Did you know, there are 30 wineries within a 35 minute drive of Canberra CBD? Here’s our run-down of 6 of the best winery tours in the area, giving you the opportunity to try some of the Aussie capital’s Riesling, Viognier and Tempranillo varieties.
Established in 1973, Helm Wines is one of the oldest commercial wineries in the Canberra District Wine Region. When visiting Helm Wines be sure to try their Riesling, which has been a passion of Ken Helms for over 30 years and was the first type of wine they ever produced. Their experience and knowledge of the Riesling grape has continued to net them awards for the past three decades and shows through in the depth of flavour in their wines.
At 860m elevation, Lark Hill winery is one of the highest plantings in the Canberra District Wine Region. With the majority of water available in the area being quite saline, they have adopted a ‘Biodynamic Farming’ technique that allows them to use natural alternatives to reduce the amount of chemicals used in the farming process and to make the most of the moisture in the soil to keep irrigation to a minimum. Their Gruner Veltliner wine was the first in Australia and is perfectly suited to their location – just be sure to rug up if you’re going to pay them a visit as their high elevation makes them a cold winery.
While Lerida Estate produce a variety of both red and white “easy drinking” wines, it’s their award-winning pinot noir that draws people to their vineyard. Using low-yield vines, wild yeast and minimal intervention, they’re able to combine quality Australian fruit with French-style elegance and complexity for a premium pinot noir. With an onsite café that creates delicious meals for every taste using locally sourced produce and exceptional views of the nearby mountains and Lake George, Lerida Estate has so much to offer their visitors.
While Eden Road might be considered the youngsters of the Canberra District Wine Region they’re by no means trailing behind those that came before, instead carving out a unique position in the industry that has netted them a surprising amount of awards in the past decade. Their wines are a contemporary take on traditional techniques that make the most of the natural environment where the grapes are grown to create authentic wines. Since their very first vintage won the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, The Long Road Shiraz has quickly become one of the most sought-after shiraz wines in the region.
Mount Maruja Vineyard
Those heading up the Majura Parkway with the hopes of visiting the ski slopes should be sure to make a stop at the Mount Maruja Vineyard to try their signature Tempranillo. Mount Maruja’s Tempranillo is made from the great red variety from Spain, a grape that has a reputation for thriving in areas with large differences in the temperature from day to night and season to season. Their Tempranillo is deliberately made in a style suited to ageing, which brings the wine collectors to their cellar door in droves.
Located near the village of Murrumbateman, 40km north of Canberra, Clonakilla is a vineyard whose story and successes have spanned generations. Their Shiraz Viognier is their flagship wine and has attracted legions of raving fans since their first vintage was made in 1998, with James Halliday describing it as, “one of the best in Australia”. If that’s not enough to get you in your car to visit their cellar door for a tasting then their wide variety of wines offered and stacks of awards will definitely draw you in.
Now that you’ve got an idea of the best cellar doors to visit to sample your favourite drop while visiting Canberra, all you need now is to book the perfect accommodation.