The NSW South Coast is famous for white, sandy beaches and crystal, clear waters but were you aware that our region is full of incredible wines too? These locally-grown drops are starting to earn both national and international acclaim, pleasing even the most particular of connoisseurs. So move over France, Italy and Spain, here are 5 reasons why you need a wine holiday down in the Shoalhaven. Bottoms up!
1. The Award Winning Wine
But of course, the number one reason has got to be the wine! There are a bunch of local vineyards in the Shoalhaven that produce world-class drops. The wines at Coolangatta Estate have won over 1600 awards at regional, national and international levels. Cupitt's Winery's Dusty Dog has received a gold medal for best Shiraz in the Australian Highlands Wine Show. And at Silos Estate, you can taste their local varieties at their renowned cellar door located in the property’s old dairy shed. Silos produces an array of wines, including Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
2. The Spectacular Views
What do you get when a region has a magnificent escarpment that flows down to unspoilt beaches? Amazing views that provide a stunning backdrop for your wine holiday. Look out onto rolling, green hills while sipping on your wine at Cambewarra Estate. The property lies at the foothills of Cambewarra Mountain and is a picture perfect spot to sample some vino.
Once you're done here, head west towards Coolangatta Mountain and stop for a few at Two Figs Winery. You'll find it perched at the top of a hill and be met with a stellar outlook of the Shoalhaven River. Further down south, in the farmland between Milton and Ulladulla lies before-mentioned Cupitt's. Visit in the afternoon for epic views of the Pigeon House Mountain escarpment and watch the sun go down behind the Budawangs.
3. The Unique Accommodation
Shoalhaven wineries offer some of the most beautiful cottage accommodation on the South Coast. Their warm atmosphere and unrivalled access to cellar doors, restaurants and other vineyard activities make for an excellent home away from home.
Each place offers a certain charm that is entirely unique. A stay at Lyrebird Ridge's classic country accommodation includes a complimentary wine tasting and breakfast. Feast on some delicious free range eggs that are laid right there on the property. The retreat style cottages are pet-friendly and guests can play with resident dogs, Milly and Rosie. Animal lovers will also enjoy a sojourn at Silo's Cottages, where you might get the chance to meet some of the friendly resident alpacas!
Those partial to a touch of French provincial atmosphere will enjoy the 100-year-old renovated slab cottage available at Cupitt's. We love the original stone fireplace that will keep you cosy in winter. Last but not least, the property at Coolangatta Estate also plays host to some fantastic accommodation. An original convict built village is the focal point of the property and has been transformed into specialty guest houses. We recommend taking a walk around the grounds of the village and being transported back in time to the birthplace of the Shoalhaven.
4. The Yummy Food
The Shoalhaven is a melting pot of culinary excellence that just keeps getting better and better. Pair your wines with a meal for a truly wonderful foodie experience. Silos Restaurant is owned and operated by chef Andrew Hickie, who has cooked for the likes of Oprah, Tony Blair and Paul McCartney. He now runs the kitchen at Silos which includes some deliciously modern farm-style plates.
The list of fantastic Shoalhaven chefs continues with Chris Armstrong who holds down the fort at Cambewarra Estate. The venue has a rapidly growing reputation for stunning food, where Chris combines locally grown produce with his love for classic French, Spanish and South American cuisine. The menu includes dishes such as braised oxtail with grits and a hearty vegetable gumbo. If you happen to be in the area on the first Sunday of the month, we highly recommend heading to Mountain Ridge Winery near Shoalhaven Heads. Pop in for a yummy lunch and you can enjoy your food and wine while bopping away to live music in the restaurant. For those who will be venturing further south, head to the Milton hills where Cupitt's chef Rusell Chin will be cooking up a storm with local flavours. His impeccable kitchen has just been given the title of 'Best Tourism' restaurant at the NSW Tourism Awards in 2016 and is well worth a visit.
5. The Beach Is Never Far Away
Where else can you sip on award-winning wines a vineyard and then head just five minutes down the road to the ocean? Our Shoalhaven wineries are located close to the water which means you can combine a beach and wine holiday all in one. Bawley Vale Estate is located just minutes away from stunning Bawley Point, a popular surfing spot all throughout the year. Not far away you'll also find the bushland of Murramarang National Park which is home to many of our friendly local kangaroos! Say hello to these little guys and then take a dip at Pebbly Beach. Other wineries such as Two Figs, Coolangatta Estate and Mountain View are also just a hop, skip and a jump from the world-famous Seven Mile Beach.
Treat yourself to a bit of a food and wine holiday the next time you head down to the Shoalhaven coast. We have many wonderful options scattered all across our region. Indulge in some top notch cuisine and savour our delicious drops!