Hilltops Wineries and Cellar Doors
It wasn’t long ago that the town of Young was known by most people as the cherry capital of Australia. And not without good reason – its orchards produce bountiful sweet cherries and the city hosts the annual National Cherry Festival. Happily, the same landscape that delivers cherries is also perfect for cool climate wines.
The Hilltops region, which takes in Young, the towns Harden and Boorowa. and surrounds, is one of the most exciting emerging wine districts in the State. If you don’t have time to go vineyard hopping, swing into the Hilltops Region Wine Cellar in Young’s historic railway station for a good general introduction.
The vast Freeman vineyard is overseen by experienced viticulturalist Brian Freeman, a former head of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Award-winning wines are produced on the 175-hectare property, from a bubbly, finely balanced prosecco and delightful pinot grigio to traditional Italian styles like nebbiolo, sangiovese and robusta.
Lockwood is a small, family-run operation producing some of the Hilltops region’s best boutique wines. All the grapes are hand selected and then crushed using a traditional basket press, creating a limited amount of unique drops. Taste the shiraz-viognier, rosé, pinot gris or tempranillo at the Young and Region Farmers’ Markets.
Drawing on a number of different plots across the Hilltops region – and with assistance from expert winemakers at Clonakilla – Grove Estate is producing a wide range of stunning wines. Pop into the cellar door and fill your glass with well-known varieties of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and the Halliday 95-point Cellar Block shiraz viognier.
Bring together the Hilltops’ most famous exports – cherries and wine – on a visit to the Ballinaclash Cellar Door. The award-winning single vineyard whites, reds, rosés and dessert wines are made exclusively from their own fruit. Visit during cherry season (around mid November to late December) to pick your own fruit after a tasting.