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New England's High Country

Petersons Armidale Winery and GuesthouseCREDIT: Destination NSW

Explore one of New South Wales’s lesser known wine regions.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

New England's
High Country

Petersons Armidale Winery and Guesthouse CREDIT: Destination NSW

Explore one of New South Wales’s lesser known wine regions.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

If you love great food and wine, you may have ticked off trips to some of New South Wales’s better known wine regions, such as the Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Orange or the Southern Highlands — all of which have earned excellent reputations as epicurean hubs. If you’re thinking about where to go next, look a little further afield to the lesser known New England wine region.  

Stretching from Tenterfield south to the Armidale area and out west to Inverell, the New England High Country has been winning international prizes for its wines since the 1870s. This cool-climate region produces an array of elegant wine styles, and innovative winemakers continue to experiment with styles that thrive in the cooler temperatures in a variety of soils.  

Some of Australia’s finest fresh produce is grown here, and it’s showcased on menus throughout the region. Here’s where to wine and dine your way around the New England High Country.  

Sip tannat in Tenterfield  

Soak up the superb countryside views on a self-guided tour of Tenterfield’s wineries, starting at Zappa Wines. This is a family operation that grows nine varietals on its mixed farming property in the Dumaresq Valley just under an hour west of town. At its cellar door, you can taste less common wines, including barbera and tannat, along with chardonnay, shiraz and more. Nearby Reedy Creek Estate also has a cellar door where you can taste your way through its whites, reds and digestifs, or simply grab a bottle of the prosecco to enjoy later. 

Back in Tenterfield, you can sample more wines (and craft beers) from the New England region and beyond at Our Place Wine and Espresso Bar, which is open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and Friday night dinners. A recently renovated 1940s pub with eight heritage-style rooms upstairs and classic pub fare downstairs, The Commercial Boutique Hotel is a great place to stay.

Pick strawberries in Glen Innes 

Between Tenterfield and the historic town of Glen Innes, make a detour off the New England Highway to visit 2 Wild Souls in Torrington, which makes sparkling honey mead, using a traditional natural fermentation process that helps retain the qualities of the honey blossom. In Glen Innes, kids will love visiting The Super Strawberry strawberry farm for old-fashioned milkshakes and scones with jam and cream — don’t forget to take a jar of jam home with you. An hour’s drive west, learn how olive oil is made and taste locally made spice blends at Olives of Beaulieu, near Inverell. 

Commercial Boutique Hotel, Tenterfield CREDIT: Destination NSW

Men enjoying hot beverages at the Commercial Boutique Hotel in Tenterfield.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Commercial Boutique Hotel, Tenterfield CREDIT: Destination NSW

Men enjoying hot beverages at the Commercial Boutique Hotel in Tenterfield.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The Super Strawberry, Glen Innes CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Super Strawberry farm in Glen Innes.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The Super Strawberry, Glen Innes CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Super Strawberry farm in Glen Innes.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Get hoppy in Armidale 

If you’re headed from Glen Innes to Armidale, don’t miss Deano’s Springwater Smoked Trout, just off the New England Highway at Black Mountain. Here you can try your hand at fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon in the recreational dam, with rod and lure hire available. You can also pick up some of their award-winning smoked trout dip here, or at the Armidale Farmers’ Market, typically held on the second Sunday of every month.  

In Armidale, the refurbished Art Deco Tattersalls Hotel isn’t just a smart place to stay. Following stints at The Savoy in London and the Shangri-La in Doha, French chef Jean-Luc Morcellet now heads up Tattersalls’s kitchen.  

Less than 10 minutes’ drive south of the city, you’ll find established winery Petersons Armidale Winery. At its cellar door, which operates out of the original homestead stables, you can taste semillon, sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot noir, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Enjoy lunch on the lawn on weekends, and stay a night in the traditionally furnished guesthouse.  

If you’re thirsting for craft beer, Great Hops Brewing Co. and The Welder's Dog have you covered. Or if a good cup of tea is more your thing, head to Daily Ritual, where the collection of 200 leaf teas includes the New England Breakfast, which won bronze at the 2017 International Tea Expo. 

Venture further afield for vodka 

A 45-minute drive west of Armidale, Merilba Estate produces a range of white, red and sparkling wines; try the range in the 150-year-old building that houses the cellar door and follow it with lunch (book ahead). Head 30 minutes south of Armidale, and you’ll find Eastview Estate, a unique distillery, brewery and restaurant, producing award-winning gin, vodka, beer and whisky. And its speakeasy-style bar is the perfect place to sample the offerings.  

Tattersalls Hotel, Armidale CREDIT: Destination NSW

The historical facade of the Tattersalls Hotel in Armidale.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Tattersalls Hotel, Armidale CREDIT: Destination NSW

The historical facade of the Tattersalls Hotel in Armidale.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Merilba Estate Wines, Uralla CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sunset at Merilba Estate Wines, Uralla.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Merilba Estate Wines, Uralla CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sunset at Merilba Estate Wines, Uralla.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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