If you’re a fan of wineries, Murrumbateman is the place to go for a day trip or even just a half-day trip.
Looking for a relaxing lunch stop to make the most of a sunny autumn Sunday I headed out with a friend to Murrumbateman recently.
Murrumbateman is well known in Canberra circles and also interstate for its wineries and it is conveniently close for a lunch stop or you could extend to a day trip.
I’ve been very impressed with the handful of wineries I’ve tried across Murrumbateman so far. My most recent trip took me to try the Clonakilla and Helm cellar doors for wine tastings, and to the Four Winds Vineyard for lunch. But I’ve also sampled wines from Gallagher Wines, Murrumbateman Winery and Shaw Vineyard Estate. I particularly enjoyed the range of wines and cheeses at Gallagher Wines (you must try the labneh yoghurt cheese!).
I was most impressed by Helm Wines on my latest trip to Murrumbateman. My friend and I had the cellar door on our trip all to ourselves and had a good chat to the winery director on site.
Helm Wines is a family-run winery that has been in existence since 1973 – one of the first to start operations in the Canberra district. Many of the wines are served at fine dining restaurants through Canberra and interstate. It’s located at 19 Butts Road and open from 10am to 5pm Thursday to Monday.
The building housing the tasting room used to be the Toual Public School House – established in 1888, and has also had other uses such as a meeting room. The schoolhouse was moved around on the property over the years until it was brought back from disrepair and moved back to its current location.
The wine director also has a great knowledge of interesting places to visit in the Canberra area and surrounds.
Helm Wines has a wonderful selection of wines – there were a few surprises – some of the wines had a very unique taste and they did well out of the visit by my friend and I!
The wood fired pizzas at Four Winds Vineyard were next on the list to sample. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the pizzas and I was keen to taste what everyone was talking about.
Served from 12pm to 3pm on weekends, the wood fired pizzas are worth the drive and are fairly well priced at $15 each. They’re a good size for sharing among a couple of friends to try a few of the varieties. I tried the potato and gorgonzola and the BBQ chicken pizzas. They were both delicious but I really liked the BBQ chicken variety. I’d been keen to try a few more of the varieties on offer on another trip.
Four Winds Vineyard has a great area to sit and relax near the vines. I’m not sure if this is a regular thing or whether it was especially for the Wine Harvest Festival, but they had live music on the day. The song choice was very fitting for a relaxing Sunday enjoying wines and pizza and contributed to good half day trip.
Four Winds Vineyard is located at 9 Patemans Lane and is open 10am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays.
If you’re still a bit hungry after pizza – or just want to indulge your sweet tooth – on the way back to Canberra you could stop into Robyn Rowe Chocolates. What looks like just another shed in the rural area houses an array of chocolates. Robyn Rowe Chocolates is located at 1153 Namina Road and is open Thursday to Monday 10am to 5pm.