Don’t feel like exploring Canberra’s wine region this long weekend?
The perfect weekend getaway that won’t take you too far from home, choose from over 40 wineries and prepare to relax with a Reisling in hand.
Broaden your winery’s horizons with a visit to one (or two or three) of our 140 wineries and locate your new favorite licorice as you make your way through the cool climate district that spans the towns of Murrumbateman, Gundaroo, Yass, Wallaroo and Bungendore. Just sit back and enjoy, it is sure to be a wine-rich day!
Take your first sip in Murrumbateman
Feel invigorated by the fresh air and fantastic views as you drive windows down around the picturesque wineries of Murrumbateman, which lies in the heart of the Canberra district. Discover an exciting mix of traditional styles and new blends, including an elegant Rhone-style Shiraz, crispy Riesling, tempranillo, sangiovese and more.
We recommend starting your wine adventure in Canberra District where it all started: Clonakilla, where the first grapes from the region were planted by Dr. John Kirk in 1971. Learn the secrets behind his excellent shiraz viognier at the friendly cellar door. Then instruct your taste buds to determine how the wines translate into chocolate at Robyn Rowe Chocolates, with a tasty handcrafted bite infused with Clonakilla muscat mousse.
Connect with another early pioneer of the Canberra district at Helm Wines, where the cellar door occupies a legendary 1888-listed Toual schoolhouse, before entering the future at Shaw Wines. Settle in for a tasting in the tasting room, enjoy vineyard views from the lounge, or succumb to the temptation to linger at the on-site art gallery and exceptional restaurant, Olleyville.
When it’s time to move on, take your cues from the Four Winds Vineyard regulars and order a wood-fired potato and gorgonzola pizza to munch on as you make your way through a flight of four wines – choose from white, red or a mixed selection . You can also choose from wines by the glass, along with craft beers (with and without alcohol) from the surrounding region.
Make way for more gourmet food and wine at Poachers Pantry, located on a working farm 20 minutes’ drive from Murrumbateman. Take an invigorating walk through the vineyards before visiting the cellar door, farm shop or Smokehouse Restaurant, or opt for a picnic basket filled with smoked meats, wine and other delicacies to enjoy outside at your leisure. Then surrender to the romance as you retreat to the pet-friendly Abode Murrumbateman for the evening, tucked away against a backdrop of vineyards and rolling hills.
Graduated from Gundaroo and Lake George Wineries
Prepare your taste buds for your next destination on the short drive to the beautifully preserved heritage village of Gundaroo. At the small family-owned Tallagandra Hill, you can do a quick wine tasting of the award-winning single-vineyard wines ranging from sparkling viognier to shiraz; Sit down for a cheese and charcuterie platter, or combine your passion for with a love of live music. And with three charming cottages on the property, there’s no need to flip a coin for the designated driver.
Just off the Federal Highway, you will find yourself completely immersed in the vineyards of Lake George Winery, where the cellar door nestles in the center of the 150-acre property. Be mesmerized by the story of the family business on a Vine to Wine tour hosted by award-winning owner/operator Sarah McDougall, who will lead you on a fascinating journey through the vineyard and winery culminating in an intimate wine tasting. Here you can also book a tasting at the cellar door, or feast on homegrown ingredients from the vineyard gardens at the Westering restaurant, where you can be amazed by wines carefully selected to match every dish, from appetizer to dessert. Toast to the day by the fire in one of three eco-friendly little houses dotted around the property.
Wine in Yass
In the morning, make a pilgrimage to the peaceful town of Yass to stock up on artisan pastries from Clementine Bakery (hello burnt honey tarts) for another day of wine tasting. Feel like a VIP at centrally located Crowe Wines, where this winery founded in 2018 offers tastings by appointment. Specializing in small-batch wines, including riesling, shiraz and grüner veltliner (a dry white rarely grown outside of Austria), the vintages are so popular that you’ll need to act fast before they sell out.
Set your watch on wine time in Wallaroo
Get ready to discover more cool-climate gems in the beautiful area of Wallaroo on the southwestern edge of the Canberra District. Sip award-winning sangiovese in Brindabella Hills before heading to Pankhurst Wines to discover how the terroir lends itself to producing some of the lip-smacking marsanne and arneis outside of Europe.
Embrace the sisterhood on Surveyors Hill, where women run the show at this rustic winery named after the picturesque hill overlooked by the cellar door and bistro. Stop by for a tasting or stay for lunch, knowing your meal is made with the freshest seasonal ingredients that dictate the weekly changing menu. Make a night of it and sleep in the onsite cabin, which can be booked as a two or three bedroom space or enjoy a luxurious stay at Wallaroo Estate, just a few minutes away. The winery is not open to the public, but you can look out over the vineyards while staying in the Georgian-style residence, which can accommodate 10 guests.
Mix it in Bungendore
Take an unexpected detour to Bungendore to enjoy 12 hours of Texas-style smoked brisket while sipping wine at Norton Road Wines. Or skip the Biggies BBQ restaurant and head straight to the cellar door to sample the love that goes into the wines, which are not only hand-picked but also hand-pressed through a traditional basket press.
Finish the weekend by relaxing in the jasmine-scented courtyard of the nearby Lark Hill winery and soak up the country atmosphere while treating yourself to a curated flight of wines. The newly renovated Lark Hill’s spills out into the vineyard restaurant tempts you to linger longer. We recommend that you stop and smell the rosé.
Photography: Destination NSW