By Leigh O’Connor.
Autumn signals wine harvest time as the leaves change colour and vineyards around Australia contemplate new vintages.
There’s never been a better time to try, buy and support Australian winemakers, as exports overseas dwindle – it’s also a great time for you to get a bargain and sample all those wines you’ve always been meaning to buy.
We have never been more open-minded and knowledgeable about the wine we drink – we want to know about different Australian wine regions, experience the history behind the glass and learn what wine to drink to suit the occasion.
Our interest in wine is finally catching up to our interest in food! Here are five of our picks to celebrate the 2022 wine harvest with a glass and bite to eat:
Find the ultimate wine experience of tasting, dining and staying onsite at Adina Vineyard & Olive Grove on Lovedale Road in Lovedale. Located in the wine region of the Hunter Valley, this family-owned estate and olive grove boasts a cellar door, restaurant and accommodation; grapes have been grown on site since the 1860s with Adina settling for only the highest quality wines, olive oil and produce.
Adina’s Flora Sparkling Shiraz 2020 is an easy-drinking celebratory wine – deep garnet in colour with lifted ripe berry Shiraz fruit. Matured in old oak with a second fermentation on lees, the palate is soft and rounded with plum and blackcurrant flavours; this drop is bottle fermented from grapes grown on Adina’s Lovedale property – try a glass with Peking duck, or teriyaki salmon.
Visit Australia’s first carbon-neutral vineyard at Ross Hill Wines on Wallace Lane in Orange. Each vine is managed by hand, maintaining low-cropping rates to ensure exceptional quality and flavour; while the vineyard’s environmental policy and sustainable practices are reflected in all aspects of the winemaking process.
The Pinnacle Series Pinot Gris has been predominantly sourced from high altitude vineyards in the Orange region and two-thirds fermented in stainless steel with the balance fermented in neutral French oak. A highly aromatic drop with a pale straw colour, there are honeysuckle notes on the nose and ripe Buerre Bosc pears on the palate; cellar this drop for up to 3 years.
Enjoy a chilled glass of wine and fine fare overlooking the beautiful vineyard and waterfall at Russo Estate Winery & Restaurant on Holden Road in Diggers Rest. This elegant family-owned establishment delivers sweeping views of the vines through a full glass frontage while dining indoors at crisp white-clothed tables, or take a seat alfresco and feel the balmy breezes.
After a warm season and early ripening, Russo’s Howdini 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were traditionally hand-picked, then matured in French oak barrels for more than 18 months. Deep red in colour with the full flavour of dark berry fruit on the palate, the finish has lingering soft tannins; try this with cheese such as aged cheddar or Gouda.
Head to Emersleigh Estate on Stewart Road in Emerald for wine tasting and cheese platters to while away the weekend. This boutique vineyard and winery, hidden away at the southern edge of the Yarra Valley, was established in 1996 and covers almost six acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz vines.
Sans Année is the estate’s premium sparkling wine and as the name suggests (‘without year’) is made from a number of vintages, along with winemaking techniques to add complexity. It is the only sparkling wine in Emersleigh’s range to have a crown seal – meaning it is not corked – so it can be stored for longer periods without the flavour being affected by the cork.
Residing in the scenic Southern Highlands of New South Wales, a comfortable 90-minute drive from Sydney, is the multi-award-winning Tertini Wines on Kells Creek Road. Nestled in Mittagong near the historic village of Berrima, this winery produces internationally awarded Pinot Noir and Riesling, with a focus on small-batch, handcrafted wines as seen in a cool climate range, including rare Italian varietals.
Pair a glass of Southern Highlands Pinot Noir 2019 with a perfectly cooked steak or Sunday roast – this wine is burgundy in colour and the aroma offers a gamey note with hints of spice and sweet red cherry. It has excellent complexity and great length with silky tannins and is at its peak drinking from now until 2031.