Liquid – the wine that pours from the bottles from grapes grown in our unique topography
Geography – the undulating hills and distant views of the mountains that form a picturesque backdrop to many of our vineyards and the ancient soils beneath them that create the terroir, inspiring our wine stories
Did you know that Canberra’s continental climate is one of extremes: cold, crisp winters and hot, dry summers. This high diurnal temperature range is what excites our winemakers – long, warm days for grape ripening with a sudden drop in night temperature to give the vines some rest. Our theme for this year’s program of events, ‘Liquid Geography’ will give rise to how our wines are a direct reflection of just how diverse the Canberra District is in topography, altitude, soils and grape varieties. Our district is spread across Canberra, Hall, Murrumbateman, Yass, Bungendore, Lake George, Wamboin, Gundaroo and Collector.
This diversity offers visitors and Canberrans a different experience across our district, each unique area calls out to be explored and enjoyed throughout the year come Autumn, Winter, Summer or Spring.
Canberra District Wine Week 2020, a collection of events held over 10 days each year, heading in to our Harvest period, will be held from Saturday 21st March to Sunday 29th March. There will be a raft of events ranging from a wine comedy show courtesy of the Canberra Comedy Festival, grape stomping, wine tasting, art exhibitions, musical soirees, blend your own wines to barrel tastings, not to mention a lot of very delicious food matched to amazing wine.
John Leyshon, President of CDWIA
“There is something for everyone this year at the Canberra District Wine Week. You can even bring your pooch along to the grape stomping and help us kick off harvest”.
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 16 wineries, at the annual tasting event, held in the glorious gardens of New Acton on the 7th March. Capital Wines and Shaw Wines will be holding art exhibitions for the creative souls. If it’s musical stylings you’re after, sing along to well-known cabaret tunes at Contentious Character, tap your feet to live music in the Gundog Estate grounds, or be seated in the majestic Tallagandra hall while the Beautifully Mad music fills the air. If you’re sticking around town head to the Canberra Wine House for Flights and Jazz, because we all know music goes better with wine.
Guests can mingle with the wine maker whilst enjoying sumptuous canapes and the scenic surrounds of the National Gallery with a Mount Majura Garden Party. Or head to Yazzbar for Tapas and Vino, one of the Worlds Top 50 wine experiences according to Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.
For our foodies, some of our popular annual events are back this year with our Liquid Geography dinner, featuring wines from 6 wineries matched to a spectacular degustation from The Boathouse, one of Canberra’s top restaurants with spectacular Lake Burley Griffin views. Then head out to Gundaroo for a wine filled dinner at Grazing or be delighted with the amazing local produce offered at Clementine’s in Yass. If it’s rustic country charm you’re after, we have it in spades.
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 cabins 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 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.