Australia's most exciting wines

Six Wines That Will Make You Want to Relocate to Canberra

Canberra’s wine scene is going nowhere but up! With just the right soil, ideal climate and some highly committed wine makers (they even hold claim to Australia’s wine maker of the year), the region is producing a whole range of quality drops bound to make any serious oenophile raise their glass. Here are six wines worth tracking down.

2014 Shiraz Viognier, Clonakilla, Murrumbateman

The 2014 Shiraz Viognier from Clonakilla, made by Australian Wine Maker of The Year Tim Kirk, is one of the most celebrated reds in the region. Savour it in a big bowl shaped glass to appreciate the terrific aromas, and allow some leisurely sipping to admire how the wine develops once poured. It has a lovely line of warm spice running through it and James Halliday asserts that, “its cross-thatched flavours (not textures) need careful navigation.”

best Canberra wines
2014 Shiraz Viognier, Clonakilla, Murrumbateman

2015 Seven Months White Blend, Ravensworth, Murrumbateman

The 2015 Ravensworth Seven Months White Blend is an unusual amalgam of pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon, riesling and roussanne grapes that spends several months fermented on skins in a large ceramic ‘egg’ (instead of an oak barrel). Deep gold in colour, it’s ideal for rich dishes that might normally suit a light red, or grilled meats such as chicken. This is the one that has waiters in Canberra excited and when I asked for a ‘must-try’ Canberra wine, the Ravensworth label has come up more than once.

canberra's top wineries
2015 Seven Months White Blend, Ravensworth, Murrumbateman

2013 Josephine Pinot Noir, Lerida Estate

The Josephine is the estate’s top ranking reserve pinot noir awarded much acclaim by wine critics and media Australia wide. This 2013 vintage was an extraordinarily successful year producing mid palate fruit and a seamless emergence of silky tannins through to the finish. The nose develops forest floor autumn notes that are overlaid by the spicy fruit of the pinot noir. Spice, strawberry and a bit of cherry in the palate lead through to a long succulent finish.

Canberra's top wineries
2013 Josephine Pinot Noir, Lerida Estate

2014 Mr. V, Marsanne Rousanne Viognier, Lark Hill

Haling from the 100% biodynamic Lark Hill winery the 2014 ‘Mr V.’ Marsanne Rousanne Viognier is a blend of three classic Rhone white varieties. Its aromatic bouquet has the pungency of whites from this region in France, and the palate is robust and nutty, with a creaminess that is welcoming but not overdone. It has lots of flavour, is great with food and is a wine that is sure to provoke conversation.

eighty six, Braddon, Restaurant review
2014 Mr. V, Marsanne Rousanne Viognier, Lark Hill

2015 Bunched, Sauvignon Blanc, Eden Road

This wine is bound to change your perception of the overly served grape that has engulfed Asia Pacific in recent popularity. Aromas of tropical fruit, typical of the widespread aforementioned sauvignon blancs from the southern hemisphere, are immediately obvious, but reserve judgment as in the mouth it’s a crisp contrast. It’s dry, full of texture and elegant. A delicious wine made even better with food.

best Canberra wines
2015 Bunched, Sauvignon Blanc, Eden Road

Sparkling Duet, Pinot Noir/ Chardonnay, Gallagher

That’s right – Canberra does bubbly well too, as is proven by Gallagher’s Sparkling Duet. A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay produce a pale lemon hue, with scents of citrus and a whisper of yeasty bread on the nose. Fine bubbles burst with flavours of tangy pomelo leading into a crisp, clean ending. It’s great by itself, but I also see it a fitting match for some simple Asian dishes such as steamed tilapia with a mild chili and ginger seasoning.

top wine attractions Canberra
Sparkling Duet, Pinot Noir/ Chardonnay, Gallagher

We’re loving Canberra wines and would be excited to learn of your favourites too. Please leave a note below if you have a wine we should look out for.


  1. Canberra is great for a visit – a week should encompass all
    the sights – War Memorial, Parliament House and Old Parliament
    House, Duntroon Military Academy, Embassy row, the museums
    and the Institute of Sport academy plus the restaurant scene,
    but as for living there – NO WAY HOSA!
    Too many politicians, bureaucrats and God forbid, over
    opinionated public servants.
    Plus you freeze in winter and cook to death in the dry summers.
    Yep one week every couple of years to keep up with the
    new things (buildings) of interest.
    Great reporting on the food scene in the A.C.T. region.
    El Colin Cordobes

    • I know you like your warmer coastal climate. I’m not too fond of the cold either, so don’t think I could outlast the close to zero temperatures for long. That being said though, having the comfort of some of the excellent tummy warming Shiraz coming out of the region, I might be be able to get through 😉

  2. David Nicholls

    Could have added Dennis Hart’s Dogtrap Vineyard Shiraz to this list: Try the 2009 Tony or Lyn, or the standard 2009 for that matter. A good deal more body that the typical Canberra Region shiraz, closer to a Barossa, and beautifully balanced. The label tends to put people off, including James Halliday. And to the previous commenter, we who live in Canberra are delighted by the prejudices of many about living here. It keeps the numbers down. And dozens of vineyards 25 minutes from the centre of town! It is so much easier a place to live than the major capitals, even civilised ones like Adelaide.

  3. the sparkling duet! sign me up for the canberra relocation programme 😀

  4. No Helm wines?

  5. I’d like to try the sav blanc

  6. Some good wines coming from Canberra.

  7. Pinot noir for me please.

  8. Cail White

    I like to drink local. Some good finds here.

  9. Jenni Chin

    I’ve heard the region is similar to the Rhone.

  10. Julie Olly

    So much to choose from!

  11. Which one should I start with?

  12. Peter Williams

    You’ve got a nice collection there. Sounds like you tried a few on your trip!

  13. Shelly Good

    Aussie wines are getting better and better.

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