounds promising? Here’s a short guide to get you sipping.

Perfect climate for prize-winning wines

Mount Gambier. Image via Santiago Gonzales Redondo
Mount Gambier. Image via Santiago Gonzales Redondo

While Mount Gambier is Australia’s youngest wine region, the region has been a prized producer of cool-climate wine since vines were planted in 1982. Supported by rich volcanic soils, underground water sources and cool ocean breezes, this region specialises in:

  • Pinot Noir. Fragrant with spice and cherry, this wine flourishes in Mount Gambier’s cool climate
  • Sauvignon Blanc. Long growing periods contribute to an abundance of fruit aromas in this regional favourite. 
  • Chardonnay. Citrus and stone fruit flavours define the award-winning local chardonnay

Where to tilt a glass

You’ll find plenty of small family owned vineyards and wine pairing restaurants dotted throughout the stunning natural attractions that adorn this region’s lush and dormant volcano. Here are a few of the intimate experiences you can enjoy alongside the iconic attractions.

Herbert Vineyard

Close to the centre of Mount Gambier, Herbert Vineyard received four stars in the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion for its outstanding pinot noir. Book a cellar door tasting and sample some of the wares, along with delicious cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and shiraz.

Nearby attraction: This estate is minutes from the fascinating Engelbrecht Cave, a cave system featuring water-filled tunnels stretching beneath the town. Open for both tours and divers. 

Coola Road Wines

Twenty minutes west of town, the family owned Coola Road Wines vineyard continues to expand on a superb range of cool climate wines. Producing award winning Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, you’ll find plenty of distinctive regional flavours nurtured by the area’s maritime influence and shallow limestone. 

Nearby attraction: Located on a farming property 14 minutes from Coola Road Wines, the remarkable Kilsby Sinkhole has grown from a humble watering hole on a stock route to a leading attraction complete with tours and snorkelling opportunities.

Diving at the Kilsby Sinkhole. Image via Jessie Cripps
Diving at the Kilsby Sinkhole. Image via Jessie Cripps

Caroline Hills

A small and passionate operation based 15 minutes from town, Caroline Hills is a boutique vineyard that produces small-batch wines using hand plunging and pumping. Specialising in pinot noir, pinot gris and chardonnay, the cellar door is open by appointment on the weekends and you can enjoy a tasting plate to compliment your wine experience. 

Nearby attraction:
From town you’ll pass the stunning Blue Lake, where sapphire tinted water is coloured by rich limestone. Take a walk around the lake or enjoy a fascinating Aquifer Tours in a glass panelled lift down the original dolomite well shaft.

The Little Blue Lake, image via Lucy Adamopoulos
The Little Blue Lake, image via Lucy Adamopoulos

The Barn Steakhouse

The Barn, Mount Gambier. Image via The Barn
The Barn, Mount Gambier. Image via The Barn

While not a vineyard, the Barn Steakhouse is a local establishment that pairs great local wines with great steaks – with a huge amount of passion. With Hereford cattle bred on local properties in the region, the Barn’s award winning cellar features over 750 selections from the local wineries of the Limestone Coast, with many bottles aged on site.

Cape Jaffa Wines

Located on the edge of the Great Australian Bight, Cape Jaffa Wines is a vineyard known for its biodynamic wines. Cape Jaffa’s wines are grown with a focus on creativity and style, and are undoubtedly best enjoyed at the vineyards cellar door, open daily from 11am – 4pm. Cape Jaffa Wines is located a short 90 minutes drive from Mount Gambier, and is family, baby, and dog friendly.

Thyme at The Lakes

A dining experience by Valley Lake’s water-filled volcanic crater, Thyme at the Lakes is also home to a large selection of local regional wine to be enjoyed along with internationally inspired cuisine crafted from delicious local fare. Sip a local chardonnay with a Spanish inspired grilled paella or sample a delicate Sauvignon Blanc with your crispy barramundi.  

How do I get to Mount Gambier?

Located on the south-east corner of South Australia, you can drive to Mount Gambier in under five hours from either Adelaide or Melbourne.Fly direct to Mount Gambier from Adelaide or Melbourne with Qantas or Rex. Mount Gambier is also a great base to explore the nearby Coonawarra wine region

Where to stay in Mount Gambier

Comfort Inn The Lakes offers convenient, quiet accommodation just a short walk from Mount Gambier. Located on the edge of the Crater Lakes with spectacular views over the city. Enjoy easy access to South Australian treasures including world famous Blue Lake, Valley Lakes Precinct, Riddoch Art Gallery and the Engelbrecht Cave Tour.

Book your next stay with Choice Hotels.

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