Have you ever done a wineries tour of the Shoalhaven? Have you even noticed the wineries on your drive to the beach? Well let me tell you about some of the wineries.
On a sunny day in October we left Wollongong at 9am on a B& S Tour of Shoalhaven wineries. We were going to three out of twelve wineries on the sunny south coast. Having been on one before I knew what to expect, the usual speeches about how hard it is to grow grapes on the coast.
So a little about the grape growing in the area:-
- Harvest mid-February to mid-March.
- We have a young wine region with most wineries starting around 1970s.
- The region has only three wineries that grow, pick and bottle in the south coast.
- The region produces Chardonnay, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz
Most tours start in Berry, a wonderful little town where the car traffic goes slower than the pedestrians (on most days). Berry has a wide range of shops with everything from nick knack’s to boutique bottle shop, trendy cafes and housewares. This is a one street town where you can spend a couple of hours walking in and out of the shops and enjoying some wonderful food (donuts, pies).
The must see is the out of the way Treat factory. The Treat factory has two shops being a warehouse and chocolate factory. With 200 varieties of hand made and crafted confectionery, jams, sauces, chutneys and more you are bound to find something that tickles your fancy (perhaps some salmon fettucine). The Treat Factory is located in Old Creamery Lane and is opened every day from 10am – 4pm.
Next stop was my favourite winery being the Silos Estate& Wileys Creek. Silos is one of three locally produced labels. Silos produce Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Silos has been carbon neutral since 2008. They are the only shiraz grower on coast and this means that some years they do not get a shiraz.
Silos was established in 1870 the property started as a dairy farm and a lot of the old farm buildings have been restored for the use of accommodation and restaurant. The current owners have been on the land since 2007. Silos supplies wine to Emirates resorts and apart from attending the winery itself is very hard to find.
In 2007 the owners of Silos introduced the brand Wileys Creek which comes from Yarra Valley, Tumburumba, Hunter Valley, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra and produces guwertztraminer, riesling, muscat and pinot. The Tasting room also features Seven Mile Vineyard, Roselea Vineyard, Elysiuum Vineyard, Lyrebird Ridge Organic Wines, Woodhill Mountain Wines. In 2011 they started an alpaca farm and they are the largest alpaca outlet on the south coast.
If you are a port lover or desert wine person keep your eye out for Sticky Beak, Sticky Wicket and Sticky End.
I took away a bottle of Silos Squid Ink Shiraz and Wileys Creek Traminer Riesling.
Silos is two hours south of Sydney and is situated on the Princes Highway. Opened seven days a week from 11am to 5pm.
The second winery stop was Cambewarra Estate on Illaroo Road, Cambewarra, opened Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.
Cambewarra Estate was started in 1991 and produces Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chamboucin and Verdelho. Due to copyright laws they call Moscato, Verscato and Champagne ,frizzante.
Cambewarra Estate lies underneath the hills of the Shoalhaven Valley.
I liked the Sauvignon Blanc.
We had a nice lunch at the very busy Berry Hotel which was built in 1863. The Coach House Restaurant is the one of the oldest brick buildings in town. With three area of dining you should be able to find a place to sit back and enjoy the food.
The Berry Hotel can be found on the main street in Berry opposite the Berry Museum.
Last on the list was Mountain Ridge wines established in 2007. With views of the mountains and ocean (if you looked far enough) this was the best spot to spend the afternoon. Mountain Ridge Wines tasting room had wine barrels of coins and notes for you to rest on. They produce wine, beef, macadamia nuts, crafted beers and liquors (watch out for the macadamia, watermelon, strawberry and peach liquors).
This winery can be found on Coolangatta Road, Shoalhaven Heads and is opened seven days a week from 11am to 5pm.
Each winery is only a short drive out of Berry. After a fun day of wine tasting we were glad when we were able to persuade the bus driver to take the scenic route home (the coast road).
Some of the other local wineries that were group favourites:-
- The award winning Coolangatta Estate situated on Bolong Road, Shoalhaven Heads and opened seven days a week 10am to 5pm. This winery is the most well known in the area.
- Two Figs winery on Bolong Road, Shoalhaven Heads opened seven days a week 11am to 5pm.
- Crooked River winery on Willowvale Road, Gerringong opened seven days a week.
P.S. A day in the Gong