The Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival is a much-loved event on the NSW calendar, and while it’s still scheduled for 26-27 February 2022, you can get a sneak peek with their pre-festival tasting packs. Choose from four different packs featuring the region’s top examples of pinot – that’s not just pinot noir but also gris and meunier – and have it delivered to your door for a taste of the goods before the big event. Local wineries such as Artemis, Centennial Vineyard, Cherry Tree Hill, Sutton Forest and more appear across the packs.

Here are some of the wines you'll find featured across the pre-festival packs:

2019 Centennial Vineyard Home Block Pinot Noir
Dark cherry, blood orange and five spice aromas lead to silky palate framed by fine-grained tannins and mouth-watering acidity. Would be perfect with a light chill and washed down with duck pancakes.

2019 Artemis Pinot Noir
A real crowd pleaser here – both unique and delicious with its fleshy dark fruit, alpine herbs and umami characters. Medium-bodied and full of energy. Great drinking.

2019 Cherry Tree Hill Pinot Noir
Such a lovely name for a wine label is Cherry Tree Hill. Here’s pinot for shiraz drinkers. Dense, dark purple fruits and earth with ripe tannins, saline acidity and a ferrous/iron note; at first glance it feels closer to Cru Beaujolais than a textbook Southern Highlands pinot noir. Hard to go wrong here – give it a bit of time in bottle (or a good decant).

2018 Eling Forest Winery Pinot Noir
Intense aromas of blue fruits, strawberries and earth with clear but well integrated oak spice. Light to medium-bodied and full of flavour; the refreshment factor is high. A lot of ‘pinosity’ here for your money.  

2018 Southern Highlands Winery Oldbury Hill Reserve Pinot Noir
This strikes the balance between serious and structured; juicy and fruit driven. The fruit weight is dense but savoury at its core, with charcuterie, cherry and a slight floral lift. A great example of Southern Highlands pinot here.

2015 Rotherwood Pinot Noir
It’s great to see how a bit of age sits with these wines: very favourably, as is the case here. This is currently sitting firmly in the earth and mushroom spectrum, with some underlying primary cherry and strawberry notes providing freshness. Fine-grained tannins and a striking thread of acidity render it supremely food friendly.

To order your pack and see the festival guide, visit southernhighlandsfestival.com.au