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Taste terroir in the Canberra District

Clonakilla, MurrumbatemanCREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking Clonakilla vineyard, Murrumbateman.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Taste terroir in the
Canberra District

Clonakilla, Murrumbateman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking Clonakilla vineyard, Murrumbateman.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Hashtags #feelnew #feelnsw

Expand your winery horizons on a vineyard-focused adventure to the Canberra District, a three-hour drive southwest of Sydney. With vines first planted in the 1970s, the region is relatively young but is now home to more than 140 vineyards and over 40 wineries to choose from, so pinpoint your new favourite drop while sampling your way around this cool-climate district stretching across the towns of Murrumbateman, Gundaroo, Yass, Wallaroo and Bungendore.

Take your first sip in Murrumbateman

Feel enlivened by the fresh air and fabulous views as you cycle — or drive with the windows down — around the picturesque wineries of Murrumbateman, which sits at the heart of the Canberra District. Uncover an exciting mix of traditional styles and new blends, with specialties including an elegant Rhône-style shiraz, shiraz viognier blends and crisp riesling. Other successful styles include chardonnay, pinot noir, tempranillo, sangiovese and more.

Begin your Canberra District wine adventure where it all started at Clonakilla, where the region’s first grapes were planted by Dr John Kirk in 1971. Learn the secrets behind its outstanding shiraz viognier at its friendly cellar door. Then task your taste buds with determining how its wines translate into chocolate at Robyn Rowe Chocolates, which features a tasty hand-crafted morsel infused with Clonakilla muscat mousse.

Connect with another early pioneer of the Canberra District at Helm Wines, where the cellar door occupies a storied 1888 heritage-listed Toual schoolhouse. Feel time slip away as you’re regaled by winemaker and expert storyteller Ken Helm’s tales of the region while sipping his excellent riesling.

Step into the future at Shaw Wines, admiring the striking architectural lines of the modern winery as you cruise up Isabel Drive. Take a seat for a sampling in the tasting room, soak up vineyard views from the lounge, or succumb to the temptation to linger in the art gallery and the exceptional onsite restaurant, Olleyville.

When it’s time to move on, take your cues from the regulars at Four Winds Vineyard and order a wood-fired potato and gorgonzola pizza to nibble while you work your way through a four-wine flight — choose from whites, reds or a mixed selection. You can also take your pick of wines by the glass, along with craft brews (with and without alcohol) from the surrounding region.

Make room for more gourmet food and wine at Poachers Pantry, located on a working farm 20 minutes’ drive from Murrumbateman. Take an invigorating walk through the vineyards before visiting its cellar door, farm shop or Smokehouse Restaurant, or opt for a picnic hamper filled with smoked meats, wine and other treats to enjoy at your leisure outdoors. Surrender to the romance as you retreat for the evening to the pet-friendly Abode Murrumbateman and tuck in against a backdrop of vineyards and rolling hills.

Clonakilla, Murrumbateman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a wine tasting experience at Clonakilla Wines, Murrumbateman.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Clonakilla, Murrumbateman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a wine tasting experience at Clonakilla Wines, Murrumbateman.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Robyn Rowe Chocolates, Murrumbateman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Boutique handmade chocolates available for purchase at Robyn Rowe Chocolates, Murrumbateman.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Robyn Rowe Chocolates, Murrumbateman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Boutique handmade chocolates available for purchase at Robyn Rowe Chocolates, Murrumbateman.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Graduate to the wineries of Gundaroo and Lake George

Prep your palate for your next destination on the short drive to the beautifully preserved heritage village of Gundaroo. At small, family-owned Tallagandra Hill, you can pop in for a quick wine tasting of its award-winning single-vineyard wines spanning sparkling viognier to shiraz; settle in for a cheese and charcuterie platter, or pair your passion for with a love of live music, with past shows featuring the likes of celebrated Australian artists Mahalia Barnes, Cate Ceberano and Josh Cunningham. And with three charming cottages on the property, there’s no need to toss a coin for designated driver.

Find yourself fully immersed in the vineyards at Lake George Winery, just off the Federal Highway opposite its namesake lake, where the cellar door nestles in the middle of the 150-hectare property. Be captivated by the family-owned winery’s story on a Vine to Wine tour hosted by award-winning owner/operator Sarah McDougall, who will lead you on a fascinating journey through the vineyard and winery that culminates in an intimate wine-tasting experience. Here you can also book a tasting at the cellar door, or feast on homegrown ingredients from the winery gardens at the onsite Westering restaurant, where you can be wowed by wines thoughtfully selected to pair with every dish from entrée through to dessert. Toast to the day sitting fireside under a canopy of twinkling stars at one of three eco-friendly tiny houses dotted across the property.

Get personal in Yass

Make like a Canberra District local on a morning pilgrimage to the peaceful town of Yass to stock up on artisan pastry treats from Clementine Bakery before another day of wine tasting. Feel like a VIP at centrally located Crowe Wines, where this winery founded in 2018 offers tastings by appointment. Specialising in small-batch wines including riesling, shiraz and grüner veltliner, a dry white rarely grown outside Austria, its vintages are in such hot demand you’ll need to be quick before they sell out.

Set your watch to wine time in Wallaroo

Prepare to uncover more cool-climate gems in the stunning surrounds of Wallaroo on the Canberra District’s southwestern fringe. Sip award-winning sangiovese at Brindabella Hills before heading to Pankhurst Wines to learn how the terroir lends itself to producing some of the most lip-smacking marsanne and arneis outside of Europe.

Embrace the sisterhood at Surveyors Hill, where women run the show at this rustic winery named for the picturesque hill overlooked by its cellar door and bistro. Pop in for a tasting or stay for lunch, knowing your meal was crafted with the freshest seasonal ingredients that dictate the weekly-changing menu. Make a night of it and bed down in the onsite cabin, which can be booked as a two- or three-bedroom space. Or splash out on a luxury stay at Wallaroo Estate, just a few minutes up the road. The winery isn’t open to the public, but you can gaze out over the vineyards while staying at its Georgian-style homestead, which can sleep 10 guests.

Mix it up in Bungendore

Take an unexpected detour to the Deep South, via Bungendore, to chow down on Texas-style 12-hour smoked brisket while enjoying a wine at Norton Road Wines. Or bypass its Biggies BBQ restaurant and head straight to the cellar door to taste the love that goes into its wines, which are not only hand-picked but also hand-pressed through a traditional basket press.

Finish the weekend by relaxing in the jasmine-perfumed courtyard of nearby Lark Hill winery and soak up the country ambience as you treat yourself to a curated flight of vintages. Spilling out into the vineyard, Lark Hill’s freshly refurbished restaurant tempts you to linger longer.

Lake George Winery, Lake George CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sarah McDougall, Owner and operator of Lake George Winery in the vineyard with her family.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Lake George Winery, Lake George CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sarah McDougall, Owner and operator of Lake George Winery in the vineyard with her family.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Sunset, Yass River CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sun sets over the Yass River and the old railway bridge.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Sunset, Yass River CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sun sets over the Yass River and the old railway bridge.

#feelnew #feelnsw

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