Fancy a wine escape but can’t swing the work escape? Sunbury is saviour. On the outskirts of Melbourne, this cool, dry climate loves a shiraz. It’s also not a bad destination for chardonnay, riesling, semillon, traminer, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and some other Italian varieties.

It might be 40 minutes from one of Australia’s biggest cities, but Sunbury is as rural as a Blue Heeler. Or bluestone. Chances are you’ll find cellar doors in historic bluestone buildings open for tastings, tours and a chat.

The region encircles the suburbs of Keilor, Bulla, Clarkefield, Sunbury, Diggers Rest, Rockbank and Parwan, and extends to the townships of Melton and Bacchus Marsh.