Canberra District Wine Region
Without sounding like I’m disparaging our fair Capital, one of the best ways to enjoy Canberra actually involves heading over the border to New South Wales to the Canberra District Wine Region, comprising over 170 vineyards. A 35 minute drive from the CBD means close proximity to over 30 of these delightful destinations, resulting in high density enjoyment.
The district’s cool climate results in some of Australia’s top Rieslings and Shirazes. After years of avoiding Rieslings, it only took a few sips to convert me at Helm Wines. As one of the region’s first commercial estates, this high profile destination offers an award winning range from a converted school house.
Other places of note include Four Winds Vineyard, Clonakilla Winery and Nick O’Leary Wines. Special mention also goes to Gallagher Wines, not just for the 2012 Riesling and 2008 Sparkling Shiraz, but also for the handmade cheeses by ‘Mrs Gallagher Wines’. The labneh in chilli oil is seriously moorish.
The beautiful thing about this region is the sense of discovery, especially during the cooler months when the countryside shimmers red and gold. It’s an easy, delicious and informative day out, with many of the winemakers themselves offering personal insight into their grapes and processes.
View: www.canberrawines.com.au; Visit: 35minutes drive from Canberra; Open: Some vineyards are shut Tuesdays & Wednesdays; Wallet: Bottles are reasonably priced and tend to start from $18.