Envision a noble stone winery, one where cobwebs intertwine bottles that lie sleeping in a hand-dug cellar below. Outside, gnarled vines older than any living human penetrate deep into soils formed some 200 million years ago.\r\n\r\nYou\u2019re picturing somewhere in Europe, right? France, perhaps? Italy?\r\n\r\nActually, this is Australia. Home to many of the planet\u2019s oldest vines, this New World country boasts a rich history of wine production that stretches to the mid-1800s. Dozens of these lovingly preserved wineries still dot the landscape, vinous gems that can feel as though the winemaker went out for lunch 150 years ago and never returned.\r\n\r\nTake a step back in time to ten of Australia\u2019s most treasured historic wineries.\r\n\r\n\r\nBest\u2019s Great Western\r\nGreat Western/Grampians, Victoria\r\nFounded in 1866\r\nMost famous wines: Bin No. 0 Shiraz, Sparkling Shiraz, Old Vine Pinot Meunier, Foudre Ferment Riesling\r\n\r\nPast: Like many at the time, brothers Joseph and Henry Best turned to wine in the wake of a waning gold rush. In 1865, Joseph planted vines at what\u2019s now Seppelt winery, another historic Australian gem. A year later, Henry purchased nearby land, and Best\u2019s was born. He and his family planted the land to vineyards in 1867, while miners assisted him in building a winery and underground cellar that are still in use today. Upon Henry\u2019s death in 1920, Best\u2019s was purchased by Frederick P. Thomson, a neighboring winegrower. Today, Thomson\u2019s grandson, Eric Viv Thomson, is the fourth-generation vigneron, with more than 50 consecutive vintages to his credit.\r\n\r\nPresent: Best\u2019s is a history lover\u2019s paradise. Beneath ancient red gum slabs and surrounded by relics, visitors can sip current releases and often some older vintages, too. Tour the perfectly preserved underground cellars, or head outside to the Nursery Block vineyards, which may be the most extensive pre-phylloxera plantings in the world. The 39 varieties planted, eight of which are so rare they remain unidentified, are made into a white and a red field blend that are available only in the tasting room.\r\n\r\n\r\nHenschke\r\nEden Valley, South Australia\r\nFounded in 1868\r\nMost famous wines: Hill of Grace, Mount Edelstone, Julius Riesling, Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, Henry\u2019s Seven\r\n\r\nPast: The Barossa Valley and neighboring Eden Valley possess an embarrassment of riches. They boast ancient vines, historic stone buildings and families long entrenched in the area\u2019s development. But few can claim a 151-year-old lineage that traces to the region\u2019s earliest settlers like Stephen Carl Henschke can. He and his wife, Prue, have been tireless champions here. Stephen took the reins from his father, Cyril, in 1979, though the family\u2019s stewardship extends five generations to 1868, when the first commercial sale of Henschke bottling was recorded as a single-vineyard table wine. The style was out of step from the fortified wines that were in fashion at the time, showing remarkable vision.\r\n\r\nPresent: Henschke\u2019s stone winery and tasting room built in the 1860s are modest, considering the brand\u2019s iconic status. They represent Henschke\u2019s past and present: low ceilings and narrow archways, portraits of family members, open concrete fermenters and an old basket press. While the winery is romantic, it\u2019s the Hill of Grace Vineyard that really takes one back in time. Planted in the 1860s, the gnarly vines of Australia\u2019s most famous vineyard are perched, like sentinels, across from a Lutheran church of the same age.\r\n\r\n\r\nTyrrell\u2019s Wines\r\nHunter Valley, New South Wales\r\nFounded in 1858\r\nMost famous wines: Vat 1 Semillon, Vat 8 Shiraz-Cabernet, Vat 9 Shiraz, Stevens Single Vineyard Shiraz\r\n\r\nPast: The Tyrrell\u2019s family tree can be traced to the early 11th century, when Walter Tyrrell arrived in England with William the Conqueror. Fast forward to 1858, when Edward Tyrrell snapped up one of the last available properties in the Hunter Valley, two hours north of Sydney, and founded the namesake winery. Tyrrell\u2019s infrastructure was built in 1863, and the brand\u2019s first vintage was 1864. Today, the family produces some of the country\u2019s finest and most ageable Semillon.\r\n\r\nPresent: Tyrrell\u2019s is like a living shrine. The original slab hut, built in 1858, beckons those who visit to delve deeper into the family\u2019s beginnings. In the winery, rows of old oak vats stand against walls of corrugated iron, one of Australia\u2019s most iconic building materials. In the tasting room, portraits of the Tyrrells of yesteryear keep watch as you taste the fruits of their descendants\u2019 labor, but history speaks loudest from the vines themselves. Tyrrell\u2019s owns seven of the Hunter Valley\u2019s 11 blocks of own-rooted vineyards that are more than 100 years old. Each one is a reminder of the Hunter\u2019s important role in Australian wine history.\r\n\r\n\r\nPenfolds Magill Estate\r\nAdelaide Hills, South Australia\r\nFounded in 1844\r\nMost famous wines: Grange, St. Henri, Bin 707, RWT\r\n\r\nPast: Penfolds may be Australia\u2019s most famous export, but it\u2019s also one of its most historic producers. Established in 1844, Dr. Christopher Penfold and his wife, Mary, planted French vine cuttings they brought on their voyage from England on nearly 500 acres just east of Adelaide. As demand for the doctor\u2019s medical services grew, Mary increasingly took over viticulture and winemaking at the estate. She expanded the business exponentially before passing it on to her daughter, Georgina, in the late 1800s. By 1907, Penfolds had become South Australia\u2019s largest winery. Since the shift from fortified bottlings to table wines starting in the 1940s, there have been just four chief winemakers here.\r\n\r\nPresent: On the outskirts of Adelaide, the juxtaposition of this urban winery as both contemporary and historic is striking. While the tasting room reflects Penfold\u2019s sleek modernism, the underground cellars evoke history. An array of famous figures\u2014like Helen Keller, who visited in 1948\u2014have lurked in its lairs. It\u2019s also where Penfolds\u2019s first chief winemaker, Max Schubert, made his famed Grange wine in secret, before his peers accepted the atypical blend. Back above ground, Grange Cottage, the original 1844 home, is a beautiful glimpse into the lives of the founding Penfolds. Nearby, the 118-year-old still house is where some of Penfolds\u2019s first spirits were made.\r\n\r\n\r\nYeringberg\r\nYarra Valley, Victoria\r\nFounded in 1863\r\nMost famous wines: Chardonnay, Marsanne-Roussanne, Red blend\r\n\r\nPast: One of Yarra Valley\u2019s earliest winegrowers, the family-run Yeringberg remains as low tech as it was when Swiss Baron Fr\u00e9d\u00e9ric Guillaume de Pury purchased part of the original Yering Station in 1863. The region\u2019s winegrowing fortunes plunged in the early part of the 20th century, and the last of Yarra\u2019s original vines were pulled out in 1921. The Yeringberg winery sat untouched until 1969, when the Baron\u2019s grandson, Guill, replanted vines. He was one of the first to revive the local wine industry, which now thrives.\r\n\r\nPresent: Yeringberg is now run by Guill\u2019s daughter, Sandra. The winery invites the public to visit just twice a year, but that\u2019s not without its advantages. Partly because it has seen so little foot traffic, the winery is almost exactly as it was during the time of Sandra\u2019s great-grandfather. Like a glimpse back in time, a horse-drawn carriage gathers dust beside a large vat and hand-operated corker, while tools from a small cooperage sit nearby. Up a set of narrow wooden stairs, small carts are parked along railway tracks, seemingly halted midway through receiving and transporting grapes. In the active cellar, new barrels sleep beside antique tools. The winery is a rare and treasured relic, yet still a fully functional operation with an annual production of 20,000 bottles.\r\n\r\n\r\nMount Pleasant\r\nHunter Valley, New South Wales\r\nFounded in 1921 (First vines planted 1880)\r\nMost famous wines: Maurice O\u2019Shea Shiraz, Lovedale Semillon\r\n\r\nPast: Considered one of Australia\u2019s most talented, forward-thinking winemakers, Maurice O\u2019Shea began to plant grapes and make wine in Hunter Valley in 1921. O\u2019Shea\u2019s mother purchased land from Englishman Charles King, a portion of which was planted to vines in 1880. In 1932, the McWilliams family, well-known fortified producers, purchased half of the winery, and they bought the rest in 1941. The family retained O\u2019Shea as chief winemaker and manager. In an age when Aussies favored primarily fortified wine, O\u2019Shea was crafting beautiful, long-lived, dry table wines.\r\n\r\nPresent: O\u2019Shea died of cancer in 1956 at 59. But his legacy lives on at Mount Pleasant in several forms. A flagship Shiraz bears his name, and his original wagon and press are on display, along with photos that depict O\u2019Shea in action. The best way to channel O\u2019Shea\u2019s spirit, however, is to stroll the vineyards and take in the landscape that\u2019s changed very little since his stewardship.\r\n\r\n\r\nYalumba\r\nBarossa Valley, South Australia\r\nFounded in 1849\r\nMost famous wines: The Signature, The Caley, The Virgilius Viognier\r\n\r\nPast: Fresh from England and employed as a gardener for one of Barossa\u2019s founding families, Samuel Smith started to plant his own vineyards. By 1852, he purchased 80 acres and released Yalumba\u2019s first wine the following year. In 1894, Smith\u2019s grandson, Fred Caley Smith, a horticulturist, brought cuttings back from his adventures around the world. Those vines still produce fruit today. Yalumba\u2019s now-iconic winery and clocktower were built in 1908 from local Angaston marble. Smith\u2019s son, Sidney, died just after its completion. Yalumba was managed until 2015 by Robert Hill-Smith, who represents the fifth generation of the family. Today, he chairs the company\u2019s board.\r\n\r\nPresent: The manicured grounds and Yalumba\u2019s Wine Room gives visitors a taste of the winery\u2019s history. The wine room was once the company\u2019s brandy bond store, and now it serves as a tasting room that showcases family artifacts. For a deeper dive, embark on one of Yalumba\u2019s themed guided tours. You can explore everything from the winery\u2019s unique onsite cooperage to its underground cellar and several treasured old vineyards.\r\n\r\n\r\nKay Brothers\r\nMcLaren Vale, South Australia\r\nFounded in 1890\r\nMost famous wines: Block 6 Shiraz, Basket Pressed Grenache\r\n\r\nPast: After brothers Herbert and Frederick Kay purchased their Amery property in October 1890, they began to write a meticulous diary of daily life there. The writings document seven years where they planted more than 90 acres of vines, built a gravity-fed stone winery and produced their first 2,403 gallons of wine using grapes crushed by hand with a spiked wooden roller. After 57 years in business, the brothers\u2019 winery passed to Herbert\u2019s son, Cuthbert. It was later run by Colin Kay, who now holds a director title, along with with several family members.\r\n\r\nPresent: The Kay Brothers\u2019 rich history is evident across the Amery property. The family homestead, partially built before the winery existed in the 1850s, perches behind a tasting room that\u2019s housed in a former 1920 storeroom. The family diaries are displayed there. A tour of the historic working winery yields a 1928 basket press and the original open fermenters. The renowned 1892 Block 6 vineyard sits in a picturesque valley below.\r\n\r\n\r\nSeppeltsfield\r\nBarossa Valley, South Australia\r\nFounded in 1851\r\nMost famous wines: 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny, Para Liqueur Tawny\r\n\r\nPast: Joseph and Johanna Seppelt purchased 158 acres here in 1850 after the couple emigrated from Silesia. After an ill-fated tobacco farm in the Adelaide Hills, the Seppelts moved to Barossa Valley and their focus soon shifted to wine and spirits. In 1867, Joseph drew up plans to build a bluestone cellar. It would be completed 11 years later by his son, Benno. In 1878, Benno began the long tradition of maturing single-vintage tawny Port for a century before release. The winery is also a treasure trove of old Australian Sherry (also called Apera) and boasts the country\u2019s longest-standing wine brand, Para.\r\n\r\nPresent: The tasting room inside the former 1900 bottling hall is fairly sleek and contemporary, but modernity stops there. History lovers will ogle over the 1851 Seppelt homestead, 1877 distillery and 1860s blending cellars. They can also taste barrel samples from any year since 1877 in the atmospheric Centennial Cellar.\r\n\r\n\r\nChambers (Rosewood Vineyards)\r\nRutherglen, Victoria\r\nFounded in 1858\r\nMost famous wines: Rare Muscat, Rare Muscadelle\r\n\r\nPast: William Chambers, originally from Norfolk, England, established his winery in the small town of Rutherglen with his son, Phillip, in 1858. Today, Stephen Chambers, who represents the family\u2019s sixth generation, runs the show. His father, Bill, a well-respected figure in Australian wine, is still heavily involved in the business. Stephen crafts wines primarily in the style for which Rutherglen is famed: decadent and long-lived fortified wines. Some of these come from vines more than a century old and from a solera started by the family in the 1890s.\r\n\r\nPresent: A visit to Chambers is a rustic, understated affair, particularly considering the stature of its top wines. The winery has changed little in 160 years. The tasting room is housed inside what feels like a large corrugated-iron shed. Guests can taste more than 30 dry and fortified wines, some from rare grape varieties. Historic winemaking equipment and old barrels, some with fascinating stories attached, are found both above and below ground on the property. Outside, the gnarly old vines of the Rosewood vineyard whisper of the winery\u2019s rich past.