There’s an old saying that goes, “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy wine and that’s kind of the same thing”.
Okay, so I don’t think it’s such an old saying—I doubt you’ll find it stemming back to biblical times when water was turned to wine. But it has a good ring to it, don’t you think? And wine DOES make us happy.
What makes us even happier is going to the source, where you can walk through the vines and smell the dampness of the soil. Where plump grapes are stamped down, you can hear the echo as you tap the barrels, and you can see the flow from bottle to glass. And that beautiful feeling as you deeply inhale and make the confident declaration of smelling freshly cut grass and grandad’s old cigar box.
There’s something super intoxicating about visiting a winery (drinking copious amounts of wine, middle of the day, might have something to do with it) and we’re not short of some BEAUTIFUL options on and around to the Sunshine Coast. All you need are some wheels, good mates, and one unlucky designated driver. Feel free to use this as your winery bucket list—you’re gonna want to do them all!
Flame Hill Vineyard
Right on our doorstep and sitting at the very top of Montville, Flame Hill Vineyard has it all. Great views, luscious vines, amazing nosh—and of course, totally drinkable wine. Cellar Door tastings might just not be enough. But the real highlight is their Stomp event, where in celebration of a successful harvest, guests are encouraged to stomp the hell out of barrels of grapes. A totally unique experience combined with great food and entertainment, there’s really no better way to spend a day!
Where: 249 Western Avenue, Montville
Contact: 07 5478 5920
Maleny Mountain Wines
Speaking of barrels—you haven’t seen any as large as Maleny Mountain Wines’ barrel. You could park a jumbo jet in there! (No, this is not some kind of crude euphemism—their main building actually looks like a massive wine barrel.) With incredible views overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains and a rich volcanic soil perfect for producing Chambourcin grapes and an award-winning Chardonnay; this is a Sunshine Coast winery that should be hitting the top of your must-visit list.
Where: 787 Landsborough Maleny Road, Maleny
Contact: 07 5429 6300
Situated in the small town of Ballandean, Mason Wines is the perfect weekend getaway. With beautiful on-site accommodation, there’s no need to pick a designated driver for this trip. The winery focuses on producing hand-crafted and boutique wines that both seasoned wine tasters and wine newbies will enjoy. If the drive is a little far for you, Mason Wines has wine tasting cellar doors in Montville and Mt Tambourine, where you can sample and purchase some of their award-winning drops.
Where: 27850 New England Hwy, Ballandean, Queensland, 4381
Shop 3, 184 Main Street, Montville, Queensland 4560
32 Hartley Road, North Tamborine, Queensland 4272
Drive Time: 4 hours to Ballandean, 30 minutes to Montville, and 2 hours to Mt Tambourine
Contact: 0439 530 535
Ocean View Estate
Nestled in the green hills of Mt Mee, Ocean View Estate is a total slice of paradise. Their award-winning wines are exclusive to the estate and will be paired up to the perfect meal for you by well-known chef, Tony Tierney. The views from the restaurant overlooking the vines are breathtaking; and if your other half is more into beer than wine, they do their own craft beer! If you’re looking to keep it simple, grab one of their scrumptious picnic baskets and go set-up amongst the vineyards or lakeside in the sun. And as if these guys hadn’t thought of it all already, they also boast a set of beautiful cottages… Good scenery, food, drink, and accommodation? Sounds like the perfect weekend away!
Where: Oceanview Estates, 2557 Mt. Mee Road, Ocean View
Drive-time: 1hrs 10min
Contact: 07 3425 3900
If you haven’t yet made you way out to Sirromet Winery, then you need to check the diary and book in a day ASAP. A beautiful estate with endless views overlooking Moreton Bay and Stradbroke, Sirromet Winery truly offers the full experience to both wine enthusiasts and occasional drinkers alike through standard wine tastings, premium tastings, and a full winery tour. Their live entertainment sessions on the weekend are never short of epic; and there are heaps of tasty food options to choose from. Make it a fancy lunch at Restaurant Lurleen’s or enjoy the outdoor Tuscan Terrace which offers high tea or Italian-inspired meals all under $30. So many great things, it’ll feel nothing short of a mini-break!
Where: 850 Mount Cotton Road, Mount Cotton
Drive-time: 1hrs 40min
Contact: 07 3206 2999
Dusty Hill Vineyard
Dusty Hill Vineyard is a family run estate in the South Burnett Region, which had humble beginnings but has grown to be well-loved by both locals and visitors to the region. The vines were originally planted on an unnamed piece of land on the side of a dusty hill (hence the name), but is now a green patch of beauty overlooking Lake Barambah. There is an Irish Tavern with a yummo selection of traditional Irish fare and honestly, their cakes are out of this world! There’s also a great kids play area and some cheeky geese wandering around the duck pond. This one is a great family day out!
Where: 80 Waterview Drive, Moffatdale
Drive-time: 2hrs 10min
Contact: 07 4168 4700
O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards
If you’re willing to go a little further for a quality drop, then you can’t go wrong with O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard. Their expansive property stretches along Canungra Creek; and the vineyards, cellar door, and homestead are nothing short of gorgeous. You have the option to enjoy a brekkie or lunch in their vintage restaurant, or grab one of their gourmet picnic baskets (they’ll supply the blankie and everything) and laze about with a bottle of wine alongside the creek. Aaah, what we’d do to be lying there under a tree, right now…
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Drive-time: 2hrs 30min
Contact: 07 5543 4011
Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm
Hey—did you know there is a lavender farm less than three hours from the Sunshine Coast? We’ve all taken a moment to lust over those pretty pictures of happy people swanning about amongst rows and rows of purple. You can do this. With wine! Kooroomba Vineyard is possibly the most stunning winery (and lavender farm!) within driving distance of the Sunshine Coast and they’re calling your name. The property overlooks rolling hills and mountains, with the restaurant offering 180-degree views while you enjoy their incredible menu created by Exec Chef Mark Naoum. Sounds like heaven (with a scent of lavender)!
Where: 168 F.M.Bells Road, Mount Alford
Drive-time: 2hrs 45min
Contact: 07 5463 0022
Image credit: The Urban List, Kooroomba, Flame Hill Vineyard, Sirromet Winery and Ameriaus