Vines were planted as early as 1820 at Throsby Park near Moss Vale but it wasn’t until the 80’s that the advantages of high altitude, cool climate vineyards attracted winemakers to the region.
More than 60 producers have since established vineyards in the region, spanning 250 hectares. Fourteen operate cellar doors on weekends or by appointment, providing a pleasant touring trail. The Southern Highlands Map guide outlines a local wine trail. Pick up a hard copy with value-add vouchers from a local tourist information centre or download here.
Tertini and Sutton Forest Estate Wines recognised at 2015 International Wine Challenge awards
March 4, 2015, midnight
TWO local wineries have been recognised at the 2015 International Wine Challenge awards in London.
Tertini won a bronze medal for its 2014 Riesling and 2013 Pinot Noir, while boutique winery Sutton Forest Estate Wines received a Commended Award for its Three Daughters Reserve Pinot Noir 2012.
Sutton Forest Estate Wines owners Nick and Santina Lo Russo said they were thrilled to receive an award the first time they entered the competition.
“We have been producing award-winning wines for the last 14 years and have been awarded several medals for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but as this was the first time we entered one of our wines in the International Wine Challenge, to receive this medal of commendation from one of the world’s most influential and respected wine competitions was a great honour and something we are very proud of,” Mr Lo Russo said.
BENDOOLY ESTATE – BERKELEUW BOOK BARN
It’s hard to beat a good book and a fine wine in front of a vast open fireplace! Wines including the highly prized Ex Libris are offered for tasting in the elegant ambience of Berkeleuw Book Barn amid soaring timber ceilings, exposed timber beams and wall-towall books. The grand Georgian homestead of convict hewn stone is nestled in lakeside gardens and some of Australia’s most ancient oaks line the property. The restaurant service and menu selection are first class, offering shared platters, seasonal lunches and sweet temptations.
JOADJA ESTATE VINEYARD – Cnr Greenhills & Joadja Rds Berrima
Joadja Estate is the oldest vineyard and winery in the Southern Highlands and is situated only 800 metres from the Loch along Greenhills Road. Joadja is a family owned business, where the vines are hand-pruned, grapes hand-picked and hand crafted with love into exceptional wines. Varieties grown include Sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and our speciality – malbec. They also have amazing sparkling wines.
Open Thursday to Monday, the rustic cellar door is cosy and always manned by one of the owners who are only too pleased to take you through the winery to see how the wine is made. A children’s playground ensures the experience is enjoyable for all and a cheese platter among the vines or the beautiful gardens is a wonderful way to relax.
ON APPROACH TO THE LOCH FROM SYDNEY:
MARIST BROS WINES, The Hermitage – Mittagong
Cnr Old South & Bong Bong Rds Mittagong the first vineyard you encounter once you leave the M5 motorway from Sydney.
The warm welcome includes a $2 coffee ($5 with a piping hot apple & cinnamon muffin straight from the ovens) ; a move to demystify the ‘monastery high on the hill’ that draws a steady stream of locals and travellers. Buildings are steeped in history while stand out wines include an opulent Pinot Gris and an Alsace style, honeyed dessert Pinot Gris.
BOU-SAADA – 135 Kells Ck Rd Mittagong
Meaning ‘father peace’, taking its name from a pilgrimage town in Algeria built around an oasis, This tranquil forest setting lined with proteas is somewhere you will want to linger and chat with friendly owners Michelle and Alistaire. Blending beautifully with the backdrop of high ranges, the rustic cellar door is lined with blue gum and stringy bark timbers cut from the property. Their lovely fume blanc, pinot and Franc sell out quickly but there is always something inspiring to try like honey mead or warmly spiced mulled wine with cheese and antipasto platters.
TERTINI WINES – Lot 5, Kells Creek Rd Mittagong
Pre-book a private, group tasting in the middle of the working winery, flanked by aromatic pinot-soaked French oak barrels. Tipped to be the Highland’s most impressive cellar door by Gourmet Traveller with a particular interest in alternative varieties like the little known, fragrant Arneis.
CENTENNIAL VINEYARDS – 252 Centennial Rd Bowral
The commanding façade of this cellar door is impressive with an extensive range of sparkling and cool climate varietals offered for tasting. When the sun shines, the restaurant’s French doors open out to a classic Australian verandah overlooking the vineyards, where a leisurely hi tea or light lunch can be enjoyed.
FEAST & McVITTY – 434 Womeyan Caves Rd via Mittagong
A low yielding vineyard with a passionate young winemaker specializing in Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The acclaimed restaurant’s focus is on fresh produce interpreted with international influences from Asia to Africa with lunch, buffet, dinner and tapas menus offered.
DIAMOND CREEK IN BOWRAL – Merrigang St Bowral
Unique in the Highlands this cellar door is conveniently located in Bowral itself within a charming Victorian Terrace opposite the famous Corbett Gardens. Sample a complete wine selection from the single estate vineyard and olive grove at the timber bench and browse art exhibits.
SOUTH OF BERRIMA:
SUTTON FOREST ESTATE – 21 Blackhorse Lane Sutton Forest
Drop into Nick & Santina Lo Russo’s vineyard for a heart warming experience of authentic Italian style wines and hospitality. Nick makes a wonderful, Chianti style, Classic Forest Red that blends his award winning pinot with Italian Sangiovese. It tastes even better enjoyed with their home made minestrone or antipasto grazing platter in front of the roaring wood fire. There’s a lovely al-fresco area where you can linger over the ‘real deal’ Italian espresso and sweets made with farm fresh produce, like sour cherry tart, tiramisu or almond biscotti. For the kids, there’s plenty of space to play.
MOUNT ASHBY – Home of Sally Beresford Antiques at Moss Vale
Seated around Sally’s signature farmhouse tables in a restored dairy with a charcuterie plate, a glass of merlot and a magnificent stone fireplace feels positively French Provincial. Browse C17-19 European antiques and objet d’art. The French flavor extends to a modern Australian café menu and romantic picnic hampers for two.
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS WINES – Cnr Oldbury rd & iIlawarra hwy Sutton Forest
A spacious, contemporary winery with gorgeous views and several award winning wine labels including the highly acclaimed Oldbury Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. Winery tours with food & wine tastings are available or enjoy a relaxed long lunch in the sunny restaurant with vineyard vistas.
ELING FOREST WINERY – 12587 Hume Hwy Sutton Forest
A winery, cellar door and popular contemporary café with open fire or outdoor dining, specialising in light meals and gourmet lunches, in a colonial setting. Their distinctive, crisp and light D Cider made with pink lady apples from Batlow orchards is a must.
ST MAUR – Old Argyle Rd Exeter
Echoes of the winemaker’s childhood in Northern Italy abound in the old dairy conversion that now serves as a cellar door. Oak barrels border the tasting area and the ceiling is hung with 300 year old brass water buckets and polenta cook pots. Understated, lighter style pinot and tangy sauv blanc.