New England Food and Drink
Foodies and wine lovers can lose themselves in the pasture lands and vineyards of NSW’s New England region. This verdant high country is home to award-winning cool climate wines, craft breweries and distilleries, and fields of fresh produce.
Local produce, markets and festivals
The region produces some of Australia’s finest lamb and beef, as well as well as a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Load up on local seasonal produce and treats at the Armidale Farmers' Market, held on the second Sunday of every month, and the monthly Walcha Farmers’ Market.
Another great food event is the annual Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival held in January. In Uralla, halfway between Armidale and Tamworth, the Seasons of New England Expo in March brings together the best winemakers, brewers, free range producers, organic growers and artisans.
There are quality restaurants and cafes serving up some of this top local produce. Or enjoy a meal in one of the many historic pubs, like the Wicklow Hotel and art deco-style Tattersalls Hotel in Armidale, and the Commercial Hotel and Walcha Road Hotel in Walcha.
Wineries and breweries
The New England wine region is the youngest in the state and was only officially registered in 2008. There are now around 40 high altitude vineyards including the highest vineyard in Australia at Black Mountain. Popular varieties grown here include chardonnay, reisling, sauvignon blanc and shiraz.
Stop in for a tasting at Petersons Armidale Winery and Thunder Ridge Wines near Armidale, and Merilba Estate Wines and Whyworry Wines near Uralla. Petersons and Merilba have excellent restaurants that are open for lunch on the weekends, serving a menu focused around the best local ingredients.
If you prefer a cold beer, head for The Welder’s Dog, a craft brewery and bar in the centre of Armidale. Visit the brewery door at New England Brewing Company in Uralla or taste the latest batch from New England Cider Co at Merilba Estate. Eastview Estate and Dobson’s Distillery produces craft beer and boutique spirits, and even has a speakeasy bar.