With tours and tastings being given the green light to recommence, here are the best cellar doors, distillers and breweries to visit this winter.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a trip to the pub. But for those of us wanting an insightful glimpse into the inner workings of beer, wine and spirit making, we can’t go past a trip to the source. From cellar doors to distillers and bustling breweries, we’ve rounded up our favorite spots to visit across NSW and beyond this winter. The best bit? Many of these are located close to the city or an easy day-trip from Sydney. Weekend plans = sorted.
FOR STAYING LOCAL
With two locations (Marrickville and Petersham), Batch Brewing Co. is one of the Inner West’s best brewery destinations. Grab a seat and sample their range of craft brews, takeaway a growler to enjoy at home or book in for a private brewery tour to see behind the scenes. Find out more here.
Brix Distillers is Sydney’s newest dedicated craft rum distillery and bar. Rum aficionados, old friends and Brix co-founders, Damien Barrow, James Christopher and Siddharth Soin are on a mission to shift attitudes surrounding rum. The distillery is overseen by master distiller Shane Casey, who produces the core range of Brix White, Brix Gold and Brix Spiced. The distillery’s rum operations are proudly front and centre, and best observed from the 70-seater industrial-style bar area and mezzanine level featuring up to 100 rums from around the world and a casual dining menu. Book yourself in for a cheeky cocktail session includes a tour of the distillery, two-course dinner, class and two Brix cocktails. Find out more here.
Want to hear more about Four Pillars’ new Surry Hills gin lab? Click here.
Located in a restored warehouse near Central Park and Spice Alley in the heart of Chippendale, Handpicked Wine’s cellar door is the perfect spot to sip a delicious drink. Drop in for a wine tasting, relax with a cheese platter or pick up a bottle of wine and cheese box to go. Find out more here.
As one of Sydney’s most exciting microbreweries, there’s no better spot to visit than Sauce Brewing. With a diverse range of local craft brews, this Inner West favourite is the perfect spot to try some delicious. Whether you drink and dine in or take a six-pack away, you’re bound to enjoy something delicious. Find out more here.
Want to taste the latest brews from one of the inner west’s most iconic breweries? Head to the backstreets of Newtown to discover Young Henry’s Tasting Bar. The bar has reopened from midday to 7pm for tap beers and takeaways 7 days a week. All visitors are welcome and it’s first in, first-served with no bookings or reservations available. Find out more here.
Set in the backstreets of Alexandria, Yulli’s Brews is a brewery-meets-tasting room with an epic serve of vegetarian pub eats thrown in for good measure. Whether you swing by with your pup, settle in for a few arvo beers and stay for dinner, you’ll be in for a treat at Yulli’s Brews. Find out more here.
Love craft beer? Check out our guide to the best breweries in Sydney.
FOR A ROADTRIP
The new cellar door and restaurant which opened in December 2019 is the first in Morpeth, with the picturesque building reflecting the rich history of the vines and the link with Charles Boydell. Boydell’s cellar door and restaurant will be open from Friday 12th June Thursday to Sunday lunch and dinner with a bar menu also available at the cellar door. Want to make a weekend of it? Escape the Boydell Wine’s luxe eco African Safari Tents and enjoy 52 square metres of pure indulgence. Find out more here.
Canberra Wine Region, ACT
A cool climate, varied vineyard elevations and different soil types have made the Canberra District Wine Region an ideal spot for winemaking. Sangiovese, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo and rare varieties such as Grüner Veltliner are all produced in this region. Home to 140 vineyards and more than 30 boutique cellar doors, a visit to the wineries is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Wineries such as Four Winds Vineyard, Clonkilla and Helm wines are opening for tastings for the long weekend and are taking bookings. Be sure to check opening times and capacity requirements. The vines at Clonakilla were first planted in 1971, and since then they’ve grown to produce something truly unique: a blend of shiraz and viognier described as an “icon wine” by famed Australian wine critic James Halliday.
This family-run vineyard is based in the popular getaway destination of Port Macquarie (just a few hours drive from Sydney). After the devastation this region has faced during the bushfire season, recent floods and the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, they’re thrilled to welcome guests back through their doors. The team has put together a great tasting package that encourages guests to make their own notes on wines (with some pointers from the staff, of course). The idea is for wine lovers to have some fun and get descriptive with their tastings. The best bit? Tastings are free and you can add on a cheese platter for just $5 per person. To find out more, click here.
Cupitt’s Estate is a winery, cellar door, brewery, restaurant and cheese making facility on the South Coast NSW in Ulladulla. The venue is now hosting wine tasting appointments at their cellar door or on the lawn, with bookings for up to 6 people available to enjoy their 30-minute seated wine tastings (walk-ins are still welcome, however booking ahead is recommended to avoid queuing).
Plus, Cupitt’s Estate is now offering an exclusive wine and cheese experience. The experience is a self-guided wine flight and cheese board on the lawn and can be booked for up to 10 people. There is a Food Menu available between 12pm -3.30pm . Plus, the experience can be subbed out for a Beer Paddle instead of wine so you can try 6 craft beers brewed on-site at Cupitt’s microbrewery. Find out more here.
Distillery Botanica is a boutique distillery tucked away on the beautiful Central Coast of New South Wales conveniently located halfway between Sydney and Newcastle, in the heart of the region’s finest artisan producers and minutes from our beautiful beaches.
Hunter Valley Region, NSW
Known for its unique expression of semillon, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales is the oldest wine region in Australia. Just under 3.5 hours from Sydney by car, the Hunter is home to some of Australia’s most famous winemaking families, like Tulloch and Tyrrell, as well as new names in the game. At Audrey Wilkinson, visitors can expect to taste rich semillon and earthy shiraz as they enjoy a view of the expansive valley dotted with vineyards. Tyrrell’s Wines offers a daily winery tour that takes guests behind the scenes of one of the region’s oldest estates as well as premium private tastings.
Mudgee Region, NSW
Situated 3.5 hours west of Sydney by car, Orange serves up cellar doors are worth the drive. Head to Highland Heritage Estate for sprawling vineyard views and a sampling of award-winning wines as well as unique fortified styles. Known for its premium handcrafted wines, De Salis offers minimalist wines of exceptional quality.
This magnificent French Provincial inspired estate is located in the Broke Fordwich wine trail, a family-owned vineyard, cellar door and luxury holiday home set on 50-acres of pure beauty. Taking out a string of wine accolades, this cellar door is one not to be missed. Owner Gayle Meredith says “since acquiring Talits Estate we’ve had a long-term vision for our wine-making and the cellar door experience we wanted to create around it. Over the years we’ve had such fantastic feedback about our guest house and our wines – it’s so great to finally be able to showcase that Talits Estate experience to the broader wine-loving community in our new cellar door.” Find out more here.