The Canberra District is renowned for its elegant, cool-climate wines with the quality for which Australian wine is recognised. If you’re yet to get there, now is the time. Despite its name, most of the region falls within NSW and is just a short drive from the nation’s capital.
With over 40 cellar doors, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to working out how to spend their time – enter much-loved East Hotel and luxe tour company Van Du Vin, and their Taste More Than Relaxation Canberra Wine Region Package. The recently launched, bespoke travel package offers a tailored wine tour across the Canberra District, along with a night’s stay at the vibrant East Hotel.
Whether you’re looking to acquaint yourself with refreshing cool-climate riesling, or dive into some exciting examples of the region’s hero, the shiraz viognier blend, the team will design a package to suit your travel plans (and of course, your palate). Both half-day and full-day private tours are on offer, and each package includes all your tastings, lunch and your own private guide carting you around in a luxury vehicle. Sounds pretty good, hey?
While you can create your own unique travel package with Van Du Vin, we recommend a full-day trip up to Murrumbateman, home to some of Australia’s best-known iconic wineries.
Following your collection from East Hotel, your guide will provide an introduction to the Canberra District on your drive to the first stop, Brindabella Hills Winery. The cellar door is a beautiful spot, where you’ll no doubt be entranced by the views overlooking the Murrumbidgee River. Enjoy a tasting of their estate range, including their refreshing 2019 Riesling, and unique 2019 Shiraz Nouveau (a blend of shiraz and riesling). It’s also time for lunch: Sweet Pea Catering serves up a locally-sourced two course menu – paired with wines and a stunning view. If you time it right, local chocolatier Fudgemental Canberra may also be around to prove the theory that regionality is key to food and wine matching, with chocolates specifically designed to pair with the Brindabella Hills wines.
Gallagher Wines is up next, where you’ll meet owners Greg and Libby Gallagher. Greg is the winemaker and Libby is a cheesemaker (name a more iconic duo); their fromagerie on site at the cellar door. No points for guessing you’ll be enjoying a very well thought out cheese and wine tasting here.
A short drive and you’ll be at McKellar Ridge Wines owned by husband and wife John and Marina Sekoranja. Take a seat under the patio or in the quaint cellar door to embark on a tasting of their estate range – be sure to sample the Estate Shiraz Viognier.
The afternoon will take you to Yarrh Wines, where you can choose one of their premium wine flights, which includes local nibbles. If you're lucky, you might even catch winemaker Fiona Wholohan herself for a chat. The final stop of the day is Eden Road Wines where (if you’re hungry) you can nibble on a cheese platter and taste their wines sourced from the Canberra District, along with nearby Hilltops and Gundagai.
Once you’re back at East Hotel, change the pace with a cocktail at the on-site Joe’s Bar, before heading to Agostinis Restaurant for an Italian-inspired meal paired with something from their exquisite wine list, which champions bottles from both near and afar. Then it’s back to the hotel – ideally for a bath, to reset after a hard day.