Only a 30-minute drive from Canberra and three-hour commute from Sydney, Murrumbateman makes for an impressive weekend getaway - and a real treat for wine aficionados. Capital of the Canberra District wine region, the historic town of rolling hills and picturesque farmland is situated within the Southern Tablelands of NSW.
Head to Murrumbateman's original tastemaker, Clonakilla, established in 1971 by CSIRO biochemist John Kirk. After noticing the area's climatic similarities with wine-producing European regions, Kirk planted a vineyard and, by 1976, had produced the Canberra District's first commercial vintage. Regarded as one of the finest wineries in Australia today, Clonakilla's flagship Shiraz Viognier has continued to win the family-run cellar door prestigious industry awards, with John's son and protégée Tim Kirk winning GT's Winemaker of the Year award in 2013.
3 Crisps Lane, Murrumbateman, NSW
Make a lunch reservation at Shaw Vineyard Estate's new restaurant Olleyville and enjoy a spread that showcases the best of the region's local produce. Formerly Flint in the Vines, the updated venue boasts moodier, more homely interiors and rustic fare. The menu was designed by Group Executive Chef Keith Jones and balances lighter antipasto boards with hearty share plates including lime and ginger snapper and woodfired barbecue ribs. It's also the perfect way to taste a cross-section of Shaw Vineyard's wines as each listing comes with a suggested pairing. If you're planning on buying a few bottles to take home, be sure to check out the winery's beautiful handmade ceramics from Italy.
34 Isabel Drive, Murrumbateman, NSW
New kid on the block Eden Road Wines is a must-stop for wine lovers and the simply curious alike. Impressing with unique contemporary wines from the ancient soils of the Australian high country, the boutique cellar door has continued to win prestigious awards ever since taking home the Jimmy Watson Trophy for its first release, Long Road Shiraz, in 2009.
3182 Barton Highway, Murrumbateman, NSW
Call it an early night and unwind at the newly opened Abode Murrumbateman. Designed by local Canberra architect Hugh Gordon, the 50-room stay is the first of its kind to hit the region. Ideal for both romantic weekend escapes and group getaways, the hotel allows guests to curate their own stay. The open-plan kitchen gives its visitors the flexibility to experiment with local produce bought on wine tours, while The Pantry - the hotel's very own corner store which houses local jams, chutneys, olive oils, chocolates and wines - gives guests a chance to sample even more Murrumbateman specialties.
57 Rose St, Murrumbateman, NSW
DAY TWO: 9AM
Brunch-goers rejoice! Order your Sunday morning breakfast with a side of country charm: soak up the morning sun in the kitchen garden and enjoy a backdrop of Murrumbateman's stunning vistas at Poachers Pantry. Residing at the Wily Trout Vineyard, the restaurant's menu focuses on fresh produce and interesting flavour combinations. Be sure to try the brioche toast with peppered sirloin which is heroed by locally sourced mushrooms. Or if sweet is more your style you can't go past the buttermilk pancakes topped with naturally cured Poachers Pantry bacon and cinnamon ricotta, all washed down with Poachers' homemade lemonade made with apple juice, lemon, honey syrup and Wily Trout Blanc de Blanc.
431 Nanima Rd, Springrange, NSW
Established in 1973, Helm Wines produces some of the region's most famed rieslings. Its cellar door is located in the town's refurbished 1888-built Toual Public School House (the tiny building now listed by the National Trust), and is operated by founders Ken and Judith Helm and their family, who are fourth and fifth generation German vinedressers from the Rhineland. While there, be sure to try the Tumbarumba vineyard pinot noir from the winemaker's daughter, Stephanie.
19 Butts Rd, Murrumbateman, NSW
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