Aussie Wine Weekender: Countryside Cellar Doors in Canberra District

SYDNEY, Jan. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Destination NSW:

Not far from the food and wine paradise of Sydney is Canberra District, a rustic wine region with sprawling vineyards, award-winning cellar doors, locavore restaurants and a flourishing community of growers, makers and artisans.

Clonakilla, Murrumbateman_Credit:Destination NSW
Clonakilla, Murrumbateman_Credit:Destination NSW

Hit the road and in less than three hours’ visitors will find themselves in charming heritage towns full of delicious bounty. This is the small but mighty Canberra District. From sipping elegant wines to tasting fresh produce to unique cultural outings, get ready for a journey that will satisfy all senses.

DRINK
Though the Canberra District is a younger wine region — the first vines were planted in 1971 — it’s grown up fast, now offering more than 140 vineyards and 30 cellar doors. Make the first stop in the acclaimed winery hub of Murrumbateman. Book a tasting at the relaxed countryside cellar door at Clonakilla, whose shiraz viognier has been awarded Wine of the Year multiple times by Australia’s leading wine critics. Nearby at Helm Wines, order a wine and cheese plate with their acclaimed tasting experience, or visit the chic cellar door at Shaw Wines and sip their zesty signature riesling beside sweeping views of the hills. At Four Winds Vineyard, relax on sprawling lawns with wood-fired pizza and live music, and try the riesling gin, a happy transformation of the smoke-tainted grapes from the bushfires. In the preserved colonial village of Gundaroo, Gundog Estate Cork Street cellar door brings guests into its heritage former stables with a personalised tasting experience complemented with cheese and charcuterie.

EAT
The towns and villages in Canberra district are perfect for food lovers, featuring artisan producers, providores, cellar door restaurants and growers markets hawking local specialties like apples, nashi pears, olives, truffles and exotic mushrooms. Taste what’s in season at Smokehouse Restaurant at family-run Poachers Pantry. Here, meats are cured and smoked in-house, organic produce is grown in the kitchen garden and wines are made in the surrounding vineyards. Olleyville, at Shaw Wines, boasts a refined gastronomic experience with a four-course set menu; Westering at Lake George Winery offers decadent charcuterie boards to share in their rustic space next to the vines; and Grazing uses premium produce like saltwater barramundi and Black Angus beef served up in an 1830s former travellers’ inn. Spend a romantic night in Yazzbar, a cosy country wine bar showcasing the region’s finest food, wine and entertainment. And pick up road-trip snacks in-between wines at Clementine Bakery, where the sourdoughs, croissants and pastries often sell out.

PLAY
Foodies will love shopping in the Canberra District for gourmet souvenirs: buy bottles of mead, jars of honey, and hand-crafted beeswax candles at Win’s Creek Meadery; learn how to make Belgian chocolates at Robyn Rowe Chocolates; or buy fresh produce at the Murrumbateman Village Market. Get inspired at Suki & Hughes Gallery, showcasing modern Australian art with a focus on glass, ceramics, paintings and paper works. Or find a treasure to bring home at Village Antiques in the historic town of Bungendore. Adventure seekers can saddle up for a horseback ride through the Australian countryside with Burnelee Excursions on Horseback; or head to the pastoral town of Yass to try water sports at Burrinjuck Dam and explore Careys Cave, a spectacular limestone landscape with beautiful rock formations.

STAY
Rest your head in the heart of Canberra District wine country at Abode Murrumbateman, a stylish apartment hotel with generously equipped rooms, a modern guest lounge and free bicycle use. Or go for a more immersive experience and settle in at the Tallagandra Hill Cottages, nestled in the scenic grounds of a boutique family-owned winery in Gunderoo.

For more information, check out sydney.com

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