A-Z Challenge, Challenges by Sarah

V is for Vineyard

Canberra has an established wine growing region, with more than 30 wineries within a 35 minute drive of the city. Our boutique cellar doors offer an opportunity to meet the vignerons, share a yarn and taste the local creations, made with grapes including Riesling, Viognier or Tempranillo. There are also a variety of indulgent dining experiences to match your wines – from fine dining to wood-fired pizzas – plus tours and events. 

Cool climate wines and regional terroir

The district’s vineyards cover a large altitudinal range averaging from 300 to 800 metres. There’s also a distinct variation in temperature, vineyard elevations, and different soil types including granites and volcanics.

These elements, combined with the skills and character of the winemaker, reap varieties in styles such as Sangiovese, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo and include rare varieties like Gruner Veltliner.

The ability to ripen the same fruit across the whole region provides great diversity within styles – so you may need to taste them all!

Arrive during harvest time so you can celebrate the joys of the humble grape at the Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival. 

Canberra’s Top Five Wineries (in my opinion!)


Mount Majura Vineyard lies near the top of the Majura Valley, just outside Canberra. Every Mount Majura Vineyard wine always has been, and always will be, made exclusively from their single vineyard.

Friendly and knowledgeable Cellar Door staff invite you to relax and enjoy a seated tasting. Taste as many or as few wines as you like. With an extensive range, from sparkling wine and dry whites, to reds and sweet wines, there is something for everyone. With a number of wines to taste side-by-side, it’s a great educational experience for everyone from the wine novice to the serious connoisseur.

Tastings cost $10 per person with an additional charge of $5 if you wish to taste the single-site Tempranillo wines. Tasting fees are waived on purchase of wine. Cheese plates and regional tasting plates are available for purchase.


Gundog Estate is a James Halliday-rated five red star boutique winery offering a wide range of premium wines. This includes a Cabernet-based Rosé, Shiraz and Riesling from the Canberra District, Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz and Hilltops Shiraz.

Set in old 19th century stables in the Gundaroo village, the Cork St Cellar offers cheese and charcuterie plates, coffee, and gourmet pantry items featuring local produce.


Established in 1971 this vineyard is celebrated as one of the best, most iconic in the country. Murrumbateman and Shiraz are one of those rare combinations in the world of wine that can produce something truly exciting.


Ken Helm is a 4th generation descendant of German vignerons who planted vines in Albury/ Rutherglen in 1850s. Helm Wines of Murrumbateman, established by Ken and Judith Helm in 1973, are pioneers of the Canberra District, specialising in Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The wines have a long reputation for quality and consistency. The winery enjoys a five red star rating by James Halliday and in Huon Hooke’s 2018 Top Wineries of Australia. The Cellar Door is the heritage listed 1888 Toual School House, which has been faithfully restored.


You can find Lerida Estate at the foothills of the Cullerin Range, a short 30 min drive from Canberra. They produce a range of exceptional, unique, cool climate wines made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Riesling and more!

Enjoy a tasting in at the beautiful cellar door, or stop for a meal in their award winning restaurant. This winery also offers magnificent sweeping views over the mysterious Lake George.

Liquid Geography Map

The Canberra District Wine Industry Association has created a website where you can plan your wineries trip, as well as a downloadable PDF Map.

  • Click HERE to access the website.


  • Download the map HERE.

A – Z Challenge – V

Photos by Sarah, Thursday Doors

Lake George Wine Region

At Easter, we completed a self-guided tour of some of the Lake George wine region near Canberra. I came across some interesting doors at some of the cellar doors we visited…

I would highly recommend Mt Majura Wines, Collector Wines, Lerida Estate and Contentious Character. Amazing service, delicious wine and divine ambience. If you’re in the area, they are well worth checking out!

Avoid one particular winery in the area, at all costs! I won’t name it because that’s not very nice, however, we were treated with unbelievable rudeness and made to feel most unwelcome. If it wasn’t so bad, it would be funny! I wish we’d checked their TripAdvisor reviews first – 15/29 were rated as “Terrible” and we were certainly on the receiving end of finding out why!

Luckily we finished on a high with the lovely Tony at Contentious Character more than making up for it and saving the day for us!

Prompt: Norm 2.0, Thursday Doors – April 12, 2018

Daily Post Weekly Challenge, Photos by Sarah

Awakening Tastebuds

A delicious Pinot Noir from Passing Clouds Winery near Daylesford, Victoria…

A couple of tasting paddles from Two Thumb Brewing Co in Christchurch, New Zealand…

Nothing like a good wine or craft beer to awaken the tastebuds!

Prompt; Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Awakening

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah


Image credit Ooberxandxdavie6

The warm honey glow of the late afternoon sun, was a contrast to the prickling cool of the mountain air on her skin. She climbed to her vantage point, high above the valleys. The ‘T-tree’ had been formed one night when Zeus’ lightning bolt had cleaved it in two – destroying the wine-red leaves of Autumn. The remaining limbs had sagged and sighed their defeat, for it was Winter now and the cornucopia were full for the cold months ahead. It was from here she loved to watch over the world below. The mountain goats were drawn here also and she liked to imagine it was because they were summoned by her power; taking their place beside her in the stars.

nourishing earth’s child
Amaltheia; Capricorn;
goat goddess endures.

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note: In Greek mythology, Amaltheia is the she-goat Goddess who nourished Zeus as an infant. In later years, Zeus broke off one of Her horns, which then became the cornucopia, providing sustenance for all earth’s creatures. Amaltheia’s themes are success, humor, reason, devotion and providence. Her symbols are goat, cornucopia and stars.  For Her diligence and service, Amaltheia was transformed into the constellation Capricorn, where She remains.

Source: Journeying to the Goddess

Image credit Journeying to the Goddess

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #176; and also, Daily Post Daily Prompt, abovecreatureprickle; and Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, #46 – honey and wine