6 picturesque wineries & breweries on the South Coast
Roaring fires, hearty food and soul-warming sips, the South Coast’s wineries and breweries are the perfect place to cosy up in the cooler months.
Indulge in a winter warmer
Back in the late 1800s, if you wanted a warm place to rest your head on a cool night in the Illawarra region, just south of Sydney, you might have checked in to the old Bulli Railway Guest House. Today, that same building is home to Resin, a brewery and brewpub established in 2020 by a couple of local surfers and beer geeks. Head there on a Thursday for the Winter Warmer menu, featuring dishes such as beef pot pies made using Resin’s 8 Shades Imperial Stout and confit pork belly with celeriac puree and river mint. Each dish is paired with a wine, and the atmosphere, in front of gas fires in a beautifully restored heritage building, will leave you in a state of deep contentment.
Dine by the fire
The vineyard views through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Crooked River Winery restaurant, near Gerringong, make dining here a spectacular experience at any time of year. But in winter and early spring, there’s an extra layer of charm, with the wood fire burning bright and the seasonal fine-dining menu offering the likes of wood-roasted spatchcock and grass-fed beef fillet. You should also make the most of the outdoor firepit: wander out before dinner with a glass of estate-grown shiraz or chambourcin, or perhaps a beer from the on-site Uncle Joe’s microbrewery. Come early to enjoy the wine-tasting experience in the cellar door, or you can enjoy that around the firepit, too.
Soak it up at Cupitt’s
There’s nothing quite like soaking in a hot bath while the outdoor temperature is fresh. And when the bathtub happens to be on the deck of a luxury pod amid the rolling hills of a South Coast winery, we’re talking some serious bliss. It’s yours for the taking at the immersive on-site accommodation at Cupitt’s Estate Winery, near Ulladulla. Early spring is an excellent time to visit, when the vines are budding and the gorgeous surrounds look extra verdant. There are plenty of ways to indulge: try a wine flight or tasting experience in the cellar door; a quick lunch or a paddock-to-plate fine dining experience inside or out on the sprawling lawn; or do a beer tasting at the on-site brewery.
Book in playtime at Longstocking
Settle in for a cosy night of boardgames, wood-fired pizza and live music at Longstocking Brewery and Oyster Bar, just outside the historic village of Pambula on the Sapphire Coast. On Winter Wednesdays, the chess and backgammon boards come out, the table heaters are lit, and all are welcome (even your dog!) for a night of convivial old-school fun. You’ll find live music, trivia and more here throughout the week, as well as the chance to try beer and cider tasting paddles, gins, wines and cocktails, and some spectacular Sydney rock oysters from pristine local estuaries.
Slow down in the Highlands
They know how to do winter in the Southern Highlands, where the rolling green hills are peppered with quaint country towns to explore. Comfort food is important when the temperature drops, and the restaurant among the vines at Centennial Vineyards in Bowral is a perfect spot for a long, leisurely dinner. There’s an enormous open fire and a locally focused menu featuring the likes of slow-cooked lamb and cider-braised pork belly. It’s also open for lunch, high tea and a justifiably renowned Devonshire tea. Alternatively, you might want to sample some winter reds at the cellar door: around 30 wines are available for tasting, including their excellent shiraz.
Try a Broulee brew
You may not fancy a dip in the ocean in winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t soak up some cool-season sun in a beachside beer garden. Just a few metres from Broulee Beach, a 20-minute drive south of Batemans Bay, Broulee Brewhouse opened in late 2021 and offers a range of beers that are as natural as the beautiful Eurobodalla coast: handcrafted, with no preservatives. Watch the brewers in action on site, enjoy some live tunes, turn up for a trivia night, or just grab a seat by the fire with a Hazy Pale Ale and some loaded fries.