The Best Wineries in Canberra

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Who doesn’t love venturing to a local winery, sampling artisan wines and soaking up stunning scenery?

If you’re looking to visit one of the 30 plus wineries dotted in the Canberra region, you’ll want to plan to make your day truly delightful. Not all local wineries offer the same type or level of services. Some, for example, offer tours, some wine tastings, and some dining services. Be sure to check opening days and times. The Canberra District Wines website is a great way to plan your trip.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a local winery to visit, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

What makes a great winery?

Choosing the right winery to visit starts with answering ‘why’. Do you want a relaxing day out? Are you celebrating a special occasion? Are you looking to wine and dine? Do you want to visit just one winery or several in one area? Do you want to explore a larger, more established winery or a newer boutique one?

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a winery.

  • Excellent wine. If you prefer a certain type or style of wine, check first if the winery offers it. You might also want a winery that creates unique varietals you’ve never had before.
  • Picturesque scenery. Gorgeous scenery can take your trip to a local winery to a whole new level, especially if you’re keen on a picnic or a wander through the vineyards.
  • A well-stocked cellar door. If you’ve fallen in love with a wine you’ve tasted, you’ll probably want to buy a bottle or two, supporting the winery in the process. Check what cellar door services the winery offers before heading out.
  • A great restaurant or café. If you’re looking to eat and try wines, research what dining services the winery offers, remembering that some only operate cellar doors, not cafes or restaurants. Bookings are often essential.
  • Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Whether you’d like a tour of the winery or just want to chat about how wines are produced, staff should be knowledgeable, friendly and keen to help out.

The best wineries around 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.

Brindabella Hills Winery

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.”

Yarrh Wines

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

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, complete with fireplace. Lark Hill has partnered with D&K Kitchen to offer guests lunch and dinner.

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.”

McKellar Ridge Estate

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.”

If you’re looking for more information on day trips out of the capital, you might like our article on the best day trips Canberra has to offer.

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 Canberra region wineries located?
The Canberra district wine region is big and not constrained by territory borders. More than 140 vineyards and 30 wineries operate in the region, spanning from Bungendore, Wamboin and Lake George, right through Canberra and Hall and out to Murrumbateman and Yass. The Canberra District Wines website has a list.
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.
Do all wineries operate cellar doors for tasting and buying?
Cellar door offerings vary among Canberra region wineries. It’s best to head to winery websites to check what each offers or visit Canberra District Wines.
Do all wineries have a café or restaurant?
Not all do and those that offer food have different arrangements. Some offer only breakfast and lunch, for example. Others dinner. Head to individual winery websites to check what each offers or visit Canberra District Wines.
Do all wineries offer wine tours?
Some do offer wine tours and some don’t. Also, the type and nature of wine tours varies among those that offer tours. Some wineries arrange for you to meet the actual winemaker, for example. Start by checking winery websites to see what each offers and/or visit Canberra District Wines.

What's Your Opinion?


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14 Responses to The Best Wineries in Canberra
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54-11 54-11 4:06 pm 18 Mar 13

Give Peter Slipper a call at Parliament House -he’s checked them all out a few times.

77Eliza 77Eliza 2:56 pm 18 Mar 13

A good secret location is Yarrh winery in Murrenbateman – they have live music and tapas on the first Sunday of every month – make sure to book.
http://www.yarrhwines.com.au/home/

Russ Russ 8:56 pm 13 Mar 13

fromthecapital said :

O’Leary and Collector dont have cellar doors do they?

No they don’t. It’s probably worth planning the trip if you’re looking to eat at some point – Lark Hill has a nice restaurant overlooking their very nicely maintained vineyard – it operates on weekends, but, as mentioned, call ahead to make sure.

If you like interesting buildings and locations, Yarrh is definitely worth a visit.

In some respects this is a good time to visit vineyards as we’re right in the middle of vintage for the region, with a lot of Shiraz coming off in the next week or two, although it also means the winemakers are unlikely to be hanging around the cellar door, and a lot of the vines will be under nets.

fromthecapital fromthecapital 5:27 pm 13 Mar 13

D3lerium said :

Best to head out to Murrumbateman or up to the Lake George area, both are a fairly quick drive.

It doesn’t really matter what vineyard you head out to within these area’s they will be special in terms or scenery and the people that run the business etc. So it’s just a matter of finding a great wine, my suggestions for wineries to vist are:

Clonakilla (http://www.clonakilla.com.au/), Tim Kirt is a great bloke and loves a chat which is sometimes nice…. Also producing some of the best wines in the world always helps.

Nick O’leary (http://www.nickolearywines.com.au/)

Eden Road Wines (http://edenroadwines.com.au/)

Collector Wines (http://www.collectorwines.com.au/)

Mount Majura Wines (http://www.mountmajura.com.au/), nice for something very local and they do an amazing Riesling.

Helm (http://www.helmwines.com.au/)

Gallagher Wines (http://www.gallagherwines.com.au/)

Thats just a nice short list, i hope this helps…. Have fun.

Clonakilla and Helm definitely the top two.

O’Leary and Collector dont have cellar doors do they?

Jungle Jim Jungle Jim 2:16 pm 13 Mar 13

Absolutely Clonakilla – best wine in the region for mine. Their Shiraz Viognier is delicious and their straight Viognier is one of the only white wines I actually like.

Tallagandra Hill also product a nice drop and they’re just up the road (along with three or four other notables along Murrumbateman Rd.

D3lerium D3lerium 12:47 pm 13 Mar 13

Best to head out to Murrumbateman or up to the Lake George area, both are a fairly quick drive.

It doesn’t really matter what vineyard you head out to within these area’s they will be special in terms or scenery and the people that run the business etc. So it’s just a matter of finding a great wine, my suggestions for wineries to vist are:

Clonakilla (http://www.clonakilla.com.au/), Tim Kirt is a great bloke and loves a chat which is sometimes nice…. Also producing some of the best wines in the world always helps.

Nick O’leary (http://www.nickolearywines.com.au/)

Eden Road Wines (http://edenroadwines.com.au/)

Collector Wines (http://www.collectorwines.com.au/)

Mount Majura Wines (http://www.mountmajura.com.au/), nice for something very local and they do an amazing Riesling.

Helm (http://www.helmwines.com.au/)

Gallagher Wines (http://www.gallagherwines.com.au/)

Thats just a nice short list, i hope this helps…. Have fun.

Hosinator Hosinator 12:38 pm 13 Mar 13

Most are in Murrumbateman, check out the Canberra District Wines website: http://www.canberrawines.com.au/

My suggestion for the top wineries are:

Clonakilla
Helm
Lark Hill
Jeir Creek
Eden Road

If you have time also check out Surveyor’s Hill and Mount Majura Vineyard.

barbiekini barbiekini 12:36 pm 13 Mar 13

I quite like Flints in the Vines out at Shaws Vineyard at Murrumbateman, and Lark Hill Winery out Wamboin area. Both have fantastic restaurants with great views, and the wines aren’t bad either.

Rangi Rangi 12:30 pm 13 Mar 13

The Yarrh winery at Murrumbateman is very good, been there a few times, should be on Google, for times

mirage3 mirage3 12:19 pm 13 Mar 13

Lerida Wines at Lake George is worth a visit, excellent wines, nice location and the cafe is pretty good.

Bails Bails 11:59 am 13 Mar 13

We went out a while ago for my partner’s birthday. When booking them, she found that some only open the cellar door upon request, so it might be a good idea to ring a few of them in advance to let them know you’re coming.

http://www.agfg.com.au/guide/nsw/capital-country/capital-country/murrumbateman/listings/wine-wineries/

I can highly recommend Four Winds. They set up a ‘guess the fragrance’ game for us to play while we did tasting, and offered a tour of the cellars. Brilliant Riesling too!

in_the_taratory in_the_taratory 11:58 am 13 Mar 13

Where to start? There are lots in different directions. Capital Wines down Gundaroo way (with top notch restaurant), Lark Hill down Bungendore way, Lerida Estate down Lake George way and too many to name on the way to Murrumbateman. It depends if you have a lot of time – if so, do a big trip. If not, maybe concentrate on the Murrumbateman wineries (you can do a lot without driving far between each).
Anyway have reviewed a few here: http://inthetaratory.wordpress.com/tag/wine/
My picks would probably be Capital Wines and Lerida Estate. Surveyor’s Hill does an amazing dessert wine.
If they are here on 6-7 April there is a wine harvest festival.
I think http://www.canberrawines.com.au gives you detail of what’s open when and where so you can plan your trip. Generally opening times are weekends from around lunchtime.

kea kea 11:38 am 13 Mar 13

Good timing, I also have a friend coming down to Canberra next weekend, and they asked specifically about good wineries to visit 🙂

imarty imarty 11:37 am 13 Mar 13

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