Lerida Estate winery is nestled on the shores of Lake George, but you won’t have to go that far to enjoy their wines this summer.
A new pop-up wine bar opened at Lake Burley Griffin last month, offering Canberrans the chance to relax by the water and enjoy a glass of rosé and delicious antipasto.
Lerida by the Lake can be found at Canberra and Region Visitor Centre at Regatta Point. The interior has been fitted out with a bar while artistic wine barrels are scattered inside and along the external walkway as a base for wine tastings.
Lerida Estate general manager Andrew McFadzean says they were hoping to open the bar earlier in November, but the wet weather put plans on hold. However, he says “they’re just super excited to be open in time for some better weather”.
“There are umbrellas and seats so people can enjoy a glass of wine in the sun with the best view in town,” says Andrew.
Lerida Estate relies on traffic between Sydney and Canberra, so things were quiet when both cities were in COVID-19 lockdown.
So the idea of bringing their winery’s experience to Canberra was born “for people who want to do something interesting and fun without having to travel too far”, says Andrew.
The wine comes from Lerida Estate Winery, while the grazing boxes of cured meat and cheeses are sourced from Andrew’s side hustle as part owner of The Italian Place in Braddon.
“We don’t have the capacity to cover the food ourselves because our kitchen is out at Lerida and the logistics of bringing it in are too challenging,” he says. “If we get a rush on, we can give The Italian Place a call, send someone down, and half an hour later we’ll have what we need.”
Andrew is encouraging people to book online for wine tastings, but he says there is no problem with someone stopping by to sample flavours from Lerida by the Lake.
“Feedback so far has been excellent,” he says. “One of the really interesting things is that a lot of people didn’t even know this space was here.”
Visit Canberra manages the Canberra and Region Visitor Centre at Regatta Point, and aims to breathe more life into it with events such as the Lerida by the Lake pop-up.
Andrew says their Shiraz and rosé have been the most popular wines at the pop-up, followed closely by Riesling.
“They’re the two light, bright, aromatic summery wines,” he says. “Rosé isn’t always considered a super premium wine, but it is hugely popular.”
Andrew says their Shiraz in particular has been doing “really well lately”, picking up two awards at both the Melbourne Wine Awards and NSW Wine Awards.
“You taste so much of the wines when you spend three weeks bottling them up and getting them together,” he says. “But time passes and you find yourself with a glass again and you realise just how good it is.”
Lerida by the Lake is closed on Christmas Day and will move temporarily to the National Capital Exhibition in Parkes for New Year’s Eve, where they are holding a special event for their members and families in Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).
“RMHC will be bringing some of their families on New Year’s Eve who will get front-row seats for the fireworks, have a bite to eat, a glass of wine, and enjoy the evening as some respite from whatever challenges they’re facing,” says Andrew.
Book a one-hour personal wine tasting for two people with antipasto at Lerida by the Lake on Eventbrite for $64.39.