As one of the states most revered cold-climate wine producers, the Canberra district is home to an eclectic ensemble of artisanal winemakers. Brimming with picturesque vineyards enveloping hill to hill, this melting pot of regional blends has attracted attention far and wide.
With a production slate that is delightful as it is diverse, Canberra boasts an impressive selection of wine varieties. Be it a dry chardonnay, a fruity resiling, a moody merlot or a sensual shiraz, there is a drop to suit almost every palette.
This stomping ground is shared by multigenerational and emerging producers, each honing their craft. With a beautiful blend of fabulous food and wine, Canberra’s wineries can be reached in as little as thirty minutes.
But, with over forty cellar doors spanning just as many beautiful wineries where does one start? If you’re looking for an intimate, personal, and memorable winery experience near Canberra look no further. Here is our pick of the finest wineries in Canberra.
What makes a great winery?
Great wineries are known for more than their acclaimed wine. They fuse sommelier sass with culinary creativity to present and overarching cultural experience tied to the soil, sun, and seasons. Here is what we think separates the regions finest wineries from the rest:
- Wonderful wine. Above all else, great wineries produce wonderful wine. Drop by precious drop, these wineries remind us why good wine has stood the test of time. Whether you are on the hunt for your favourite drop or seeking something a new, do some research and pin point wineries accordingly. Some may boast industry accolades, others an award or two. But every great winery will see you depart with a new proud bottle to add to your collection.
- Sumptuous scenery. Whether we choose to admit it or not, there is a light romantic notion that comes with visiting a vineyard. Perhaps it’s the rawness of the earth or the ever-changing vistas. Either way, many of us are seeking a beautiful setting in which to feel captivated or simply enjoy. Often, the most memorable wineries are surrounded by sumptuous scenery. Consider what is closest to your heart and plan your visit accordingly.
- Entire experience. Wineries offer more than simply a taste of wine; they offer access to the entire wine making experience. As we lean in toward provenance now more than ever, the best wineries connect the dots, showcasing their production journey. Be it a tour of the founding cellar, a picnic amongst the vines, or a wine-paired degustation, they offer it all. The best offer truly immersive experiences, that are memorable and unique at the same time.
- Plentiful cellar. All great wineries have well stocked cellars, particularly with varietals sampled at the door. If you have fallen in love with a sample or two, chances are you’ll relish in the delight of taking some home. Some cellar doors may even offer exclusives or the chance to join their club. Be sure to check on cellar door services offered by the wineries you intend to visit before heading out.
- The people. A glass of wine is always best when shared. And, when it comes to any great winery, the people make the world of difference. Whether you’d like a tour or simply a quick chat about the wine itself, staff should be knowledgeable, friendly, and happy to help. From warm and welcome greetings through to entertaining and informative tastings, the best wineries deliver service with a smile.
The best wineries in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Nestled at the base of the rolling Cullerin Range at Lake George is the prestigious Lerida Estate. Founded in 1997 as a manifestation in pursuit of the perfect pinot noir, it stands today as one of the regions most accomplished wine makers.
Known for harnessing its cool climate site, Lerida Estate’s low yielding vines are artfully transformed into their slate of award-winning wines. Dedicated to making distinctive, world class wines, Lerida Estate have curated a selection of vines that best represent the uniqueness of their natural site. From Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier, along with the jewel in their crown – Pinot Noir, Lerida Estate has a spectacular combination of vines.
Perfectly positioned within the vineyard is their stunning winery, an architectural masterpiece designed by Glenn Murcutt. Accommodating the flow of the wine making process itself, the winery captures each state from crushing to fermentation, barrel storage, and ultimately cellar operations.
With a cosy outdoor courtyard and a roaring indoor fire, Lerida Estate can be visited and enjoyed all year round. Moreover, the wineries Café Lerida boasts modern Australian fare, and some wonderful accompaniments to their wines. Open 10am to 5pm seven days a week, it is the perfect place to pop in for a visit or stay a while.
Allie Kuhne shared this review on Google, “A gem of a place to drop in for lunch and do some wine tasting. We spent a couple of hours here and had a great time. Alex was amazing at talking us through our tastings. And lunch was light and fresh and super tasty. Highly recommend the calamari. They offer some unique wines and the view out over the vineyards and Lake George offers great photo opportunities.”
Established in 1997, Yarrh Wines is 45 minutes from Canberra. All wines are made from the vineyard and bottled on site, including a unique range of reds and whites. The winery has spectacular panoramic views of the Yass River Valley. The cellar door offers a range of tasting experiences, including wine flights, gourmet food and wine matching, and tours.
Peter Little wrote on Google, “Peaceful lovely rolling hills. Excellent wine cellar off the beaten track. Worth a visit …”
Lark Hill Winery, near Bungendore, specialises in biodynamic wines from the Canberra District, including Reisling, Gruner Veltliner, Viognier, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
This family owned and run estate operates a cellar door in the stone-walled building that housed the original winery. Lark Hill partners with Agostini's Restaurant to serve lunch for guests on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
On Google, Susan Heath wrote, “Great service, atmosphere and top-of-the-range fresh locally sourced food. Great experience. We can’t wait to go back.”
Making great wine and wood-fired pizzas drives the team at Four Winds Vineyard. This inter-generational family business grows grapes, creates wines and has a Cellar Door oisite. Four Winds Vineyard has won multiple awards since it planted the vineyard in 1998. It’s located in Murrumbateman and creates Shiraz, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot and Sangiovese.
On Google, Carman Skeehan wrote, “The winery is beautiful indoors and outdoors. Our group enjoyed how the tasting is by range or choice.”
McKellar Ridge Estate is a boutique winery and vineyard producing premium handcrafted wines exhibiting the unique characteristics of the Canberra cool-climate region. Cellar door tastings are available, including Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz Viognier, Shiraz and Trio. Visitors can buy wine on site.
Sam Lorkin wrote on Google, “The service and wine at McKellar Ridge is great! I have come here multiple times, everyone is always so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable when making any selections and sampling the variety of wines on offer.”
The Wily Trout Vineyard is part of Poachers Pantry, which operates the Smokehouse restaurant, farm shop and cellar door (featuring cool-climate wines). The cafe and cellar are in a farmhouse with lush garden views. Dishes are crafted with smoked meats. Wine tastings cover the vineyard’s full range of wines. Poachers Pantry is in Springrange, about 25 minutes from Canberra city.
Skye Murphy wrote on Google, “Delish food and wines to match. Happy, happy customers!”
Brindabella Hills Winery in Hall is set among the rolling hills overlooking the picturesque Murrumbidgee River, 25 minutes from Canberra. Boutique wines include Chardonnay, Shiraz, Riesling, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon. The Vineyard Café offers grazing packages, matched with wines. Cellar door tastings are on weekends.
On Google, Rodney Gallegos wrote, “Top service, couldn't do enough for us, best food, excellent chef, wine is also one of the best, view to die for, worth the drive, a great day had by all.”
Looking for an easy way to visit more than one winery? Check out our article on the best wine tours in Canberra. For alternative short break ideas explore the best day trips Canberra has to offer. Or, if you’re looking for more on trips around the region, check out our stories on the best beaches near Canberra, best hotels and resorts on the South Coast, best restaurants and bars on the South Coast, our list of things to do on the South Coast.
Your experience with wineries in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the wineries listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the Canberra region’s wineries located?
Canberra’s wine region, otherwise known as the Canberra District, is comprised of three distinct regions all within a quick thirty minute drive from Canberra. These regions include Murrumbateman and Yass, Canberra and Hall, along with Bungendore, Wamboin, Gundaroo, Lake George and Collector.
How many wineries are there in this area?
The Canberra District wine region boasts over 40 stunning wineries and over 140 vineyards.
What types of wines are produced in the Canberra region?
The region is known for its cool climate wines and with large variation in elevation, temperature and soil type across the area, variety is the name of the game. Here you can find the likes of Sangiovese, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, and Tempranillo to name a few.
Do all wineries operate cellar doors?
Cellar door offerings vary among Canberra region wineries. While some offer the full wine and dine experience others do not, so best to consult the winery of choice beforehand. The Canberra Wine Association website is a great reference point also.
Are bookings required for winery tastings?
While some wineries accept walk in tastings, most recommend securing a date and time ahead of your visit. Equally, how a winery caters to booking numbers does vary, and some are more suited to families than others. If in doubt give the winery a quick call to discuss options.