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“Quaff the beaten track”– 8 Shoalhaven vineyards to sample this season!

Holiday Haven
15 Mar 2023

There’s a certain science to making wine – a mix of soil conditions, adequate sun and just the right splash of water. But there is also a touch of magic to producing truly great wines, year after year. This is harder to define, but usually has something to do with clever people doing special things in beautiful places.

Luckily for you, the Shoalhaven’s cup runneth over with not only the right soil, sun and sprinkles, but also the talent to deliver you and your friends and loved ones a very pleasant afternoon of affable, quaffable delights. These estates have won more than 1000 local and international awards between them, and offer a variety of complex fruity reds, crisp whites and delightful rosés.

The following selection of eight enticing wineries will meet and surpass even the fussiest of grape expectations on your next visit – and all are an easy drive from your Holiday Haven accommodation (or arrange a tour). Enjoy!

Crooked River Wines - 'Unwind at the Vines'

Crooked River

Located just south of Gerringong on the way to Berry, Crooked River invites you to sip local wines and microbrewed beers while overlooking the vines and rolling green hills – popular backdrop for weddings, gatherings and even its own winter music festival! This family-owned winery was established in 1998 in the rich volcanic alluvial soils and has won a slew of awards since – for classics as well as more experimental blends. The cellar door and restaurant are a great way to while away an afternoon.

Sipping suggestion: 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon

Silos Estate - Image by @rachaeltagg via @visitshoalhaven

SIlos Estate

Set on the site of an 150-year-old dairy farm, this small working vineyard is located between Berry and Nowra (look for the iconic silos) and has been hearing good things on the grapevine since 1984. With easy access off the newly-upgraded highway and on-site EV stations for your car while you sip and sample from the impressive cellar door, it’s a wonderful place for all to recharge. Oh, and you’ll be sure to get a warm, woolly welcome from the resident alpacas during your visit – they’ve been farmed on site since 2011!

Sipping suggestion: 2021 Duck’s Nuts Shiraz

Coolangatta Estate

Coolangatta mountain carves a recognisable silhouette all around Shoalhaven Heads, and this award-winning grand estate (proudly boasting the title of “region’s most awarded”) that shares its name is almost as iconic – dating all the way back to 1822. The sprawling property is a delight to tour, with the cellar door open 11am to 5pm daily. Alternatively, you can dine in the restaurant or even grab a picnic to enjoy the verdant setting.

Sipping suggestion: 2022 Vedelho

Two Figs Winery

Perched atop a hill on the southern side of Coolangatta mountain and providing stunning views of the Shoalhaven River and countryside in all directions, this boutique winery is worth it for the location alone. Luckily, the drops are also tops – self-described as “premium cool climate wines”, with the combination of loamy clay-on-shale soils and afternoon sea breezes providing ideal growing conditions. The cellar door is the perfect way to spend an afternoon!

Sipping suggestion: 2022 Rosé

Mountain Ridge Wines

Mountain Ridge Wines

With a cellar door, restaurant/cafe and even a market garden, this boutique family-run winery’s ethos is “cultivated with conscience, crafted for pleasure” – with a big focus on sustainability, the environment, flora and fauna. Situated between Berry and Seven Mile Beach, alongside Cullunghutti Mountain, you’ll feel right at home sipping on a range of whites and organic reds – sourced from both onsite vines as well as their sister winery at Bawley Point. 

Sipping suggestion: 2021 Semillon

Yarrawa Estate

There is already something magical about the geographically unique Upper Kangaroo Valley – a hidden wonderland, like a time capsule to escape the worries of the world. And for the past 25 years, award-winning Yarrawa Estate has called this idyllic location home, growing a range of white, red and rosé varietals as well as a collection of homemade nuts, jams, pickles and olive oil to keep your pantry (and tummy) full. Australian Traveller has described the estate as tucked into the landscape “like a jewel in a velvet glove”, and who are we to argue!

Sipping suggestion: 2022 Chardonnay

Lyrebird Ridge Winery - Image by @rachaeltagg

Lyrebird Ridge

Tucked away on the road between Nowra and Kangaroo Valley, this winery and retreat is a small and peaceful 40 acre patch of serenity that thrives on all things organic. The winery has been in operation since 1994 with a cellar door offering wine and cheese tasting. With off the grid solar and rainwater, Lyrebird Ridge truly encapsulates an escape to the country – priding itself in its hands-on approach and hand-picked goodness.

Sipping suggestion: Organic Chambourcin

Cuppitt's Estate

Cupitt’s Estate

They say good things take time, but sometimes they simply take the right people with a great vision. This is the case at Cupitt’s Estate – an 1851-built dairy farm near Milton that was converted to winery only in 2007. Since then, it has made quite the splash – literally, producing a mix of wines, craft beers and even cheeses all onsite, as well as becoming the go-to place for a range of local activities including monthly markets, live music and sustainable-menu dining. An afternoon at this boutique estate is well worth it!

Sipping suggestion: 2022 Arneis

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