The Best Canberra District Wineries and Cellar Doors
While we all know Canberra as the home of Australian politics, our capital is also fast becoming known for its flourishing food and wine scene. In less than 50 years, the Canberra District has established itself as a region producing outstanding Shiraz and Riesling, along with a range of emerging alternative wine varietals.
Located roughly three hours southwest of Sydney by car and featuring a range of things to see and do – including Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, Floriade Festival and Canberra Balloon Spectacular, to name a few – there’s never been so many reasons to consider Canberra for your next getaway. Plus, many of the Canberra District wineries are no more than an hour’s drive from the city.
To help you make the most of your next trip to our nation’s capital city, we’ve put together a list of the Top 7 Cellar Doors to visit in the Canberra District wine region.
Gundog Estate is a James Halliday-rated five red star boutique winery offering a wide range of premium wines. This includes a Cabernet-based Rosé, Shiraz and Riesling from the Canberra District, Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz and Hilltops Shiraz.
This split regional personality extends to their cellar doors, with one in the Hunter Valley and the other in Gundaroo, just north of Canberra. Set in old 19th century stables in the Gundaroo village, the Cork St Cellar offers cheese and charcuterie plates, coffee, and gourmet pantry items featuring local produce.
Open Thursday and Friday, 11am–4pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am–5pm.
42 Cork St, Gundaroo, NSW
Shaw Vineyard Estate
Family owned and operated, Shaw Vineyard Estate is in Murrumbateman, the heart of the Canberra District wine region.
A producer of premium cool climate wines, they won Best Australian Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2018 London International Wine Challenge for their 2015 Reserve Merriman.
At their cellar door (which moves to its exciting new home, September, 2018), you’ll find a unique range of hand-made and hand-painted Italian ceramics for sale. In the adjoining restaurant, Olleyville, enjoy breakfast on weekends, lunch Wed to Sun and dinner Wed to Sat.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am–5pm.
34 Isabel Drive, Murrumbateman, NSW
It has been a remarkable journey for Clonakilla. When John Kirk planted the first vines in 1971 he had no idea that his vineyard would one day be celebrated as one of the best, most iconic in the country. Along the way there have been trials and tribulations as well as moments of unprecendented success. Over time something important has become clear: Murrumbateman and Shiraz are one of those rare combinations in the world of wine that can produce something truly exciting.
Open 10am to 4pm Monday – Thursday and 10am to 5pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
Bookings required for groups of 10 or more.
3 Crisps Lane, Murrumbateman, NSW
With a five red star James Halliday rating, Capital Wines is one of the quiet successes of the Canberra wine scene, producing some of the most exciting and awarded wines within the district. Their acclaimed Ministry Series makes a wry comment on our political masters and fittingly, given its close location to the political hub of the nation. Their single vineyard series are premium wines, handcrafted from the best grapes in the vineyard. The Kyeema Vineyard Shiraz vines are from an old South Australian clone sourced from vineyards used by Penfolds, and are unique within the district.
The cellar door is located in the heritage village of Hall, only 15 minutes from the centre of Canberra, and offers a range of quality varietal wines that have been consistently awarded over the years. Epicurean tastings of four wines expertly matched to four tastes of food are a particular favourite. Group and private tastings are held in the Kyeema Gallery, which features monthly changing exhibitions of local and regional artists. Group bookings essential.
Open 10:30am–5pm Thursday to Sunday and most public holidays.
13 Gladstone Street, Hall, ACT
Mount Majura Vineyard
Mount Majura Vineyard lies near the top of the Majura Valley, just outside Canberra. Every Mount Majura Vineyard wine always has been, and always will be, made exclusively from their single vineyard. So what better place to taste their wines, than in the winery that nestles at the foot of that vineyard?
Friendly and knowledgeable Cellar Door staff invite you to relax and enjoy a seated tasting. Taste as many or as few wines as you like. With an extensive range, from sparkling wine and dry whites, to reds and sweet wines, there is something for everyone. With a number of wines to taste side-by-side, it's a great educational experience for everyone from the wine novice to the serious connoisseur.
Tastings cost $10 per person with an additional charge of $5 if you wish to taste the single-site Tempranillo wines. Tasting fees are waived on purchase of wine. Cheese plates and regional tasting plates are available for purchase.
From time to time there are special events at the Cellar Door, more information on these can be found via their website. And if you're looking for an amazing place to stay, camping is offered on the vineyard via nakedcubbycollective.com.
Open 7 days 10am–5pm and most public holidays.
88 Lime Kiln Road, Majura, ACT
Ken Helm is a 4th generation descendant of German vignerons who planted vines in Albury/ Rutherglen in 1850s. Helm Wines of Murrumbateman, established by Ken and Judith Helm in 1973, are pioneers of the Canberra District, specialising in Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Helm’s approach includes two dedicated wineries on the site for the exclusive production of the two wines. The wines have a long reputation for quality and consistency.
The winery enjoys a five red star rating by James Halliday and in Huon Hooke’s 2018 Top Wineries of Australia. The Cellar Door is the heritage listed 1888 Toual School House, which has been faithfully restored.
Open daily except Tuesdays and Wednesday.
Summer hours: (September 30 to April 30) 10am–5pm.
Winter hours: (May 1 to October 1) 10am–4pm.
19 Butts Rd, Murrumbateman NSW 2582
Eden Road Wines
Eden Road’s Cellar Door isn’t the newest or flashiest tasting facility in the Canberra District wine region, but for what it lacks in high-tech or upmarket bells and whistles, it over delivers in charm. Located adjacent to the bustling winery, the tasting space is open plan with views across lawns and estate vineyards. The summer months see guests spilling outside onto the adjoining gardens, while in winter it provides cosiness despite the grand size of the space.
A simple tasting bar is bookended with used oak barrels, though the space is often used as an extension of the cellar, with barrels of maturing wine lined through the room.
One of Eden Road’s best assets is its welcoming, attentive and knowledgeable Cellar Door staff. With over a dozen wines available to taste, the breadth of wines on offer allows for a definitive guide to not only Canberra District’s marque varieties of Shiraz and Riesling, but an overview of peripheral wine growing areas of Tumbarumba, Gundagai and Hilltops from where Eden Road additionally sources grapes.
Despite the recent upgrade in food options, simplicity is the key at Eden Road’s Cellar Door with energy focused on conversation and tasting the award-winning wines.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am–5pm.
3182 Barton Highway Murrumbateman NSW
Long Rail Gully Wines
Long Rail Gully is a family owned winery just north of Murrumbateman. Every step from vineyard to bottling of their premium award-winning wines is undertaken at Long Rail Gully in "The Big Shed", which is also the home to their Cellar Door.
The Picturesque vineyard – beautifully located in amphitheatre-like surroundings, around a beautiful 6-acre trout filled dam – produces exceptional cool climate wines and is also perfect for a picnic.
Taste for yourself why Long Rail Gully is one of the region’s premier winemakers and while you’re there, you may even find something special “under the table” or other exclusive offers. Picnic area and barbeques also available, call prior to arrange.
Open weekends and public holidays 11am–4pm.
161 Long Rail Gully Rd, Murrumbateman, NSW
Canberra Winery Map
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