The Canberra District is one of Australia's most interesting and dynamic wine regions, gaining attention well beyond it's modest size. This is the home of some of Australia's best shiraz and riesling wines, but also a fertile ground for experimentation in alternative varieties.
This is a relatively young region, with the first vineyards planted in the early 1970s, but one that has always been driven by a passion for discovery -- a large number of the wineries were started by scientists. You won't find any corporate wineries here.
The region is quite large, but most of the vineyards are concentrated north and east of Canberra, near Hall, Murrumbateman and Bungendore, at elevations ranging from about 500 metres to over 800 metres. Geologically, the region is broadly divided into the very old shales to the east, and the slightly younger volcanics to the west. Both give generally lean and hungry soils. Coupled with the fairly low rainfall and warm summers, it is a region with relatively moderate vine vigour, disease risk and yields, and high quality potential. Just as the summers are warm and the winters are cold, temperatures during the autumn ripening period swing between warm days and cool nights, so high continentality is a feature of the climate, and this is the major reason for the success of varieties such as shiraz and riesling.
Find more information about the wineries of the Canberra District at Canberra Wines.