The South East of NSW isn't exactly famous for winemaking, however there are some vineyards around and a good wine takes time to develop. To our north are the vineyards of Shoalhaven that are coming into prize winning maturity having rightfully secured over 1,000 Australian & International awards. The Shoalhaven Coast wine growing region stretches from Kiama in the North to Durras in the South, and west to Kangaroo Valley.
The Shoalhaven region has flourished over the past 20 years producing a wide range of varieties including Chardonnay, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. In recent years new exciting varieties have been planted and are now available for tasting at cellar doors. These new varieties include Arneis, Viognier, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Tannat. The very well attended Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival is held each year over the June Long Weekend and is well worth the visit. From Durras south it becomes a little more difficult to find a South Coast wine to compliment your meal however the Tilba Valley Winery at the southern end of the shire offers, via their cellar door, a selection of wines made on site which includes semillon, traminer, riesling, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and a delicious Australian-style port and muscat. The winery has a fermentation capacity of some 15,000 litres and produces about 600 cases of wine per annum, almost all of which is sold at the cellar door. Further south, the Sapphire Coast wine industry is in its infancy but all the right ‘ingredients’ are in place: good wine is born from good vines planted in good soil and nurtured by people who are passionate about their produce.
The seven-acre Mimosa Wines vineyard has been established since initial plantings in 1999. Winemaker Glenn Butson appreciated the challenges involved with growing grapes in this fickle maritime climate and selected Chambourcin, Verdelho, Tempranillo and the ultra premium Spanish white Albarino for their compatibility with the terroir and lifestyle of this unique area. With biodynamic practices employed to invigorate soils and combat disease, and passionate wine-making producing innovative wine styles, these selections have proven inspirational. Mimosa Wines has an excellent cellar door and is well worth calling into. Another new comer to the South Coast wine industry is Yowrie Valley Wines, located west of Cobargo in the Bega district. Their wines appeal to those looking for smooth tanins on the palate and are slightly lighter in alcohol content, due to their climate and altitude. The range includes a savagnin vintage that traces back to the Jura region of France and is a fresh, crisp dry white with lively citrus characteristics. Also in the range are shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, and a rosé made from their cabernet sauvignon grapes. Yowrie Valley Wines do not have a cellar door however you can find them each Tuesday at the SAGE Moruya Farmers Markets, Riverside Park, Moruya
Above: Yowrie Valley Wines, when available, can be found at the SAGE Moruya Farmers Market