Being based in Canberra – the capital of Australia this year, one of the things I was most excited to do in the area was indulge in the surrounding award-winning wineries.
The Canberra District Wine Region is home to 140 vineyards and over 30 cellar doors, creating distinct top quality Australian wines.
My husband and I wanted to jump on board a proper wine tour, one where we can learn all about and be expertly shown around some of the very best wineries Canberra has to offer, with transportation and a nice lunch included.
Vines & Wines is a leading Canberra Wine Tour group that was exactly what we were looking for in a perfect day out of wine-tasting.
Here is what we got up to on their Lake George Uncorked Tour:
Winery #1: Mount Majura Vineyard
We were warmly greeted on Saturday morning and picked up directly from our house at 9:45 am by Elouise, the lovely owner and our guide for the day.
There were three other local girls on the tour so it was a nice and small cosy group.
In the van, we were handed the day’s itinerary with our schedule and information about each winery we were going to.
Elouise gave us an overview of the Canberra wine region as we drove to our first stop, which was less than ten minutes from where I lived.
Mount Majura Vineyard was one I had been meaning to visit all year! The outdoor area at the foot of the vineyard was beautiful, filled with seating that would be perfect for wine tasting on a warm day and enjoying one of their delicious cheese and regional tasting plates on offer.
We headed inside to the tasting room where there was a table already set up for us.
They have an impressive range to try, from sparkling wine and dry whites to reds and dessert wines. There was a sheet provided with tasting notes and we learned a lot about the differences between each kind.
We tried a total of 13 different wines! They particularly specialise in Spanish varieties such as Tempranillo. There was not a single wine I didn’t like and my husband and I happily walked away with a couple of bottles to take home. I know we will certainly be back for more and to try their platters next time!
Our next stop was about a twenty-minute drive away, out further in the countryside.
Elouise taught us a bit more about the region on the way, and how Canberra has a perfect cool climate for wine-making. This is because they have a much longer season (about six weeks) than other regions, due to having warm days but cooler nights, which leads to more developed flavours.
We arrived at Contentious Character Vineyard, which is set in the hills with a spectacular view. The stunning scenery can even be enjoyed from inside the large and open tasting room and restaurant.
Our group stood at the counter to sample 13 more delicious wines, from whites and rosé to reds. They were very different from the last vineyard; each winery has their own distinct characters and skills, along with different elemental properties and terroirs.
It was now lunch time which we were all very excited about. We got to pick our favourite wine we tasted to have a glass with our two-course lunch.
The main course was a selection of shared plates, which each and every one of was divine.
The artisanal bread, in particular, was seriously the best bread I have had in the southern hemisphere.
To cap it all off we had a choice of two desserts and everyone in the group chose the brown sugar blondie with salted caramel ice cream. It was very sweet and decadent!
Contentious Character was probably my favourite vineyard of the day, the surroundings were gorgeous, the food and wine were fabulous and it had a great atmosphere, full of people enjoying a fun Saturday outing.
Winery #3: Summerhill Road Vineyard
Winery #4: Gundog Estate
Last but not least, Gundog Estate Cork Street Cellar was our final stop of the day in the small quaint town of Gundaroo. We sat on stools around the tasting station in the historic stables, turned boutique winery.
The girls indulged in a shared locally sourced cheese platter which looked amazing.
If I wasn’t still so full from lunch I would have loved to try some too. Gundog Estate produces a large range of wines from Semillon, Riesling and Rosé to Shiraz.
I particularly loved their dessert wine NV Muscat which tasted like Christmas in a bottle!
As well as wine tastings and platters, they have a gourmet pantry selling local products that are perfect accompaniments for their wine.
Sadly, our tour had come to an end, and we were dropped off at home at around 4:30 pm after an excellent day out, our arms hugging a box of delicious local mementoes to fill our now, not so empty wine rack.
Tour: Vines & Wines Lake George Uncorked Tour (they also run a second tour called Murrembateman Uncorked).
Times: Pick up time can be between 8:30 – 10 am depending on where you live and drop off is between 4 – 5:30 pm.
Dates: Tours run every second Saturday or more, depending on demand.
Reviews: 5/5 stars on Trip Advisor.
Price: $165 per person, which includes all tastings, transportation, two-course lunch with a glass of wine and a friendly expert guide.
My husband and I both had a fantastic time on our tour and it was my favourite day I’ve had in Canberra this year. Elouise was the perfect host and guide, she was always happy to have a chat, answer any questions and share her knowledge.
She and her husband have been running Vines & Wines for three years and the passion for what they do really shone through.
The whole day was extremely well organised and each stop was highly enjoyable.
I loved how different all four wineries were from each other and they offered a good variety of tastings. As well as having a guaranteed good time it is also a great educational experience (if you want it to be!).
Vines & Wines Winery Tours are perfect for everyone from the wine novice to the serious connoisseur. It is ideal for all occasions from a couple new to the area wanting to explore the beautiful Canberra winery region (like us), to a fun outing with friends, be it a birthday or hen’s party, or simply an enjoyable Saturday out, filled with top quality wines and a delectable lunch.
I couldn’t recommend this tour more if you are passing by the capital of Australia, it’s one not to be missed!
|Pin it! 🙂|