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FOOD & DRINK

Five Top-Notch NSW Winemakers to Get Behind If You're Committed to Supporting and Drinking Local 

Sip and celebrate the state's best independent vinos.
By Sarah Ward
August 30, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
August 30, 2020
  shares

FIVE TOP-NOTCH NSW WINEMAKERS TO GET BEHIND IF YOU'RE COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING AND DRINKING LOCAL 

in partnership with

Sip and celebrate the state's best independent vinos.

When it comes to sun, surf and sand, Australia's prowess is widely recognised. But, as any wine lover is well aware, we have something else to be just as proud of. Made in sprawling vineyards around the country — including in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory — our local vinos are simply top-notch. And, they're worth championing and celebrating at every possible opportunity.

This isn't news to NSW and ACT residents, of course. The Hunter Valley, Gundagai and Canberra's wineries have strong reputations, as do others across the rest of the region. Indeed, we're betting their tipples already rank highly on your must-drink list. When such excellent wines are made so close to home, there's nothing better than to pair one with dinner, a cheese platter or a seafood lunch, obviously.

In case you need a few extra suggestions, are looking for a couple of other local drops to try, or you could just use a reminder about brands you adore, we've teamed up with our pals at BWS to highlight five NSW and ACT-based winemakers that you should definitely know and support. You might already love their tipples. You may have heard of them, but never had the pleasure of trying their wares. Either way, these wines will help you drink local.

  • 5

    Among the Hunter Valley’s many, many vineyards, Tyrrell’s Wines is one of the region’s big names. But it’s still an independent, family-owned wine company that’s been making excellent tipples since 1858. It’s a hefty award-winner, too, nabbing more than 5650 gongs from various bodies over the past five decades alone. When it comes to Tyrrell’s vinos, variety is the key. It’s perhaps best known for its Vat 1 semillon, as well as its other timeless drops in the prestigious Winemaker’s Selection range; however the brand’s overall selection is particularly sizeable. For fans of a fruity red, the Old Winery pinot noir is not only known for its cherry and strawberry scent, but also for a mushroom aroma. Yes, it goes nicely with meat dishes.

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  • 4

    Organic wines have been gaining more attention in recent years. Biodynamic wines, too. So have vegan wines — and if you’re looking for all three in one drop, Lark Hill makes just that in the hills above Canberra, where it boasts one of the highest plantings in the region. Thanks to its lofty location, its shale and clay soil, and the fact that conditions are dry, Lark Hill is all about grapes that can thrive in hardy conditions. Think riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and grüner veltliner. Opt for the former, and you’ll be sipping a tangy tipple that’s big on taste but actually has less alcohol content than usual.

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  • 3

    One of the great things about Gundagai, other than being the famous home of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, is that it’s halfway between Sydney and Melbourne. Another: wine, wine and, yes, even more wine. Take the vinos made by Tumblong Hills, for instance. They’re crafted by a community of winemakers. And, grape-wise, they benefit from winds from the Snowy Mountains. Operating since 1998, and spread across 202 hectares with a view of the Murrumbidgee River, Tumblong Hills favours European-style drops — and its shiraz particularly stands out. One of its estate wines made only from grapes grown onsite, it features plum, cherry and raspberry tastes, plus those welcome notes of French oak.

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  • 2

    Borambola Wines is a winery with history. Located in the Gundagai wine-growing region, it dates back 25 years to 1995, and it wraps around a homestead that was built in the late 19th century. Its paddocks were also once home to 1947 Melbourne Cup winner Hiraji, who was raised there, trained there and also spent its post-race life there as well. Given the latter fact, it’s no wonder that one of Borambola’s top drops is the Hiraji’s Spell shiraz. Fruity in flavour, and with firm but light tannins, it’s a flavoursome yet smooth wine. And, it’s just one of the 100-percent estate-grown vinos on the company’s list, with its range extending to chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, rosé, cabernet sauvignon and sparkling brut (and, to beer and cider as well).

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  • 1

    You don’t become a first-generation winemaker without a passion for all things vino, which Simall’s Simon Hall clearly possesses. Since 2013, he’s been crafting locally made drops on the New South Wales South Coast. And, since early 2020, the company has been doing tastings and takeaway sales from its urban cellar door, The Wine Hub, in Wollongong. While Simall’s range spans a number of labels, Take a Gander tops the list. It also has both a community focus and a community following. A regular feature at nearby markets and festivals, Take a Gander specialises in easy-drinking tipples, as you’d expect given the region — which is great news for lovers of shiraz cabernet, sauvignon blanc, rosé and pinot grigio.

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To find these or other NSW drinks as part of the BWS Local Luvva initiative, head to your nearest BWS store.

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