NEW South Wales is a wonderland for food and wine lovers, home to renowned wineries, stunning views and fresh premium produce. Jasmine Hanna explores some of the regions which are making a splash.
The Hunter Valley packs in world-famous wineries, acclaimed restaurants, delicious local produce, and is surrounded by magnificent natural beauty. There are over 150 wineries and cellar doors in the area, more than any other wine region in Australia, including Brokenwood, Audrey Wilkinson, Tyrrell’s Wines, McGuigan Wines, Scarborough Wine and Tulloch Wines. All offer tastings and experiences that range from tours of their wine-making processes to cooking classes with wine pairings.
Travellers can combine their love of wine with food, with a number of providers including Hunter Valley Private Tours, Two Fat Blokes and Wine Country Tours offering full and half day tours in private or small groups taking in wineries and local producers.
To get your fill for lunch or dinner, visit one of many local restaurants such as Yellow Billy Restaurant, Bistro Molines, Muse Kitchen or The Wood Restaurant, located onsite at Brokenwood.
Mudgee merges country life with urban cool and food and wine lovers flock to the destination for its 40 plus wineries. It is a place for gastronomic adventures, where historic buildings have been reinvented as boutique hotels, and big-city chefs sit at the helm of chic country pubs. Book in Lowe Wines’ cellar door to enjoy a bottle of premium small batch wine and an antipasto platter in the grounds of this beautiful winery or pop into Gilbert Family Wines for a delicious wine flight and small bites. Enjoy a taste of the country with Country Estate Tours who can showcase the region with a tour including food and wine experiences, horse riding or kayaking. There’s also share platters with local produce and vineyard views at Logan Wines, or for a touch of French style in the NSW country, settle in for the Sparkling Affair experience at De Beurepaire, with a flight of three Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines paired with delicious bites.
Orange combines stunning wine, landscapes and a fascinating history. The region’s rich volcanic soil from nearby Mount Canobolas and its high altitude make for a cool climate ideal for producing award-winning wines. Visit Rowlee Wines to experience this first-hand. The estate makes wines exclusively from its single vineyard and offers guests intimate tastings, wine and food pairings and picnics in the vines. See Saw Wines also offers travellers more than just a wine tasting, with tours, lunches and hot air balloon adventures with a Prosecco breakfast all on the cards. Other wineries to add to the list are Philip Shaw and Swinging Bridge to sip chardonnay and pinot noir.
For some gourmet highlights, don’t miss Tonic, located in the charming village of Millthorpe, for its fine dining using seasonal local produce. Or for dinner with a view, head to Sister’s Rock Restaurant at the top of Borrodell Vineyard, which serves produce grown on-site including cherries, black truffles and heritage apples. Once you’re full, head to the Agrestic Grocer and fill your suitcase with the region’s bounty to take home.
Charming towns and villages make up the Canberra District wine region, including Yass, Hall, Murrumbateman, Gundaroo and Gunning, as well as family-run cellar doors, restaurants and local producers. Tallagandra Hill is a must, with this small, family business dedicated to producing award-winning single vineyards wines including shiraz, tempranillo, vermintino and cabernet franc. Lake George Winery is the oldest in the district and visitors can enjoy their wines along with a rustic menu at onsite restaurant, The Westering. For a more modern feel, head to Shaw Wines and enjoy your tasting with a cheese plate and vineyard views.
For a feed that satisfies, head to Poachers Pantry, which is one of the finest smokehouses in Australia, located on a working farm, or satisfy a sweet tooth at Robyn Rowe Chocolates, where only the finest Belgian fairtrade couverture is used.
Shoalhaven boasts picture perfect beaches, relaxed villages, deliciously different food and fantastic wineries. For fans of great seafood, spend a lazy afternoon at Rick Stein at Bannisters, indulging in superb fresh local seafood in an airy and light-filled coastal venue. Bangalay Dining is also a must and draws upon Head Chef Brent Strong’s passion for native and local ingredients. For a food and wine experience, Cupitt’s Estate is a family-operated boutique winery, cellar door, restaurant, bar, microbrewery and fromagerie in a beautiful coastal countryside setting in between Ulladulla and Milton. The Shoalhaven region is also home to great wineries and cellar doors, such as Cambewarra Estate near Nowra which has a restaurant on site, along with its cellar door which is child and pet friendly and offers a high tea experience for travellers amongst the vines.
It would be remiss of you to not experience the coastal highlights of the region, so make sure to book a tour with Dolphin Watch Cruises or Jervis Bay Wild to spot dolphins, seals and whales.
NSW’s Southern Highlands is a rich tapestry of boutique wineries, heritage buildings, picture-perfect towns and green rolling hills. Peppergreen Estate in Berrima is a must-visit for foodies with the cellar door, tasting room and restaurant located in an iconic building once home to an antique store, and the estate offering tours of its vineyard and olive grove in Canyonleigh. For travellers looking to satisfy both wine and beer lovers, head to Tractorless Vineyard and Bowral Brewing Company where visitors can do a guided wine, beer and cider tasting, or try grape stomping. If you are looking for a menu that features primarily locally grown produce, don’t go past Eschalot Restaurant with its paddock to plate experience, or the Loch, a working farm, garden and guest house just minutes from Berrima which serves long lunches on Sundays.
Luckily, selling NSW is even easier now, with all the experiences featured ready to work with the trade. For full details of experiences, see Destination NSW’s Trade Toolkit, which includes on-demand trade training tools and resources including fact sheets about all these regions in its Wine Regions of NSW toolkit. Travel distributors based in Australia and overseas are invited to access this free resource via Destination NSW’s dedicated landing page for the trade. CLICK HERE to the trade toolkit.