Lovers of local wines will be getting warm and cosy during the Canberra Wine District Fireside Festival. The festival is run by the Canberra District Wines Industry Association (CDWIA) and will be held from 15 to 23 July, and includes events all over Canberra and at wineries in the surrounding region.
Canberra’s wine district is home to over 140 wineries, and 40 of those are within a 35-minute drive of the city. Winter days are a great time to head out on a tour of local wineries to sample the cool climate wines that have earned Canberra’s winemakers their stellar reputation.
“The festival wants to rekindle Canberrans’ love for their local wineries and invites them to get cosy with our winemakers by the fire,” CDWIA president Fergus McGhie said.
“Our winemakers will be sharing their love for wine while introducing festival participants to varieties that are truly representative of our growing region and more suited to drinking during the cooler months in Canberra.”
Activities include a ‘meet the makers’ event in partnership with East Hotel, where guests can taste wines from five local wineries while enjoying antipasto by the fire.
Another festival highlight is the dramatic ceremonial Burning of the Barrel at Lake George Winery. At this family-friendly event, guests can enjoy drinks and a matching menu while watching the wine barrel go up in flames. Lake George Winery will also be celebrating another Canberra region culinary treat with its truffle lunch.
Many of the region’s wineries will be sharing exclusive museum releases from vintages gone by, as well as exclusive bottles, like the Clonakilla Muscat. This strictly limited release is described as “Christmas pudding in liquid form”.
The Muscat has over 20 years of solera: a traditional ageing process where each new season’s batch is combined with the remnants of the year before, which also contains remnants of the years before, resulting in a rich and complex drink.
This highly sought-after muscat is only available during the festival at the cellar door, and sales are limited to two per customer!
Lerida Estate will be offering delicious mulled wine to sip while shopping through the estate’s museum wine range. The Lerida Estate museum wines will be available at current vintage pricing for the Fireside Festival weekends. There will also be a couple of extra special by-the-case offers.
The festival will also feature restaurant takeovers, as wineries collaborate with chefs to create special menus that are designed to pair perfectly with their wines.
New North Lyneham cafe Hide and Seek will team up with Dionysus Winery for a four-course meal cooked by chefs Brett Waslin and Josh Sargent featuring beetroot cured salmon, confit pork belly, and a quince dessert accompanied by a glass of museum release May Riesling.
Shiraz will, of course, feature heavily in the festival as a major wine produced in the region and a favourite of red wine lovers during the colder months. But Fergus McGhie says there are more varietals to try.
“The Canberra District is known for producing world-class Shiraz, which will be a feature on many menus throughout the festival, as will some of our newer red varietals, like Temprenillo, Grenache and Cabernet Franc, all great wines to enjoy with a winter meal by the fire,” he said.
If you can’t make it out to a winery, there will also be free tastings of Canberra region wines at Canberra Wine and Spirit Merchants in the city every Thursday evening from 5 pm to 7 pm.
The festival runs from 15 to 23 July at multiple locations across the region.
Find out more about all the events of the Fireside Festival at Canberra Wine District website, or follow Canberra Wines on Facebook and Instagram.