Hunter Valley and Mudgee are often credited with stealing the spotlight in NSW for their neat rows of grapevines. They are also home to some of Australia’s best-known vineyards and cellars. If you venture outside these regions, you will find the elegant Chardonnay, pinot noir, and sparkling varietals of the cool climate regions in the state, such as Orange, the Southern Highlands and Hilltops, or the Canberra District.


Although the Orange Region is only 250km west of Sydney, you will feel as if you have been transported into another world.

The rolling hills and beautiful vineyards of this postcard-perfect region produce a diverse portfolio of wines. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay are the stars, but if you visit any cellar doors, you’ll likely find Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, among other outstanding wines.

Swinging Bridge is surrounded by vineyards that dot the mineral-rich contours of Mt Canobolas. The estate’s chardonnay and pinot noir are exceptional. Enjoy them with a cheese plate on a picnic blanket in the sunshine, ideally. At Hoosegg in the same region, vintner Philip Shaw makes wines such as Magic Monkey Shiraz and Sorry for the Slow Reply Rose. Shaw acquired the estate to “retire” and handed over the reins of the original Philip Shaw Wines he founded in the 1960s to his two sons, Damien and Daniel. You can taste Daniel’s highly acclaimed wines in a beautiful historic barn on the property. Book in for vintage dinners or harvest masterclasses featuring the work of top chefs from the state.

Who could blame you if you can’t leave before the night falls? Check into one of the Borrodell suites or cottages. The rural area offers many reasons to stay, including the black Perigord Truffles produced by the oak forest and the variety of drinks, which includes cherry port and heritage apple cider, as well as the usual varietals. Sisters Rock Restaurant is another attraction in Borrodell. It overlooks the Pinot Noir vineyards and offers set-course meals with Asian undertones.

Tumbarumba & Hilltops

Tumbarumba is located on the western edge of the Snowy Mountains. Its peaks attract winter sports enthusiasts during the cooler months and wine lovers year-round.

Rich granite soils nourish the vines in the region, and the undulations created by chardonnays, pinot noirs, pinot grass, and rieslings are a stunning sight.

Courabyra Wines offers a wide range of sparkling and Chardonnay wines. You can enjoy their bright and fresh interpretations. You can enjoy a plowman’s platter with a glass or two of bubbly on the balcony. Or, you can dine in the restaurant and enjoy slow-cooked pork and pot pies. You can choose a bottle from the cellar and then retire to Glenburnie Cottage at Johansen Wines, which has a wood-burning fireplace and enough space for six people.

The Hilltops area is about two hours north of Toronto. It’s known for its cherries, but the grapes are also thriving here, resulting in cool climate wines that you’ll never forget. Freeman Vineyards offers a range of Italian-inspired wines, including creamy prosecco and rich, fruity Nebbiolo.

You can easily reach Grove Estate Wines from there. The intimate atmosphere of the cellar door is contrasted by the bold flavors in your glass. Enjoy a tasting flight with a gourmet plate, and then pick up your favorite bottles, along with local products like honey, jam, and cheese.


Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands, located 90 minutes south-west of Sydney, is known for its beautiful seasonal gardens, charming historical towns, and delicious cool climate grapes.

The closest wine region is located in Australia’s biggest city. It offers memorable experiences that will satisfy almost any thirst. Centennial Vineyards is a large estate that specializes in sparkling vintages. Eight are available for you to sample. Choose a favorite and order a bottle of it at the restaurant over high tea.

Tractorless Vineyard is also in the area, and it uses biodynamic principles to craft its specialty chardonnay, pinot gris, and riesling varietals. The Mill in Bowral has a new Tractorless Tasting Room that stocks Bowral Brewing Company ales. This allows you to enjoy a guided wine, beer, or cider flight.

Set your GPS to Berrima, the most preserved Georgian village in Australia, and discover PepperGreen Estate. Its cellar door and restaurant are located inside a beautiful former antiques shop. Wine & Canapes is a unique experience that showcases the Southern Highlands’ range of grapes. Your drinks are paired with delicious bites. The grand Georgian homestead at Bendooley Estate, which is also on the outskirts of Berrima, and its stables are surrounded by vines and manicured gardens. The cottages have stunning lake views. Wander between the cellar, the farm-to-table restaurant, and the Berkelouw book barn, which is crammed with rare and glossy books.

Artemis offers chardonnay, sparkling, and pinot gris, but its real strength is in pinot noir. The estate also produces gin and spirits, including rum and gin. When the weather is warm, a pizza and mezze plate on the lawn overlooking the Mittagong landscape may be the best alternative to a winter tasting.


Canberra District

Although the Canberra District is named after Australia’s capital city, the majority of grapes are grown here in NSW.

The towns around the ACT – think Murrumbateman or Yass – are just three hours from Sydney and the gateway to over 20 boutique vineyards. Helm Wines is one of them. Ken Helm, whose National Trust cellar door is listed on the website, has been producing outstanding rieslings and cabernets since 1973. He welcomes visitors with an abundance of knowledge. He has passed on his talent for winemaking to daughter Stephanie, who opened her winery, The Vintner’s Daughter, and now takes home awards for her minimal-intervention, terroir-focused wines, including riesling, syrah, pinot noir, and shiraz viognier.

Clonakilla is a family-owned winery where generations of winemaking tradition have been passed on. The brand’s unique collection of handcrafted wines can only be compared to the pastoral beauty of the surrounding area. Kirks is known for its small-batch shiraz, viognier, and Pinot noir varietals. They showcase their wines in a light-filled cellar door made from local stone. The Lark Hill Winery is also nearby and offers the opportunity to enjoy a delicious glass of wine by an open fire. The vineyards surrounding the estate are a haven for Chardonnay and Riesling grapes. These grapes are beautifully expressed in bottles such as the sparkling brut, which is creamy, rich, and refreshing. After a cellar-door tasting, head to the restaurant and pair a Pinot Noir with slow-roasted Duck or pumpkin ravioli.

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