Your Most Essential Guide to Sydney Wine Regions, Wineries, and Tasting
What are the best Sydney wineries to visit? It isn’t simple as there are many wineries near Sydney and the “best” is subjective to traveler experience. One traveler on a Sydney wine trip may prefer to do wine tastings from a boutique winery. In contrast, another traveler may look for a combination of amenities such as wine tasting and restaurant attached to the cellar door.
Having over 14 best wine regions near Sydney, we found it is hard to categorize best wineries near Sydney for tasting. Hunter Valley has been the oldest wine region in Sydney. There are Mudgee, Sothern Highlands, Orange, Riverina, Canberra, New England, Cowra, Hiltops, Tumbarumba, Shoalhaven, and Murray surrounded by Sydney as well. Therefore, we apply a criterion as discussed below on selecting the best Sydney wineries.
Wineries near Sydney – selection criteria
Firstly, we have conducted an extensive search for Sydney wine regions for the ultimate wine tasting experience. Then analysed TripAdvisor reviews related to the last 6 months when we wrote this article in August 2019. Secondly, we checked the distance from Sydney to reach those wineries. It won’t be feasible for any traveler to drive over 300 km per day and return to Sydney after a winery visit. Lastly, we considered if any of these wineries near Sydney received any appreciation from awarding bodies. Few of those most recognized awarding bodies for wine in Australia are Halliday Wine Companion, James busby perpetual awards, Mudgee Wine Show, and Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.
Wineries near Sydney
As we explained, firstly we have applied a filter to eliminate wineries locates bit far from Sydney. Murray wine region is the furthest away from Sydney and it is over 845 km from Sydney. If you drive in a stretch, it can take up to 9 hours to reach there. Hence, we eliminate the Murray wine region. The second eliminates the wine region is Tumbarumba which is over 575 km away from Sydney. Following the New England wine region. Riverina, Cowra, and Hiltops are the next wine regions we had to eliminate in this article as those located over 350 km away from Sydney. This little filtration nicely balanced the list and left us 5 wine regions to review. Those are Hunter Valley, Sothern Highlands, Orange, Canberra, and Shoalhaven.
Best Hunter Valley wineries
This wine region is nearly 160km away from Sydney and can be reached by 2 hour drive via M1. Hunter is the oldest wine region in NSW and home for over 120 wineries. A large number of cellar doors and having most awarded wineries near Sydney created tough on the winery selection. After further consideration, we have chosen Gartelmann wines in Lovedale, and Tyrrell’s wines in Pokolbin to review in this article.
Gartelmann Wines in Lovedale
A relatively young winery comparing to other old house HV wineries holding number 1 position on TripAdvisor in Lovedale region. Gartelmann received five-star TripAdvisor reviews relates to high-quality wines tasting experience and helpfulness of the staff. The awards won by Gartelmanns demonstrate the quality of their wines. Few of those wine awards are Best Shiraz 2015 and 2016 and top gold medal class 11 in 2016 at Orange wine show. Gartelmanns was rated as four-star winery in the Wines of Australia book by James Halliday.
Tyrrell’s Winery in Pokolbin
One of the oldest wineries near Sydney and producing the best of Hunter Semillons. Most reviewers on TripAdvisor rated five stars for their wine tasting experience during the last 6 months for Tyrrell’s winery. This is for their extensive range of white wines and staff knowledge. Tyrrell’s put their name on world wine map in 1963 producing the Vat 1 Hunter Semillon. To date recognized as the most awarded white wine of Australia. Tyrell’s trophy cabinet is full of trophies. In 2016, they won the Dan Murphy’s White Wine of Provenance award for their Belford Semillon. The fowling year, Mark Richardson won the 2017 winemaker wards. Belford Semillon continues the wining streams and honored at Royal Melbourne wine awards in 2018. Hence, these awards talk on the quality of their wines. Tyrrell’s was rated as five-star winery in the Wines of Australia book by James Halliday.
Mudgee wine region
A wine region located west of Sydney and a drive could take up to 3 hours passing the famous Blue Mountains. In these wineries near Sydney article, we have considered a few wineries from Mudgee region. Craigmoor, Lowe, Robert Stein, De Beaurepaire, and Moothi Estate were our first choices to review. After carefully narrow down, we realized Robert Stein Winery and vineyard stands out from all other wineries in Mudgee due to several reasons.
Robert Stein Winery and vineyard
They are producing top quality wines since 1976. Semillon stands out as one of the best produced by Robert Steins winery. The recognition came by winning the Top Gold from Mudgee wine show in 2017. Not only the best Semillon, but they also produce one of the award wining Reserve Chardonnay too. This wine was awarded a Gold medal in the 2016 wine show. In the same year, the Reserve Riesling won the Bronze from Mudgee wine show. This manifested Robert Stein winery not only excel in one grape variety. Lastly, we have analyzed the TripAdvisor reviews for this winery for the wine tasting experience. The TA reviews scored over 4.5 stars for the quality of the wines. Therefore, it’s worth a visit to this winery near Sydney of you are a true wine appreciator.
Update – Show the class of their produce at the 2019 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show by winning several medals. A couple of awards won by this winery are The Douglas Lamb Perpetual Trophy for Best Riesling and Gold medal for the Class 3 2016 category.
Southern Highlands – nearest wineries to Sydney
This wine region is a new entry to winemaking in comparison to Hunter valley region. However, Southern Highland is a perfect destination for a gourmet gateway from Sydney and just 120 km away from Sydney. Having over 50 vineyards in the Southern Highlands region we can categorize all of them under the nearest wineries to Sydney. Initially, we have considered a few wineries from the Southern Highlands wine region. Those are Tertini Wines, Artemis wines, centennial vineyards, and Joadja Estate. Tertini winery is our choice for this article due to the following reasons.
This award-winning boutique winery is a brainchild of Julian Tertini and the current owner. The cellar door opens for 7 days for visitors and Tertini is best known for cool-climate wines. Tertini winery won many accolades. One of the recent is the NSW wine awards in 2018 for their Pinot Gris. Southern Highlands Riesling 2016 is another flagship wine they have. It has won the gold medal from the Vienna International Wine Challenge in 2017. That’s the part of the quality wine production has by the Tertini winery. Now, will look at cellar door reviews now. Undoubtedly all reviews on TripAdvisor rated this winery in 5 star bracket. However, occasionally they received 4 stars due to the small size of the cellar door. Therefore, So, isn’t it worth a drive to Tertini winery for a wine tasting trip from Sydney?
Orange wine region
Philip Shaw Wines
Won Halliday Wine Companion Award as a five star listed winery in Orange wine region for consecutive 3 years (2017, 2018, and 2019). So, don’t think twice to visit Philip Shaw if you are looking for an ultimate wine tasting experience.
Canberra wine region
A family-owned winery leading by Ken Helm and can categorized one of the best wineries in the Canberra wine region. Helm wines recognized by James Halliday Wine Companion for its outstanding quality. Besides it, the winery received an award for the best Canberra region small cellar door in 2015.
Shoalhaven wine region
This is one of the few award-winning wineries locates in the Shoalhaven wine region. With the expert support from Tyrells, Coolangatta Estate able to established its name on the wine map wining over 2000 wine awards regionally and internationally. Few of those are – 2018 Winsome Riesling was named Best Wine at the South Coast Regional Awards.
2017 Semillon won the best white wine award at the 2018 South Cost wine show.
2005 Semillon was the Gold medalist at 2017 Australian Small Winemakers Show.
2009 Wollstonecraft Semillon – won the Gold medal at 2016 Sydney Royal Wine show.