A Highland's Gem: Diamond Creek Estate

NSW Southern Highland: One of Australia's newest wine regions.

By David Ellis from vintnewsA Highland's Gem: Diamond Creek Estate

The NSW Southern Highlands is considered one of Australia’s newest wine regions, yet the first wine grapes were in fact grown there by surgeon, explorer and settler Dr Charles Throsby at his property, Throsby Park in Moss Vale way back in the 1820s, most likely for making into small quantities of fortifieds that were popular at the time.

But it took another 160 years before the region was recognised for its potential for producing exceptional cool climate wines, with a couple of vineyards planted in the 1980s and followed by more from the 1990s. Today there are 60 vineyards across the Southern Highlands and some 15 cellar doors at which to enjoy their product.

One really worthy of a visit on a trip down that way – and it’s just over 100km south of Sydney – is Diamond Creek Estate that planted 7ha of vines at Mittagong in 1997, today hand-picking these and having its wines made under contract by local wineries.

Particularly rewarding is their 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon that has wonderfully intense blackcurrant and cassis on the palate, and a hint of mint. Surprisingly its just $22 a bottle cellar door or $264 a dozen plus freight (free within the Highlands, around $20 NSW, elsewhere TBA) and a great drop with crumbed lamb cutlets and garlic potatoes.

One to note: Western Australia’s cool maritime Margaret River is undoubtedly our most-prolific region for stand-out Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, and Voyager Estate’s 2013 is an interestingly sophisticated, yet easy drinking example of this popular blend.

With 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon picked from across fourteen vineyard blocks, all fruit was harvested in a record eight days after an almost-bizarre weather pattern that saw the driest July on record, good Spring rains, November storms and a hot summer. But the result is a classic drop with vibrant fresh and crunchy tropical and citrus fruit flavours; at $24 perfect with Thai Chicken Curry, or all manner of seafoods.