Dionysus wines are a match for the district’s best

Matt Farrah 29 December 2021
Wendy O'Dea, Co-Owner of Dionysus Winery.

Wendy O’Dea, co-owner of Dionysus Winery. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

After years of looking around the region, Wendy and Michael O’Dea planted Dionysus vineyards in 1998. What they have achieved since is pure Canberra goodness, producing wines that will match any in the ACT region.

1. Riesling 2021

Riesling is the flagship wine of the region and the Dionysus 2021 riesling is everything you would expect and some. It’s classical lemon and citrus on the palate with a floral note to the nose. There’s also a good middle palate that gives the wine some real depth and balances up the acid with lovely apple and citrus finish. Enjoy with shellfish or a brie and mandarin salad.

2. Chardonnay 2021

There are not too many Canberra wineries producing chardonnay, although the climate produces high quality results. Dionysus 2021 Chardonnay is a great example of what Canberra district chardonnay can achieve.

Stone fruit is prominent on the nose and palate with that lovely buttery finish most people are now looking for in a good chardonnay.

This chardonnay is more on the chablis style with leaner middle palate weight and some lovely crisp acids but it is complex and long on the finish. If you can resist and give this wine a bit of time in the cellar you will be rewarded for sure.

This wine will pair beautifully with prawns or a lightly dressed chicken salad.

Wine and cheese platter

2021 Maenads Rosé and cheese platter at Dionysus Winery. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

3. Rose 2021

This rose is made with shiraz grapes, not a common variety to use for rose. However the result is a rose that has more structure and a touch more strawberry fruit to it, finishing with a crisp dry mouth fill. The structure is a bit bigger, but those who like their rose with a bit more to it will be surprised by more balance and great acid. Pair with your favourite Asian cuisine, a good match for the acid and fruit.

4. Pinot Noir 2021

Canberra Pinot Noir is another variety that does extremely well in the region. The climate is definitely advantageous to producing high quality pinot noir that delivers intense fruit and complexity.

The Dionysus Pinot Noir delivers ripe cherry flavours coupled with some lovely spice that comes from the well integrated oak. The finish has lovely acid balance which gives the wine length and breadth.

If you are into experimenting with wine and food matching, look at pairing the Pinot Noir with a smoked duck salad. It will go brilliantly with a Turducken and will make your feast one to remember.

Wine bottles

Wines at Dionysus Winery. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

5. Shiraz Viognier 2018

A marriage made in heaven is all I can say about the masterful blending of Shiraz with Viognier and Dionysus has nailed the flavours that Canberra district Shiraz Viognier is renowned for.

This wine has everything, Red Berries, white pepper, five spice and integrated soft oak to add complexity. The wine is full flavoured with soft tannins that give the wine length and depth with seductive spice.

If you’re a lover of Shiraz Viognier but the price has made it prohibitive, then you’re in luck. This wine is equivalent to other Canberra Shiraz Viognier but with a price tag that won’t sting the wallet.

Try this wine with a slow cooked lamb shoulder and honey veggies, the lifted berry fruit with the extra spice will bring both wine and food to life.

Wine bottles

Wine at Dionysus Winery. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

6. Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Canberra doesn’t have many Cabernet Sauvignons but if you are looking for a great example of a Canberra cool climate Cabernet then Dionysus Cabernet should be on your list. Aromas of plum and blackcurrants are blended superbly with toasty oak giving the wine a long finish and awesome fruit and spice palate.

Try this with your favourite cut of red meat and if you are cool with eating kangaroo it will reward your taste buds.

Matt Farrah is the principal of Farrah’s Liquor Collective. You can find out more about Dionysus here.


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