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Canberra’s Outstanding Wineries

Gallagher Wines

Greg Gallagher owns and manages his family winery, Gallagher Wines at Jeir (near Murrumbateman).Greg also acts as both winemaker and consultant for over twelve other wineries in the region and neighbouring areas.Gallagher Wines look to make wines of the highest quality for genuine wine lovers to enjoy. There most recent success came with the 2017 Riesling winning four Trophies in the International Riesling Challenge – including “The Best Riesling – Internationally“.

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Capital Wines

This is the venture of Mark and Jennie Mooney (of the Royal Hotel at Gundaroo) and Andrew and Marion McEwin (of Kyeema Wines). They joined forces to found Capital Wines, which purchased Kyeema Wines and related contract winemaking in 2008. The venture has seen the creation of The Ministry Series wines, with clever graphic design and generally invigorated marketing efforts. The estate vineyard is still an important source, supplemented by grape purchases. The cellar door operates in conjunction with the Grazing Restaurant in Gundaroo, in the 1830s stone stables. Author: James Halliday

 

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Clonakilla

The indefatigable Tim Kirk, with an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge, is the winemaker and manager of this family winery founded by his father, scientist Dr John Kirk. It is not at all surprising that the quality of the wines is excellent, especially the Shiraz Viognier, which has paved the way for numerous others to follow, but remains the icon. Demand for the wines outstrips supply, even with the 1998 acquisition of an adjoining 20ha property by Tim and wife Lara Kirk, and planted to shiraz and viognier; the first Hilltops Shiraz being made in 2000, from the best Hilltops vineyards; the 2007 purchase by the Kirk family of another adjoining property, and the planting of another 1.8ha of shiraz, plus 0.4ha of grenache, mourvedre and cinsaut; and in the same year, the first vintage of ORiada Shiraz. Exports to all major markets. Author: James Halliday

Best Wineries Canberra

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Collector Wines

Owner and winemaker Alex McKay makes exquisitely detailed wines, bending to the dictates of inclement weather on his doorstep, heading elsewhere if need be. He was part of a talented team at BRL Hardys Kamberra Winery, and when it was closed down by Hardys new owner CHAMP, decided to stay in the district, He is not known to speak much, and when he does, his voice is very quiet. So you have to remain alert to appreciate his unparalleled sense of humour. No such attention is needed for his wines, which are consistently excellent, their elegance appropriate for their maker. Exports to The Netherlands and Japan. Author: James Halliday

 

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Eden Road Wines

The name of this business, now entirely based in the Canberra District, reflects an earlier stage of its development, when it also had a property in the Eden Valley. That has now been separated, and Eden Roads operations since 2008 centre on Hilltops, Canberra District and Tumbarumba. Eden Road has relocated to Murrumbateman, where it purchased the former Doonkuna winery and mature vineyard, marketing greatly assisted by winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy 09. Exports to the UK, the US, Maldives and Hong Kong. Author: James Halliday

The Eden Road team – clockwise from in front: Nick Spencer, Kate Walsh, Dallas Finn, Chris Coffman, Hamish Young, Andrew Ferrell, Tash, and Bruno. (Not pictured: Matthew Davidson, Mike Lloyd, Phillip Whyburn)

Best Wineries Canberra

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Four Winds Vineyard

Graeme and Suzanne Lunney conceived the idea for Four Winds in 1997, planting the first vines in 98, moving to the property full-time in 99, and making the first vintage in 2000. Daughter Sarah looks after events and promotions, and youngest daughter Jaime, complete with a degree in forensic biology, has joined husband Bill in the winery. She brings with her several years experience with the former Kamberra winery, and three vintages in the Napa Valley. Author: James Halliday

Best Wineries Canberra

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Helm

Ken Helm is an energetic promoter of his wines and of the Canberra District generally. For some years now his wines have been of the highest standard, the Rieslings receiving conspicuous show success and critical acclaim. Plantings have steadily increased, with riesling (8ha), cabernet sauvignon (6ha), shiraz, gewurztraminer and chardonnay (1ha each), plus smaller plantings of other varieties. Exports to Macau and Hong Kong. Author: James Halliday

Best Wineries Canberra

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Lake George Winery

Lake George Winery was established by legend-in-his-own-lifetime Dr Edgar Riek, who has contributed so much to the Canberra District and the Australian wine industry. The feel is at once domestic and international, with reclaimed materials sitting alongside commissioned art, found objects next to design classics.hardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, semillon and merlot have been joined by shiraz, tempranillo, pinot gris, viognier, pinot noir and malbec. The winemaking techniques include basket-pressing and small-batch barrel maturation under the expert eyes of Nick Spencer and Hamish Young. The quality shows through. Exports to China. Author: James Halliday

Best Wineries Canberra

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Lark Hill

The Lark Hill vineyard is situated at an altitude of 860m, offering splendid views of the Lake George escarpment. The Carpenters have made wines of real quality, style and elegance from the start, but have defied all the odds (and conventional thinking) with the quality of their Pinot Noirs in favourable vintages. Significant changes have come in the wake of son Christopher gaining three degrees, including a double in wine science and viticulture through CSU, and the biodynamic certification of the vineyard. They have also planted 1ha of gruner veltliner; it is hard to understand why there have been so few plantings of this high quality Austrian variety. In 2011 Lark Hill purchased one of the two Ravensworth vineyards from Bryan Martin, with plantings of sangiovese, shiraz, viognier, roussanne and marsanne; they will also be converting it (renamed Dark Horse) to biodynamic farming. Exports to the UK. Author:James Halliday

 

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Lerida Estate

Lerida Estate, owned by Jim Lumbers and Anne Caine, owes a great deal to the inspiration of Dr Edgar Riek, planted as it is immediately to the south of his former Lake George vineyard, and also planted mainly to pinot noir (there are also smaller plantings of pinot gris, chardonnay, shiraz, merlot, cabernet franc and viognier). The Glenn Murcuttdesigned winery, barrel room, cellar door and caf complex has spectacular views over Lake George. Exports to China. Author:James Halliday

IWC award winner: Lerida Estate owner Jim Lumbers. Photo: Anne Caine

Best Wineries Canberra

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Mount Majura Vineyard

Vines were first planted in 1988 by Dinny Killen on a site on her family property that had been especially recommended by Dr Edgar Riek; its attractions were red soil of volcanic origin over limestone, with reasonably steep east and northeast slopes providing an element of frost protection. The tiny vineyard has been significantly expanded since it was purchased in 99. Blocks of pinot noir and chardonnay have been joined by pinot gris, shiraz, tempranillo, riesling, graciano, mondeuse, cabernet franc and touriga. In addition, there has been an active planting program for the pinot noir, introducing Dijon clones 114, 155 and 777. All the grapes used come from these estate plantings. One of the star performers in the Canberra District. Author: James Halliday

 

Best Wineries Canberra

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Nick O’Leary Wines

At the ripe old age of 28, Nick OLeary had been involved in the wine industry for over a decade, working variously in retail, wholesale, viticulture and winemaking. Two years earlier he had laid the foundation for Nick OLeary Wines, purchasing shiraz from local vignerons (commencing in 2006); riesling following in 08. His wines have had extraordinarily consistent success in local wine shows and competitions since the first vintages. Author: James Halliday

Best Wineries Canberra

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Ravensworth

Winemaker, vineyard manager and partner Bryan Martin (with dual wine science and wine growing degrees from CSU) has a background of wine retail, food and beverage in the hospitality industry, and teaches part-time in that field. He is also assistant winemaker to Tim Kirk at Clonakilla, after seven years at Jeir Creek. Judging at wine shows is another string to his bow. Ravensworth has two vineyards: Rosehill (cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sauvignon blanc) and Martin Block (shiraz, viognier, marsanne and sangiovese). Author: James Halliday

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