With a huge focus on local produce and the COVID-19 lockdown affecting many of our great producers, it is timely to review the wonderful wines in our backyard.
Surveyor’s Hill produces exceptional wines at prices not seen in Canberra since 1999.
They’re located at Wallaroo, in the Murrumbidgee Valley, very close to the ACT border, and the winery works with staple varieties such as Riesling, Shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, and more unusual varieties including Viognier, Rousanne and Tepranillo.
They only produce small quantities, but the result is attention to detail, using exceptional fruit to produce wines that are distinct and memorable.
Surveyor’s Hill is family owned and run. Leigh Hobba is semi-retired and the winery is mostly run by the women in the family. Glenys and her friendly smile greets you at the cellar door.
Surveyor’s Hill Tinto
It’s exciting to find new wines to try in the region, and the Tinto is a great blend of Italian varieties that thrive so well in the Canberra climate and soils. A blend of Granacha, Graciano and Tempranillo, with a dash of Mataro, this wine is savoury, soft and easy drinking with nice tannin structure. This would pair beautifully with a beef tortellini in tomato sauce.
Surveyor’s Hill Riesling
Another great Canberra Riesling that displays the lovely lemon acid we all look for in Canberra Rieslings. This one has a beautiful middle palate, more weight and delivers more length and a touch of ripe apple blossom. Pair with a prawn salad with mango and a touch of coriander and watch your taste buds dance and sing.
Surveyor’s Hill Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne
Another innovative blend that delivers all the best parts of each variety, and the result is a touch of magic. This wine is so well balanced, it is hard to fault the tremendous flavours that hit your mouth. Apricot, butter and a dry, soft lingering citrus finish makes this wine perfect for creamy chicken, pasta or even a seafood pie. If you love seafood pie, grab a bottle and head to D’Browes in Narrabundah where Damian Browes makes the best in town.
Surveyor’s Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
It’s hard to find a good Cabernet Sauvignon from Canberra due to the cool climate, but there are some blocks that have a heat inversion layer that brings warmer air which ripens grapes and produces great cool-climate Cabernet.
That’s exactly the case with this Cabernet. Loads of ripe fruit of blackberry and herbs hit your mouth, and then the fine tannins leave a lingering, long finish. They’ve added a touch of Cabernet franc and a hint of merlot for depth and length. This is awesome with a good steak and roast veggies, or a Sunday roast while you watch the sun set.
Surveyor’s Hill Shiraz
Again, this is a wonderful Canberra cool-climate Shiraz with a bit more fruit than most. The oak really lifts the mouth feel with ripe dark berries and plum. The finish lingers on, and the light pepper spice adds complexity.
This wine would be great for a pepper hotpot from your favourite Asian restaurant on a good night in with your partner (and we all know we need a little break from the kitchen following lockdown).
Surveyor’s Hill Autumn Gold
To finish off a meal, there’s nothing better than a nice dessert wine. The Autumn Gold wine is made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and is late-picked to bring out the sweet ripeness of the fruit.
A muscat raising flavour hits your taste buds with bursting sweetness before the wine finishes with a lemon-lime zest that balances the sweet and citrus beautifully.
Bring out the panna cotta with caramel sauce and a glass of Autumn Gold and you have a complete dinner with total satisfaction.
Winery cellar doors are currently closed, but Farrah’s Liquor Collective has all these Surveyor’s Hill wines in stock at prices that will make them suitable everyday-drinkers. Don’t forget there is a 10 per cent discount for purchases of 12 bottles or more so you can mix and match for your complete dinner wine list.