The Shoalhaven Coast is more than a wine region, it’s a destination. Located on New South Wales’ South Coast, you’ll find the world’s whitest beach, top restaurants, rolling meadows and more than a few big-hitting wineries. Here are four of the best cellar doors to visit.
Owners Raj and Sophie Ray uprooted their lives in Sydney’s corporate world 10 years ago to open a winery. They have been invested in Silos Estate since. “We wanted to wake up and smell the rosé,” says Raj, laughing. The winery has been carbon-neutral since 2010 and sustainability is a primary focus, after the wine.
The Silos label can be found at award-winning restaurants around the state, but there’s nothing like visiting the source. At this cellar door you’ll not only find the premium Silos Estate range (capturing the characteristics of the South Coast), but also the Wileys Creek range, which is made from grapes sourced from around the country. You’ll be in good hands next door at the Silos Restaurant, which is headed by Nick Gardner. Having worked at some of Sydney’s best restaurants Quay and Tetsuya’s, Gardner merges European technique with local and native Australian produce.
The Cole family established Cambewarra Estate in 1991 and it’s been a strong family affair ever since. Second-generation owners Amanda and her husband Brett took over this year and their fresh, opportunistic approach is already evident. Amanda decided to diversify and create something that would bring more than just wine drinkers to Cambewarra Estate: adding a restaurant and exclusive tea label.
Here, you’ll feel as though you’re lounging on the family’s back lawn, overlooking rows of chardonnay – the foundation of the drink in your hand. The winery is known for its verdelho, which has a bold, fruity sweetness and a clean, crisp finish. Try the region’s famed variety of chambourcin, which can be compared to a light shiraz; perfect to take home and enjoy with something spicy.
Two Figs Winery
With a view rivaling its neighbours, Two Figs Winery is mandatory. Similar to the stories of many of the local winemakers, Shayne and Alison Bricker threw in the towel of corporate life and started planting vines. A few years later, Two Figs was born. It has now been operating for 10 years and is one of the best cellar doors in the area.
Its flagship wine is Sunday Afternoon, a verdelho/chardonnay blend that is so popular you won’t find it outside the local area. Tasting the Dallas shiraz, it becomes obvious that Shayne is a red drinker – it is complex and full-bodied, with flavours of berry, plum and a hint of vanilla on the finish.
Cupitt's Winery Perhaps aA little far for a day trip, so you should consider staying the night. Once an abandoned creamery dating back to 1851, it has been transformed into a cellar door.
The Cupitts sure know how to embrace country living, producing not only wine, but also cheese, cattle and beer on their pristine Ulladulla property. Second-generation winemakers Tom and Wally are now in charge of all things fermented, leaving mum and dad to tend to the cows and make cheese. The family team takes a different approach on to winemaking, utilising using old-world techniques discovered whilst while working in European wineries. The resulting wines are complex, yet balanced and stay true to their regional and varietal characteristics.
A once abandoned creamery dating back to 1851 has been transformed into the estates cellar door, it provides a fitting old world feel to match the wine. Perched on a subtle rise above the surrounding property, you can start by sampling the range here, slowly making your way over to the adjacent bar to try the brothers’ craft brews. The winery’s award-winning restaurant that offers revolves around seasonal food produce with traditional french French and english British influences. After all, this is wine that was made to be enjoyed with food.