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Liquid views: Where wines flow and cellar doors beckon

It’s been a tough 12 months for Southern Highlands’ high altitude vintners, hit by a triple whammy of drought, bushfires and the global pandemic. As our wine makers keep everything crossed for some autumnal sunshine before harvest, now is the perfect time to visit a local winery’s cellar door to taste test some excellent cool climate wines. Here are some vintage vino producers to savour…

Artemis Winery, Mittagong

Named after the Greek goddess of hunting and the earth, Artemis Winery is run by winemaking brothers Anton and Mark Balog. Artemis’ Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio is stocked nationally by Dan Murphy’s, allowing for artistic licence for some other varieties, Close Vine Pinot Noir, Sparkling Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Order a bottle of Artemis 2019 Saignée Rose from the cellar door, pair it with a local tasting board of ash brie drizzled with honey, fruit, walnuts and Lavosh and take a pew under the umbrellas on the lawn. Or sign up for a tasting; be sure to include Artemis’ Goddess gins and rums on your wishlist. An easy going, inspiring local. Open seven days. 46 Sir Charles Moses Lane, off Old Hume Highway, Mittagong.

Centennial Vineyards, Bowral

On a prime hill position on 30 hectares, Centennial Vineyards is a showstopper, rated five stars by James Halliday. Winemaker Tony Cosgriff has created a cellar of breadth and pizzaz, including Centennial’s celebrated 2017 Reserve Shiraz Viognier and Brut Traditionelle. Book in for a wine tasting at the cellar door, buy a bottle and do you own on The Terrace, or get grass roots and take a guided tour through the vines. Want more? Take the Five Red Star Flight: five wines, including limited and museum vintages, with a Centennial sommelier. Worked up a bit of an appetite after all that wine sampling? Book in for lunch at chef Robin Murray’s Centennial Vineyards Restaurant just next door and continue the gustatory journey. Open seven days. 252 Centennial Road, Bowral.

Tertini Wines, Mittagong

Five star rated home of acclaimed winemaker Jonathan Holgate, this lovely cellar door is a relaxed, understated affair with an emphasis on a ‘premium tasting experience’, says Craig Moxey, Tertini’s longstanding Operations Manager. Tastings sample a range of Tertini’s award-winning wines, including its pinot noir, chardonnays and rieslings, and new additions, rare Italian red varieties, Lagrein and Refosco grown on Tertini’s two Southern Highlands vineyards. Cellar door open every day 10am to 5pm. Bookings essential due to Covid restrictions. Kells Creek Road, Mittagong.

Southern Highlands Winery, Sutton Forest

Winemaking is in Eddy Rossi’s northern Italian blood. The vintner of 12 hectares of grapes, Eddy makes Southern Highlands Winery’s Oldbury Reserve and SHW wines on site at his impressive Tuscan inspired winery. Book a table at the restaurant and savour lunch by chef Marco Salvestrin, as he pairs his fabulous Italian fare with Eddy’s wines. Do your own taste testing. Our favourite? The 2018 Oldbury Reserve Pinot. Or book in for a cellar door tasting with Eddy and work your way through the lot. Bellissimo! Cnr Oldbury Road & Illawarra Highway, Sutton Forest.

Mount Ashby, Moss Vale

The vineyard of Chris Harvey and Sally Beresford is a picturesque boutique affair; the vineyard sits alongside their French inspired La Palette Café, and Sally’s famed French Farmhouse Tables showroom. Enjoy a French inspired lunch (confit duck à l’orange, green beans, fennel orange salad – fantastisque!) with a bottle of 2019 Mount Ashby Pink Diamond Rosé in the paved courtyard and watch the resident geese strut their stuff. Open Thursday to Sunday. 128 Nowra Road, Moss Vale.

Bendooley Estate, Berrima

Books have been at the heart of this bibliophile’s mecca for more than 50 years. More recently, weddings, and a focus on viticulture and paddock to plate in its famed Book Barn and adjunct cellar door, has added to its appeal. The opening of Bendooley’s new cellar door is a bigger stage to showcase a growing cellar of homegrown wines. Book in for a wine tasting and enjoy a relaxed lunch in the sun-kissed courtyard. A splendid location with a side order of book. Open seven days. 3020 Old Hume Highway, Berrima.

*Opening days and hours vary, so be sure to check out cellar door websites before visiting. For more local cellar doors,

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