The region around Murrumbateman is a wine wonderland, known for impressive cool climate wines. It’s home to iconic wineries Clonakilla and Helm, but there’s a wealth of other cellar doors, restaurants and things to see and do in the picturesque rural village.
If you have ever done the drive from Canberra to Yass, you’ve probably passed through the village of Murrumbateman. It’s right on the Barton Highway, a short drive north-west of Canberra. The rapidly growing wine region is set around the village, amid rolling hills and tranquil farmland.
Even if you are not a wine aficionado, the district is abundant with festivals, delicious places to eat, winery tours and markets offering fresh local produce. Check out the Murrumbateman Village Market on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, selling fresh local produce, olive oil and other gourmet and artisanal treats, as well as, of course, wine.
“…the number of great wines coming out of the region is disproportionately high when compared with most regions. These folks are really punching above their weight.”
Nick Stock, in Gourmet Traveller Wine
Cellar doors to try
With several wineries in the Murrumbateman region, here is a selection that highlights what is on offer in the district – but there are plenty of others too. Check out their details on Makers of Murrumbateman or Yass Valley Council Food and Wine.
Barton Estate Winery is a family-run vineyard producing super premium wines including Petit Verdot, Shiraz, Sangiovese, a Cabernet blend, trophy-winning Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. There are plenty of wines to taste so prepare to stay for a while.
Clonakilla is a small, family-run business that has earned acclaim for its distinctive, handcrafted wines – be sure to try its flagship Shiraz Viognier.
Dionysus Winery not only has a range of handcrafted wines and a relaxed atmosphere, but visitors can pick up oils, jams and chutneys and a terrific buy six, get one bottle of wine free deal.
Eden Road Wines is a small, young boutique wine company creating unique, contemporary wines that have already won numerous prestigious awards. There are wines made from grapes grown in the extended region in places including Gundagai and Tumbarumba.
Four Winds Vineyard is set in a scenic location and not only offer tastings of their six wine varieties but also delicious wood-fired pizza.
Murrumbateman Winery is a small-batch boutique winery, combining traditional methods with young passion and creativity to produce outstanding and award-winning cool climate wines. It’s right on the highway and pet lovers will enjoy meeting the resident dogs.
Yarrh Wines are made using organic principles, carefully handcrafting small batches of award-winning wines, creating single vineyard expressions of variety, vintage and place. There’s a rustic, chic and relaxed vibe and fantastic service.
Getting to Murrumbateman is easy. The drive is around half an hour from the Canberra city.
When to go
For a tiny town, Murrumbateman is a busy place. Many cellar doors are open year round, but time your visit with some of the events on offer – like the Canberra District Wine Festival – to get more bang for your buck.
Here is a taste of a few of the wine-related events happening in Murrumbateman soon.
Find a list of all the current events in Murrumbateman here.
- Distance from Canberra: Murrumbateman village is 40km from the centre of Canberra; less if you’re travelling from Gungahlin or the Canberra’s north
- Time: Murrumbateman is an easy drive of just over half an hour
- Opening hours: each winery has its own opening times. These can vary according to the time of year, so check individual websites before you head off
- Recommended for: wine lovers, of course, but if you’re a fan of a scenic weekend drive, then the vineyards and countryside provide plenty of nature’s best to savour.
- More information: visit Yass Valley Food and Wine
Do you have a favourite winery to visit in the Murrumbateman region or a locally produced wine that is so good you think everyone should know about it? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image from Yass Valley: Murrumbateman.