There is something magical about a winery. Plump bunches of juicy grapes growing abundantly in sprawling vineyards magically materialise into a delicious liquid form. Most winery escapades require a lengthy drive to a remote place.
Canberra is already ideally located in close proximity to an abundance of wineries in Murrumbateman and Lake George, you may find yourself thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be more convenient to have a winery in the backyard?’ Mount Majura Vineyard comes pretty close to that realisation.
Vines sprawl across the hills of Mount Majura in orderly rows, beckoning you to turn off the Mount Majura parkway only 15 minutes from the city to find yourself at the cellar door and production house of Mount Majura Vineyard. It may have a relatively short history with the first vines planted in 1988, but they have not taken long to leave a welcome stain on the wine industry as producers of superb rieslings and alternate varieties.
The deep and warming aroma of fermenting grapes as you walk in the cellar door at harvest time is reason enough for a visit. The building is a large industrial-looking tin and stone shed, mostly filled with production materials like innumerable stainless steel vats, oak barrels and machines to de-stem grapes, with a corner of it taken up by the humble cellar door.
Then there’s the tasting. Take a seat at a table inside the light-filled room, or outside on the terrace under creeping vines and start tasting what you’ve seen growing. The cellar door staff can walk you through a tasting or leave you to taste yourself, or just go straight for a glass of your pick.
The Fergusson Winery and Restaurant lies among rising hills at the northern end of the Yarra Valley. The estate has been in the same family for more than 30 years and Louise Fergusson has kept to the tradition of wining and dining in her own welcoming style.
Using the finest and freshest produce the Yarra Valley has to offer, internationally trained master chef Louise Fergusson has created a diverse, provincial menu. Enjoy sensational cuisine with some of the valley’s most exceptional wines. The solid timber restaurant, with its warm, Australian atmosphere, can seat up to 180 guests.
The rows of gnarled vines that are a feature of the estate are some of the districts oldest. The vineyard is planted out to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting and cellar door sales of these outstanding wines are available.
The storybook chapel is tucked away among grapevines in relaxed, rural setting. Combine gourmet delights with premium wines to celebrate, and these elements make Fergusson a stunning setting for a wedding and reception. Fergusson specialise in making a wedding day perfect.
Located in the heart of the beautiful Swan Valley, Lancaster Wines makes a great addition to anyone venturing into this luscious area on a wine tasting trip. Its tasting shed is set in the middle of the vines, making this stop on your trip around the Swan Valley also worthy of a shot on your camera too.
Lancaster has some of the oldest vines in the Swan Valley, and produces a great range of beautiful wines. The best bit is you are able to try the whole range of wines for free, so that you can discover your favourites before you buy. Whilst you’re drinking your wine, you are also able to try some delicious samples of cheese too.
You are invited to try the range of wines and cheeses in the Tasting Shed, and enjoy the casual relaxed setting to enjoy your samples. When we visited, we were talked through the selections of white, red and dessert wines by an extremely knowledgeable staff member. You’re free to ask questions about the wines and if you don’t like a particular sample, you can just put your unwanted wines into the bucket.
We tried a number of wines on our visit including Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Sparkling White Chardonnay, Rose and a Shiraz. My own palate does not enjoy dessert wines, but Kim enjoyed tasting the Sticky Shiraz and the Late Picked Chenin. Too sweet for me, but hearterly enjoyed by the Kim and others in our group. My personal favourite was either the Verdelho or the Sparkling white.
Who doesn’t love a bit of cheese, olives, and tasty relishes with crackers with their wine? Most wine tours in Queensland stop at three of the best Stanthorpe attractions: Granite Belt Brewery, Brass Monkey Brewery and Jamworks of Glen. We’ve been to quite a few in the Scenic Rim and South East Queensland, but we loved the Fraser Coast Vintners Sceret, Childers.
Childers are home to four wineries – Hill Of Promise Winery, Vintners Secret Vineyard, Cellar Door and Cafe, Ohana Winery and Exotic Fruits and Brierley Wines.
Located in the heart of the charming historic town of Childers, Queensland is Vintner’s Secret Vineyard! Actually, it’s more than just a vineyard. It’s a café, cellar door and farm, too!
Drive past the lush rolling hills of fertile red dirt and cross the mighty Bruce Highway for a short scenic drive to Vintner’s Secret Vineyard.
There are several grape varieties including Marsanne, Verdelho, Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot that are produced to make dry and sweet reds, whites, reserves, blends, sparkling and fortified styles of wine at Vintner’s Secret Vineyard.
The farm has spacious gardens with sculptures, water features, rose beds and shaded seating. There is also a viewing deck that takes in sweeping views of serene pastures and rolling hills. You can interact with a variety of friendly domestic animals that are great if you bring your children along!
New South Wales
Murrumbateman’s premium cool climate family owned wineries. Shaw Vineyard Estate is located only 30 minutes north of Canberra where the picturesque setting offers a relaxing escape amongst the vineyards.
The stunning cellar door facility allows you to try their range of cool climate wines and houses an exquisite ceramics sales gallery of handmade and painted Italian ceramics exclusively sourced from Italy.
The property is an impressionist masterpiece in the Springtime, with soft light, roses out in bloom and alpacas quietly grazing over the fence. There are also a few historical houses you can see tucked away as you drive in, which is part of the historical background of this unique location. The Shaw family bought this 19th century property in 1998 and at the time, it was a 700 acre sheep property producing fine wool in the region. Today this cool climate winery, sitting at an elevation of 640 metres, produces Riesling, Semillon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon on 85 acres on the property. You can taste a range of these wines at the Cellar Door and buy some to take home.
Everyone who visits this winery can’t help but appreciate its charming rural location and Springtime floral displays – where the only sounds you can hear are the bees buzzing over the blooms.