There's nothing to hold against the fabulous Hunter Valley but when you’re looking for something a little more off-the-well-worn-track then these five locations are where you’ll find some of Australia’s finest tipples.
New South Wales has a diverse climate and terroir that stretches over 14 wine regions making up one of the oldest continuous wine regions in the country. The following five are our picks of the most convenient for day trips with a stunning mix of scenery to boot. It includes Hastings River, Southern Highlands, Mudgee, Shoalhaven Coast and Orange.
Hastings River is a 150-hectare of award-winning wineries including Sherwood Estate, Douglas Vale and Cassegrain. Take a tour along the winery trail, which treats you to tastings of chambourcin, chardonnay, Semillon and merlot among other regional favourites.
With its first vines planted in 1983, Southern Highlands wine region is a relative new comer but now has over 60 vineyards specialising in pinot noir and pinot gris suiting the cool-climate high altitude region. Tours at Centennial Vineyards, Eling Forest, Tertini Wines, Cuttaway Hill, Artemis, Southern Highland Wines and Diamond Creek Estate all host tastings of delicious local wine styles.
Beginning in the 1850s the Mudgee wine history is extensive with over 110 wine grape growers and 30 cellar doors. The area’s temperate weather allows for its grapes to slowly ripen resulting in its specialty in chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. Mudgee is also home to the month long Mudgee Food and Wine Festival in September, a great time to sample from all of the best cellar doors.
This wine region complete with rolling green countryside and ocean views was first started by Alexander Berry at Coolangatta Estate and has since grown to encompass 16 cellar doors. The region’s leading wineries include Cambewarra Estate, Cuppitt’s and Two Figs. The most distinctive drop of the area is chambourcin and prime time to visit is in June for the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival in celebration of the season’s harvest. Alternatively make a weekend out of this day trip and time your visit to coincide with the Shoalhaven Heads Seafood & Produce Fair as well as the Berry Produce Market held twice a month.
Much like the Southern Highlands, Orange is one of the cooler climate regions on this list renowned for its white wine varieties such as chardonnay and sauvignon blanc and riesling. More mature vines of the region also produce a soft shiraz, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Top wineries include Angullong, De Salis, Phillip Shaw and Ross Hill. Keep an eye out also for the two week long Orange Wine Festival in October highlighting the region’s premium wines through tastings, educational workshops and of course a party or two with local produce.