It would be remiss to visit one of NSW’s 14 wine regions and not indulge in a little food. After all, where grapes grow well, so too does a plethora of other produce. From Australia’s oldest wine region to some of its most innovative, culinary experiences range from fine dining to rustic and even vineyard picnics.
From the very north of the state to the very south, there’s just about a farmers market for every village, town and hamlet you encounter. Yes, you can purchase produce straight from the passionate people who grew or raised them. But you’ll usually also find entertainment and plenty of munchies to get you through your shop.
There’s nothing Aussies like more than an agricultural shows and fair. It’s in our DNA. Sydney’s epic Royal Easter Show aside, regional NSW delivers with the annual Royal Bathurst Show, among the biggest of its kind outside the state’s capital. Set on the banks of the Macquarie River, Bathurst charms you with its pretty, tree-lined streets and heritage buildings – then wins you over with its country swagger. Meanwhile, the Inverell Annual Show has been celebrating country life since it began in 1868, in the gemstone country of New England. Added bonus: the region’s cool climate wines.
There are other shows held regularly throughout NSW’s lush farming regions, including the Upper Hunter, Griffith, Bega, Armidale, Mudgee and more.
Chances are, someone else knows the purveyors in regions you want to visit better than you do. And those people have put together a tidy network of food, wine and ale trails across regional NSW. Self-navigate the Northern Exposure trail through Byron and the Tweed in search of tropical fruit, gin and mud crabs. Or discover vineyards, orchards and olive groves on the (also self-guided) Blue to Orange route through the Central West. In the Riverina, along the Victorian border, indulge in chocolate, charcuterie and wines on the Echuca Moama Food and Wine Trail.
We’re all about gathering like-minded gourmands to and the best place to do just that in a bacchanalian atmosphere is at one of the state’s food and wine festivals. We could spend days listing off favourites, but instead, here’s a curated selection:
Farm-to-table, paddock-to-plate, sourcing local produce, the culinary movement to showcase food provenance in fine-dining restaurants is a way of life in regional NSW. There are many acclaimed restaurants across regional NSW to try.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.