Keen to see what the Southern Tablelands have to offer for lovers of food and wine? While you may not be familiar with cool climate wines just yet, we promise that by the end of this road trip through our local wineries, you’ll have found your new favourite.
Leaving from Queanbeyan, head on to Yass Road, then turning right onto Sutton Road before taking a right turn onto Norton Road for the wineries of Wamboin and Bywong. Here, you’ll find three local wineries, Norton Road Wines, Contentious Character and Lark Hill Winery, all of which also boast fantastic restaurants on-site, ranging from American BBQ to Modern Australian and a flare of Swiss cuisine.
Norton Road Wines
First up is Norton Road Wines. The small batch cool climate winery is a family owned venture specialising in growing and making small batch cool climate wines that reflect the terroir of the region. Their vineyard is a small four acre parcel of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Riesling, but they also showcase cool climate wines from across the local Canberra District wine region and have a selection of beers, ciders and spirits on offer for those looking for something different. On the weekends, you can also indulge in their feasts of American BBQ at their restaurant, Biggies BBQ.
Next, you will arrive at Contentious Character Winery. This contemporary vineyard estate is complete with a winery, cellar door, kitchen and event facilities as well as outdoor dining options for those looking for a shady spot under one of their gazebos, or some fun in the sun at one of their picnic spots. Experience the taste of exceptionally matured old world style vintages from their Founders Museum Collection, or opt for the fresh new world twist of the Contentious Character vintages. The winery also hosts a wide range of exciting events, so keep an eye out for special evenings of Cabaret, Flavours of Asia and much, much more.
Lark Hill Winery
Continuing down Norton Road and onto Bungendore Road, you’ll then find Lark Hill Winery. The biodynamic winery seeks to replace conventional methods of winemaking with natural alternatives. This means that all of their wines are made without manipulation or chemical adjustment, making each of their wines a true representation of their terroir and unique to their vintage. The adjoining restaurant, D&K Kitchen at Lark Hill, also has a regularly changing menu that focuses on regional and seasonal produce.
Next, you will arrive in Bungendore Village to visit the Sapling Yard cellar door. Sapling Yard wines are handcrafted using grapes sourced from their boutique vineyard in Braidwood together with the finest quality fruit carefully selected from premium vineyards in Murrumbateman and Tumbarumba regions. To try their wines, make sure to book ahead for a private tasting, or find them at Southern Harvest Farmers Markets in Bungendore on Saturday mornings.
Before continuing further east, take a break in Bungendore to explore the cafes, restaurants and boutiques on offer. Enjoy a beautiful meal at one of the local restaurants, such as Le Tres Bon, where you can enjoy beautiful authentic French cuisine, accompanied by wine from a local boutique vineyard, Enotria Wines.
After finishing up in Bungendore, you’ll next be headed towards Nerriga, north-east of Bungendore. Here, you’ll find Corang Estate, nestled on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. Organise a private visit to the vineyard near Nerriga and learn more about the flavours and cool climate styles of the Southern Tablelands, or pay them a visit at the local Farmers’ Markets in Nerriga or Braidwood to try out their wines.
Finally, your road trip will finish in the heritage town of Braidwood, where you’ll also be able to test the Corang Estate wines if you were unable to visit the vineyard. Choose from The Braidwood Hotel, The Royal Mail Hotel, Braidwood Servicemens Club, Mona Farm, Braidwood Regional Arts Gallery and Troopers Rest in Braidwood to enjoy a glass of Corang Estate’s finest wines, and don’t forget to browse the local boutiques to find other treasures to take home with you.