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Hilltops / Tumbarumba

The Hilltops has weathered the drought, bushfires and flooding rains, with the 2020 vintage looking promising. The same can’t be said for Tumbarumba; the physical impact of the bushfires on vineyards was appalling. For those who escaped the fires, smoke has tainted any chance of a decent vintage.

Still, wine producers are a resilient lot, with Courabyra Wines and Johansen Wines promptly reopening their cellar doors. Sales of the wines from previous (successful) vintages will help the Tumbarumba vignerons get back on their feet. Over at Young, the cellar doors are spruced up and ready to go.

Ballinaclash Fruit & Wine

Star Cellar Door

0418 271 770

Ballinaclash is an innovative enterprise run by Cath and Peter Mullany, the energetic pair who not only grow grapes, but also cherries, stone fruits and plums.

Carloads of eager tourists come for fruit-picking, cherry pie-making and to buy the wide range of preservatives, jams, verjuice and honey. There’s even a fortified cherry wine. Everything is grown and made on-site, except the wine, which is (predominantly) in the safe hands of Madrez Winemaking Services.

The Ballinaclash orchard was established by Peter Mullany’s Irish parents in 1965. Peter was a shearer before taking over with his school-teaching wife and planting the first grapes in 1997.

Over the past 20 years, Ballinaclash has morphed from a wholesale grower to a holistic, self-sustaining enterprise. The farm-gate shop is open Friday to Sunday, and seven days a week in the cherry season. If the Mullany name is familiar, Peter’s brother, Brian, is the man behind Grove Estate. PETER BOURNE

OUTSTANDING WINE: 2016 Ballinaclash Edward Shiraz, A$32

Grove Estate

(02) 6382 6999

Young & Hilltops Region Wine Cellar
Best Small Cellar Door & additional CELLAR DOOR EXPERIENCE

1800 628 233

Freeman Vineyards

(02) 6384 4299

Courabyra Wines
Cellar Door with Best Food

(02) 6948 2462

Johansen Wines
Cellar Door with Best Accommodation

0424 689 492