More than 30 wineries make up the Canberra District wine region, and although there are many great wines to taste, only a handful of wineries have a restaurant. Brindabella Hills Winery does, and it provides an opportunity to taste spectacular wine while enjoying a multi-course lunch with a spectacular view – especially at sunset, which is unforgettable.
Located in Wallaroo, Brindabella Hills is just 25 km north of Canberra. The winery sits on a ridge above the Murrumbidgee River, overlooking the river and the Brindabella mountain range.
As with many wineries, the kitchen is run by a separate business, in this case, Sweet Pea Catering. The catering company operates out of two locations, including The Manor, nestled in the heart of Gold Creek Village. Their food looks fantastic and it tastes as good as it looks. Just check out their Instagram page for more evidence.
Brindabella Hills offers multiple sitting areas, each with its own unique features. Sit on the back deck and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the river and mountains while soaking up the sun. Enjoy a drink and platter on the multi-level grassed area if you’re not up for a full lunch.
You can sit at one of the many tables inside but if you want to enjoy the fresh air with less sun, you can sit undercover or on the grassed area at the front with a view of the vineyard and the surrounding hills.
We arrived at 1:30 pm on a Sunday at a busy winery buzzing with energy from large groups, small groups and couples. It’s a very Instagrammable location, so you’ll likely see people attempting to capture the perfect shot by posing with the big letters that spell ‘love’ in front of the vineyard, or with the backdrop of the beautiful surroundings.
The menu changes seasonally and if you visit now you’ll be able to taste their new winter menu. It’s $60 per person for a two-course lunch with the option of adding matching wines for an additional price. There’s also a dessert menu and some platter options if you don’t want a full meal.
We start with a plate of fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Ninety per cent of the time, my partner and I taste each other’s food. This was definitely going to be one of those times.
The confit duck leg with carrot, anise puree, sour cherry relish, orange gel, dehydrated orange, pearl onion and jus looks beautiful. The duck is cooked perfectly, and the sour cherry relish cuts through the richness of the duck.
The roast pork belly is cooked three times, resulting in a perfectly crunchy crackling and succulent meat, accompanied by poached turnip, onion, leek soubise and apple puree.
Our plates are cleared, and we have time to finish our wine and savour the flavours of the first course before the next course arrives.
A beautiful plate of sous vide chicken breast with potato chicken broth, shimeji mushroom, heirloom carrot, split beans and jus is placed in front of my partner; I start eyeing it off as I start on slow-cooked beef cheek with sweet potato puree, baby corn, beetroot soil and jus.
We eat half before switching plates and we’re equally satisfied with the dishes. The beef and chicken are both cooked well and the elements on each plate – classic flavours – complement each other.
We head to the deck to enjoy the sunset and try the poached pear and the chocolate brownie. The portion size is generous, and both dishes are tasty and sweet but not overly sweet. I order a coffee and it’s the perfect way to finish the meal.
Most of the dishes on the menu are gluten-free. Dairy-free, nut-free, vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
It’s also a dog-friendly winery, so you can take your fur baby with you on your food and wine adventure.
Brindabella Hills Winery is located at 156 Woodgrove Cl at Wallaroo. It’s open for wine tasting and wine sales from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm on Saturday, Sundays and most public holidays. Lunch can be booked for 11:30 am until 1:00 pm or 1:30 pm until 3:00 pm.