Clonakilla, Murrumbateman, New South Wales © Destination NSW
Escape to Canberra’s best wineries
Plan an intimate wine adventure amongst the rolling hills and taste the terroir of one of Australia’s youngest and most innovative wine regions.
By Lana Bogunovich
With its sunny days, cool climate and rich soil, Canberra is a winemaker’s heaven, and with more than 40 wineries within 35 minutes of the city, it’s certainly a wine lover’s too. Fuelled by passion and innovation, established winemakers have been joined by new talent, both of which are making their mark on the national and international wine scene.
Where: 34 Isabel Dr, Murrumbateman
Proudly family-owned and operated, Shaw Wines is one of Canberra’s top producers. Their multi-award-winning wines include riesling, merlot, malbec, shiraz, semillon, and most notably cabernet sauvignon, all of which are estate grown. The tranquil estate is the perfect place to enjoy a tasting with a cheese platter by the fire or on the balcony overlooking the vines. Stay a bit longer and dine at the elegant Olleyville Restaurant. Or, for a truly memorable group experience, book the Shaw Experience which will fly you and five friends from Sydney to Canberra in a luxury private jet, before you take to the skies again with a scenic helicopter flight straight to Shaw Wines for a day of pure indulgence.
Mount Majura Vineyard (and Naked Cubby)
Where: 88, Lime Kiln Road, Majura
Mount Majura Vineyard is a single vineyard winery located on top of the Majura Valley, near the New South Wales border. It's the region’s leading producer of tempranillo, and is also celebrated for its popular riesling and shiraz, along with experimental varietals such as graciano and mondeuse. Take a self-guided nature trail tour through the vineyard to learn about its nature-based viticulture practices.
Brindabella Hills Winery
Where: 156 Woodgrove Cl, Wallaroo
Located on a ridge above the Murrumbidgee River, the vineyard at Brindabella Hills Winery is similar in climate to other premium wine growing areas of Australia and Europe. Lots of sunshine during the day and cool, fresh nights lead to intense berry flavours. Their award-winning wines include chardonnay, shiraz, riesling, sauvignon blanc-semillon and cabernets. The cellar door offers wine tastings only on weekends and public holidays, so keep this is mind when planning your visit.
Eden Road Wines
Where: 3182 Barton Hwy, Murrumbateman
Eden Road Wines grows and produces its wines across several different regions in the district, with the characteristics of the land reflected in each bottle. They are passionate about sustainability, and their Lake George and Murrumbateman vineyards are organically managed and certified. Visit the charming winery and estate in Murrumbateman from Wednesday to Sunday and choose from more than a dozen wines to taste. Pick out your favourite bottle and take it outside to the sprawling green lawn to enjoy with a delicious cheese platter and views over the vineyards and valleys beyond.
Lake George Winery
Where: Federal Hwy, Lake George
Located on the shores of Lake George, the family-owned and operated Lake George Winery was one of the first wineries in Canberra. Following sustainable practices such as hand-picking grapes, the award-winning wines are produced with minimal interference and are also vegan friendly. Taste them at the cellar door from Friday to Sunday, or take a tour with owner Sarah for a deeper understanding of how the magic happens. You’ll also find the acclaimed Westering restaurant onsite serving top-notch seasonal fare, and a charming eco-conscious little house named “Little George” offering pet-friendly accommodation.
The Vintner’s Daughter
Where: 5 Crisps Ln, Murrumbateman
Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Stephanie and Benjamin, The Vintner’s Daughter is a boutique winery producing minimal-intervention wines in small batches. Stephanie and Benjamin place quality over quantity and are passionately involved in the process every step of the way. They offer guided tastings which you can enjoy inside the cellar door or outside on the grassy lawn or verandah overlooking the vineyard. They don’t serve food so pack a picnic on your way and settle in for the afternoon.
Four Winds Vineyard
Where: 9 Patemans Ln, Murrumbateman
Four Winds Vineyard is open seven days a week for tastings and features live music on weekends. Order a pizza or grab a wooden board from the top of the deli fridge and build your own platter of cheeses, cured meats, quince pastes and other treats to enjoy on the expansive lawn. The family-owned vineyard was originally planted with shiraz, riesling, merlot, sangiovese, and cabernet, and has now expanded to include the nearby Kyeema Estate offering new varieties like tempranillo and viognier. For something different, try the riesling gin, co-created with The Canberra Distillery using a blend of riesling juice and botanicals.
Where: 7 Murray St, Collector
Collector Wines is known for producing elegant wines that reflect the beauty of the region. Owner Alex McKay is an award-winning winemaker committed to producing high quality drops, working with grapes from a number of vineyards around the region. In addition to riesling, chardonnay and shiraz, Collector Wines also has exciting new varieties such as sangiovese, fiano, pinot meunier and gruner veltliner. You can experience their exclusive wines at the cellar door Thursday to Monday inside the charming Old Collector Inn, located in the heart of the historic Collector township.
Where: 3 Crisps Ln, Murrumbateman
This family-owned vineyard was first planted in 1971 by John Kirk, who named it Clonakilla, meaning ‘meadow of the church’, after his grandfather’s farm in Ireland. Today, Clonakilla is known as one of the best vineyards in the country, with its multi-award-winning shiraz viognier touted as one of the world’s best. The elegant cellar door is as refined as the wines themselves, built from local stones and reclaimed timber. It features a cosy fireplace and a tasting bar made from barrels and is the perfect place to while away the afternoon with a great wine in hand.
Where: 19 Butts Rd, Murrumbateman
Established in 1973, Helm Wines is a highly renowned wine producer with a number of vineyards and wineries in the region. Owned by husband and wife Ken and Judy Helm, they specialise in riesling and cabernet sauvignon. The business is very much a family affair with daughter Stephanie (of The Vintner’s Daughter) working alongside her father as the winemaker. Partake in a wine tasting at the cellar door, which is housed inside the heritage-listed 1888 Toual Schoolhouse. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens, surrounded by picturesque countryside scenery.