Celebrating 50 Years of Canberra District Wine
Liquid Geography – From the vine to the glass: wines from the local Canberra cool climate wine district on show to delight the tastebuds.
Grapes have been grown and wine made in the Canberra District since the 1840s, although in common with a number of other smaller Australian wine regions, the industry went into decline for several decades from the turn of the 20th Century.
Interest in viticulture and winemaking in the Canberra District was rekindled in the 1970s and 1980s with a number of what are now highly regarded vineyards and wineries. Our district, which spreads across Canberra, Hall, Murrumbateman, Yass, Bungendore, Lake George, Wamboin, Gundaroo and Collector has grown considerably over the past 50 years it is now estimated that there are some 140 vineyards with approximately 450 hectares under vine, and upwards of 40 cellar doors.
Canberra District Wine Week 2021, is not only a special year of celebration due to a disastrous 2020, but we’re recognising and celebrating 50 years of the first plantings of vines and subsequent production of wine within the district, cementing our place as a premium cool climate wine region in Australia.
And we want you to celebrate with us.
Canberra Wine Week 2021 is a collection of events held over 10 days each year, heading in to our Harvest period, held this year from Sunday 21st March to Monday 29th March, with the whole district launch event held in the city on Saturday 20th March. There will be a raft of events ranging from premium wine dinners, cellar door museum wine tastings, grape stomping, art exhibitions, musical soirees, blend your own wines to barrel tastings, not to mention a lot of very delicious food matched to amazing wine.
The Canberra District covers a large geographical area made up of 3 distinctly different topographical areas, and despite the name all but two of the local wineries are across the border in New South Wales.
MURRUMBATEMAN and YASS
A pleasant 30-minute drive along the Barton Highway brings you to picturesque Murrumbateman, a former goldmining town, where you can enjoy rural scenery, soak up the ambience of village life and sample delicious regional produce at cosy cafes and old school pubs. The town of Murrumbateman is home to around 15 wineries, where wines of international acclaim are crafted. Cellar doors range from delightfully rustic family affairs to sleek and modern and all shades of in between, each offering you a very warm welcome.
Yass Valley is bursting with wonderful food and wine experiences. With a proud heritage connection to early rural Australia, a modern and well renowned food and wine scene, a thriving arts scene and boutique shopping, touring around Yass Valley is an experience not to be missed. Exploring the regions beautiful, historical towns and villages is sure to captivate the young and the young at heart.
CANBERRA and HALL
Mount Majura Vineyard is one winery situated within the ACT border, on Majura Road, past the Canberra Airport. Our second ACT winery, Pialligo Estate, is just minutes from Canberra CBD, and nestled in a private and peaceful setting not far from the madding crowd.
No more than 15 minutes’ drive from Canberra’s city centre are the Hills of Hall cellar doors, offering high quality wines and great views of the mountainous skyline, showcasing why Canberra has been aptly named the Bush Capital. The wineries in the rolling hills of Hall provide magnificent vistas of the Brindabella Mountains, making them the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine, a plate of local produce to take in the majestic surrounds.
BUNGENDORE, WAMBOIN, GUNDAROO, LAKE GEORGE AND COLLECTOR
Along the Federal Highway to the north of Canberra, the Lake George vignerons tend to their cool climate vineyards and wines. There are a number of award-winning restaurants and great wine bars in and around the historic villages of Gundaroo and Collector, where you can relax and meet the locals. The high altitude wineries around the historic town of Bungendore and Wamboin offer beautiful scenic outlooks, to be admired as you sample some of the coolest of the cool climate wines and enjoy fine dining at cellar door restaurants.
Throughout the 10 day festival, make sure to include a visit to the vineyards and cellar doors, both inside and outside of the Canberra borders when preparing your Wine Week itinerary. Get your feet ready for grape stomping, your senses ready for sensory wine classes, put your dancing shoes on for live music, buy some stretchy pants for all the food and wine pairings, and get out amongst it!
Canberra wine lovers will also be given the opportunity to get up close and personal with wine makers from approximately 16 wineries, at the annual tasting event, this year being held in the glorious surrounds of the cultural hub of ANU – the Kambri Precinct on Saturday 20th March. Keep an eye on our events page on social media and the website for specific event details.
For our foodies, some of our popular annual events are back this year with our Celebrating 50 Years of Canberra Wine dinner, featuring the premium wines of Clonakilla with guest speaker Tim Kirk to walk us through 50 years in the Canberra Wine District matched to a spectacular degustation from The Boathouse, one of Canberra’s top restaurants with spectacular Lake Burley Griffin views.
Stay and Play
If you are visiting the Canberra district you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. We have world class hotels at our fingertips, so plan a staycation at one of our member hotels – QT Canberra and the Abode, Murrumbateman. We have warm and inviting vineyard cottages at Tallagandra Hills Winery, overlooking the vines; then there’s Little George, the Lake George Winery little house. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, head to Yass or the Queanbeyan Palerang region and stay in a bed and breakfast or at the pub, a country stay is a must throughout a week of Canberra Wine festivities.
Tickets always sell fast in Wine Week, so don’t delay in getting your itinerary organised. Book your place soon to experience the best the Canberra district wineries have to offer. Come share what is quickly becoming known as a relaxing, stellar event while enjoying class-leading wines. For more information on events or to purchase tickets visit the Canberra District Wine Association’s website.
For more information contact:
Fran Marshall M: 0413023897
Canberra District Wine Industry Association