New South Wales


The region is located 150km inland and is a triangular district that is bordered by Canberra, Yass and Bungendore. Taking in the important sub-regions of;

-          Murrumbateman & Yass

-          Hall & ACT

-          Bungendore, Wamboin & Lake George

Home to 140 vineyards and 33 wineries the bulk of the industry is just 30 minutes from the city of Canberra.

The climate is considered cold to cool climate growing with an average heat degree day of 1410 and an altitude between 500 metres and 850 metres. The average rainfall is above moderate levels at 630mm annually with 360mm falling during the growing season. The district is a disease prone district and sees an average humidity of 41.5% which means vigilance is required to achieve premium fruit, especially with the later ripening varieties as with relatively low heat degree days Cabernet will take some time to achieve optimal ripeness.

This is an undulating landscape with many micro-climates and a region where site selection is crucial as frost is an extreme constant threat in the spring and the soils vary as the altitude does. Slope, air flow/ drainage and aspect are all considerations and some go as far to consider this region sub-alpine.  The inland [Yass] areas do provide for higher average temperatures as the altitude is lower than in the higher altitude [Bungendore] areas. Typically the mean January temperature is 20.2 and is a result of the inland areas distorting the figures a little, but it does show the diversity of the district.

The soils are [generally];

-          Brownish, shallow clay loam overlying shale or clay with neutral to mildly acidic soils

-          Sub-soils with low water holding capacity 

The region remains dependant on irrigation and many farms will also rely on dam water storages and drip irrigation is the main format.  The region itself is relatively young first planted in 1971 by Dr Edgar Riek and is predominantly a boutique populated district.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viogner, Pinot Gris

-          Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo

As the region matures it is also showing an identity with producing Botrytis and many later harvest styles of wine.


Located 330km west of Sydney and 200km north of Canberra the region is host to around 40 wineries with 1250 square km under vine. It was the Thomas family that first established the regions beginnings as a commercial production district in the 1940’s.

The climate is warm and dry with a mean January temperature of 23.55 degrees. Average seasonal rainfall is a moderate 370mm with a relative humidity of 39%. Height above sea level is between 300 and 380 metres and the district also experiences a higher average of heat degree days. The region is considered an ideal viticultural zone as disease pressure is low and the lifted heat allows higher than average yields to ripen to a premium standard. As a result Chardonnay has become the most important variety often showing an extended cellaring potential. The region has become dominated by the corporate entities over the years due the reliable climate and also established vine age. Site selection is important as frost is a threat through spring.

The regions soils are influenced by two rivers, the Lachlan River and Belubula River. Located on the western side of the Great Dividing Range and dominated by;

-          Brownish loamy sand and clay loam with red clay subsoils, generally acidic and only moderately fertile.

The lower fertility enables the vine to focus on producing fruit rather than excessive lateral and cane growth. This will prove to be of great importance to the Red varieties of Shiraz and Cabernet as the vine age develops.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho, Viogner, Riesling, Gewurtztraminer

-          Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Grenache, Mouverdre.

Cowra is a diverse region with a rich history and with the honour of making Chardonnay the style enjoyed today by so many. 


At the centre of this region is Gundagai town on the right bank of the Murrumbidgee River within a historical flood plain. The town is best known for bushrangers and its frontier existence and was only recognised as a viticultural district in 1995. The region is part of the Riverina district in South West New South Wales and now has in excess of 750 acres under vine. The town is located 390km South West of Sydney and 95km west of Canberra with the south east corner of the district being the coolest climate.

The altitude of the district varies between 210 metres and 320 metres with the Town being situated at 232 metres. Average rainfall is between 636.2mm and 713.6mm with the bulk of the seasonal rainfall falling within the South East Corner with an average of 420mm. This is a high figure and presents some challenges with regards to disease pressure and the costs of production as the use and application of chemicals will be essential increasing the core labour cost of production. The western zone of the district receives an average 240mm and falls within the more consistent Riverina micro-climate and presents as a more reliable investment even though overall fruit quality will be lower than in the east.

The geology of Gundagai is part of the South-West slopes bioregion and has significant proportions of Cambrian origan soils from which the serpentinite originates carrying asbestos, these soils date back to the Gondwana supercontinent.

-          Red earth, red podsols

-          Variable soils following the rivers cutting through the valley floors.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay

-          Shiraz, Cabernet

This is a young region still finding its identity and in time the regions diversity will be discovered. The climate, soil and altitude vary greatly between the North, West and East as does the regional structure and flavours of the district. In time we will know more about the soils and the potential sub-regions which will open this region up.

Hastings River

A young region first planted in 1837 by the Colonial surveyor Henry Fancourt and more recently rejuvenated by the Cassegrain family in 1980. The region is located on the Northern Coast of New South Wales with Port Macquarie being the economic hub of the district. Most estates are situated along the Eastern side of the Pacific highway between Wauchope and the city of Port Macquarie.

The climate is sub-tropical and receives the after effects of the cyclonic activity further north which results in heavy rainfall and high humidity. This is an extremely disease prone district and in many cases good site selection may not mitigate the spread of Downey Mildew. For this reason the region has developed a following for growing the hybrid variety of Chambourcin as it is naturally more resistant to Mildew. The constant offshore winds do dry disease events out but the region does have up to 1080mm of rain during the growing season, couple this with 73% average humidity and a very wet picture becomes clear.

Core varieties grown are;

-          Chambourcin, Semillon, Chardonnay

-          Cabernet, Merlot

Average altitude is around 70 metres down to sea level with a landscape which is undulating offering varying soils and micro-climates. Generally the soils are moderate to highly fertile with free draining capacities.

-          Alluvial, red volcanic soils

-          Sandy to heavy water resistant yellow clay

-          Deep with overlying gravel or limestone.

This is a warm district which produces a wonderful richness in flavour, but it will take some time to develop this region due to the many challenges the climate presents.

Hunter Valley

The region is located 158km North of Sydney and 48km North West North of Newcastle and is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia. First discovered by Lieutenant John Shortland in 1797 and the first significant sized planting took place in1825 by James Busby.

The region consists of the two official sub-regions of Lower and upper Hunter Valley and within these classifications are around 10 further sub-regions;

Lower Hunter;

Allandale, Belford, Dalwood, Pokolbin, Rothbury

Upper Hunter;

Denman, Jerrys Plain, Erriwa, Mussellbrook, Scone

The climate is considered to be sub-tropical, wet with high humidity and unfortunately most of the annual rainfall is received during the growing season with the harvest months being the wettest. Annual rainfall ranges between 740m in Lower Hunter and 638mm in the Upper Hunter with 530mm falling during the growing season in the lower and 423mm falling seasonally in the Upper. This is an extremely disease prone district where seasons can be ruined at the end of the season well and truly after the seasons investment to produce the desired yield. Humidity ranges between 43% and 49% and it is considered that this raised humidity ensures that leaves remain moist though out the season reducing vine stress. The mean January temperatures are high ranging between 23.85 degrees and 24.45 with the average sunshine hours being also high between 1160 hours and1743 hours showing that even though white production accounts for 63% of production this district can excel with Shiraz and Cabernet.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Semillon, Chardonnay, Verdelho

-          Shiraz, Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Pinot Noir

The soils of the region are vast in their types and structure due to the area being a transitional zone of Paleozoic rock in the north and Permian, Middle Triassic rock to the south. Large parts of the district are not conducive to viticulture.

Generally the soils fall into the following;

Lower Hunter; Sandy Alluvial flats, deep friable loam and friable duplex – Shiraz Production

Upper hunter; Black silty loam overlaid on alkaline clay loam.

Broken back range; Volcanic basalt – White Production


Currently the region boasts 175 growers and wineries with the region producing over 39 million litres of liquid which is bolstered up by additional fruit being brought in from surrounding regions. The product goes to around 50 countries from 6,000+Ha of vines.


Located 270km north west of Sydney, 128km east south east of Dubbo, 192km north of orange and 201km west of Muswellbrook. This region is fertile and within the Cudgegong River valley of the Central West New South Wales. Currently home to over 50 wineries across 9,000 square kilometres.

Altitude ranges between 450 metres and 1180 metres above sea level which provides for cool nites after the typically warm dry days. With an average mean January temperature of 22.9 degrees the harvest season can be delayed up to four weeks compared to that of its coastal cousin the Hunter Valley. Average seasonal rainfall is 360mm which is close to half of the yearly average at 676.2mm and humidity remains a low of 42%. Disease pressure is low and fruit consistency year to year is expected as it is only the availability to good quality irrigation water that restricts the regions growth. This is a temperate climate that borders the humid sub-tropical districts further north, the issue hear is frequent summer thunderstorms, hail events and spring frost. The region has been known to experience snow in the middle of winter and the records show that June and July are the coldest months.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, Pinot Gris

-          Cabernet, Shiraz,

Mudgee is often referred to as Australia’s cradle of Chardonnay due to the wines exceptional quality, consistency and longevity.

The main towns are Gulgong, Kandos and Rylstone and the region is surrounded by two circles of hills the outer hill range is known as the nest, hence the Mudgee name which means “nest in the hills”. The majority of the district as a result has a great consistency of soil.

-          Slightly acidic sandy loam over neutral clay subsoil

-          Well draining

-          Shale, quartz, seabed sandstone

The regions landscape is made up of many small valleys where natural air flow is good and irrigation is essential throughout the whole district, with around six estates being organically certified. The region has a significant corporate presence and this is a region where both boutique and corporate enterprises work side by side to progress the greater good rather than just the individual. Through developing regional wine shows and trading of contract fruit and regional brand building.

Orange Wine Region

Located 254 km west of Sydney the grape growing district is predominantly in a circle around a volcanic mountain called Mount Canobolas. The mountain has a peak elevation of 1,395 metres and it is the old volcanic flows that have provided vast mineral rich areas of land with high iron content. Generally soils are well draining and range in rich basalt through clay loams and the iron rich Terra Rossa.

The slopes of the volcano are the preferred viticultural areas and also help to fight frost due to natural airflow and rain caused by the height it sits.

Given the location being far inland and further north than many premium viticultural districts the height of the district is vital in creating a cooler climate. The average temperature high for Orange is 17.6 degrees with an average low of 6.2 degrees but from a grape grower stand point the most important figure should be the lowest temperature recorded of -7.1 degrees. This results in extremely cold airflows that burn vines in a similar manner to frost and elevation or site selection will not protect the grower. Average rainfall is around 895mm and is in the mid range as many regions are much lower meaning that high vigour vineyards offer an added expense to manage.

The orange wine region is recognised as land above 600 metres to around 900 metres in a circle around Orange itself. Today the amount of land under vine exceeds 1350Ha and even though the wine industry kicked off here in the 1980’s it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that the region rose to prominence. This coincided with the discovery of Orange and following investment by corporate winemakers who make up for being outnumbered by boutiques with a strong marketing budget both locally and internationally.

The core varieties planted are;

-          Shiraz               -           Chardonnay                  -           Marsanne

-          Cabernet           -           Sauvignon Blanc                        -           Gewurtztraminer

-          Merlot              -           Pinot Gris                     -           Semillon

-          Pinot Noir        -           Riesling                         -           Verdicchio

The harvest season generally runs from mid march to early may, this makes it very similar in timing to Central Victoria. The PT23 clone of Shiraz is popular throughout modern Australian vineyards and one can see similar peppery and chocolaty overtones as a result. But obviously the Orange district will offer a more robust fruit texture and lifted intensity of aromatics.


Located 800km from the city of Sydney along the Murray River bordering Victoria. This region is the smallest in New South Wales and hosts only five wineries. This is an emerging region known for producing approachable wines for both the export and domestic markets. The main towns of the district are Echuca and Moama and the first modern plantings of vines took place in the mid 1990’s. The region received national G.I recognition in 1999 and has achieved a reputation for Shiraz and fortified production.

Average seasonal rainfall is a low of 224mm with the vineyards all drawing water from the Murray River as irrigation is essential to retain the consistent quality yields. Average January temperature is a high of 22.9 allowing the vines to carry more fruit through to ripening and average altitude is 100 metres above sea level. The average humidity is a low of 35% showing that coupled with low rainfall disease pressure is quite low again allowing the vine to carry and sustain higher yields.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Semillon, Frontignac, Sauvignon Blanc

-          Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Malbec, Grenache, Mataro

The region sits within a flat river landscape and as such has a very consistent soil type throughout the small district.

The core soils of the region are;

-          Moderate acidity of upper surface soils

-          Alkaline soils at depth

-          Red clay loams

-          Strong water holding capacity

The region was first planted to viticulture in the 1860’s this was unsuccessful and viticulturally the region lay dormant until the McLean and Morrison families re-established the district and built the now strong reputation.


Located 2 hours south of the city of Sydney the region is part of the south coast of New South Wales. First planted for modern viticulture in the 1970’s the district now hosts over 16 cellar doors and produce’s over 500 tonnes of fruit and is well known for premium wines that have achieved great consistency on the National show circuit for may years with over 1000 awards presented to the regions vignerons. Today tourism is vital to the industry which is predominantly made up of many boutique entities working from relatively young vine material.

Average seasonal rainfall is 324mm which is moderate and the climate is considered maritime as it is the Pacific Ocean which can provide for the regions most significant threat. Rainfall at harvest can ruin fruit and is a major cause of botrytis and downey Mildew not to mention berry split. Average humidity is also high at 60% making a very challenging experience which increases labour and maintainance costs through out the length of the season. Altitude ranges between seas level and 70metres lifting the average January mean temperature to 22.9 degrees making this district quite versatile with its potential to ripen many varieties to optimal ripeness.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Arneis, Viogner

-          Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, Chambourcin, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Tannat, Malbec


Chambourcin is king here as it has a strong natural resistance to mildew diseases but site selection is essential to maximize the maritime cooling influence but also the nutrient rich soils that can provide for minimized disease pressure, balanced canopy and premium fruit textures. The preferred site is a well ventilated location with good water drainage capacity with a north facing aspect to maximize ripening potential but also to dry leaves in the event of humidity to assist in the control of mildew disease.

The core soils of the region are;

-          Alluvial valley floors and valley walls

-          Red-brown earths, nutrient rich resulting in high vigour and high yields if not managed.

The south of the region is more reliable viticulturally and the rainfall is less frequent throughout the growing season. This is an emerging region that is yet to see corporate investment possibly due to the risk factors preventing substantial investment.

Southern Highlands

This region forms part of the Great Dividing Range and is located south East of Sydney. The region boasts 60 vineyards and approximately 15 cellar doors and is a very young district, producing premium fruit since the 1980’s and formally recognised in the 1990’s.

The region is high altitude ranging between 600 metres and 750 metres above sea level, with most vineyards being planted under 700 metres. Average seasonal rainfall is a high of 596mm with annual rainfall ranging between 832mm and 1664mm and humidity sits at around 56%. This is a disease prone district that also suffers from frost in many locations and animal attack is a near constant issue. Whether it is rabbits ring barking vines or Wallabies stripping new growth at bud burst the grower best be on their toes. This region is surrounded by forest meaning that bird attack on fruit is significant making the task of netting the vineyards essential and costly. Mean January temperature is a low of 18.9 degrees thanks to the high altitude and results in long seasons. This provides for premium cool climate wines which a natural backbone.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris

-          Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir

The landscape is bordering on mountainous in some parts and site selection is extremely important and due to the natural forest location acidic soils require regular adjustment through applications of lime. This region is well suited to sparkling fruit production and as time allows for the growers to realise the benefits of the district Pinot Noir is becoming widely planted.

The soils of the region are;

-          Krasnozems + Red earth, high vigour and free draining

-          Red and brown Podzolics, [red podsols] low fertility, slow draining

-          Yellow earths originating from Sandstone

Being a favourable holiday destination for Sydneysiders this region will continue to mature and attract investment. Currently the region is host to the boutique entrepreneur but I believe that many NSW districts seeking economic alternatives for sparkling wine base will provide long-term security for the district.


Located in southern New South Wales on the border of Victoria the region is within the snowy mountain district of the Australian Alps. The first plantings began in 1981 by the Minutello Family and now boasts over 300Ha of vines. It was in the mid 1990’s that the region gained recognition and investment by the public and corporate alike. Today as the region leaps forward it is discovering its identity and is one of the most exciting young regions in Australia.

Altitudes range between 300 metres and 800 metres above sea level and due to the persistent frost threat good site selection is vital. A north/ North East slope is preferred thus maximising airflow and sunshine exposure throughout the season. The mean January temperature is 19.3 degrees due to the altitude and Alpine influence making the district similar to southern Victorian cool climate regions. Average growing season rainfall is a low of 375mm showing that drip irrigation is essential and average humidity is around 43% meaning that disease pressure is moderate. The district has many micro-climates throughout the valleys and hills and has formed a strong reputation for producing premium fruit for sparkling wine production. Today Pinot Noir and Chardonnay make over 75% of land under vine and this fruit is sent Australia wide as more and more investors discover the district.

The core varieties grown are;

-          Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Verdelho, Viogner

-          Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir

The landscape is hilly and populated with the forests of Australia’s Alpine National Parks and some consider the soils to be similar to that of the Alsace in France due to high granite content that makes up the bulk of the mountainous district.

The core soils are;

-          Granite and basalt which decompose to a gritty and granular soil

-          Well draining

-          Deep clays with strong water holding capacity in low lying areas.

The beauty of this region is that the public are responding to the efforts of this district very quickly and this is allowing the development of its character to occur. This regions diversity will continue to rise and Australia will soon see what Tumbarumba can do.


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– To supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years of age [penalty exceeds $8,000.00] – For a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor. [penalty exceeds $700.00] – Liquor Licence number – 33764483 – Liquor Licence number – 36132334 – ABN – 77 145 084 055