The wine labeled ‘organic or biodynamic’ used to be synonymous with a chance that it would be drinkable. It’s no longer the case. As we have fallen in love with local and seasonal produce, grape growers are bringing us spirited wines that come from soils free of chemicals, trellises without chemical treatments, and low-intervention techniques.
These four NSW wine regions are the best if you want to drink delicious wines but also care for your future.
Tamburlaine Organic Wines will impress you with their size, variety, and commitment to organic principles. Tamburlaine produces Shiraz, semillon, and other blends at a competitive price. They have 300 hectares of certified organic, vegan-friendly vineyards in the Hunter Valley as well as the Orange district.
Harkham Wines may have a modest patch, but the fun, expertise, and craftsmanship more than compensate for that. According to their manifesto, “love and hills, passion, Kabbalistic Music, knowledge, and blessings” are added when they crush the hand-harvested fruits. The family-run winery produces chardonnays and semillons that are highly refined, expressive, and infused with Kabbalistic music.
M&J Becker Wines has a similar philosophy. These are new-world, low-volume wines that reflect the unrestrained character of the plots. The red blend is a delicious marriage of three different varietals. Or, choose the chardonnay to enjoy a combination of chardonnay and chalky fruit.
Angus Vinden is another youngster who gets his hands dirty in his Vinden Wines. He’s a second-generation winemaker, and he grows his grapes. His wines range from a toasty chenin blanc with a skinny taste to an elegant yet robust reserve shiraz.
You don’t have to go far to find Krinklewood Winery. This pioneer in biodynamic farming is located not too far from Broke. Krinklewood has been lovingly cultivated over the past two decades. The result is a rose that’s full of freshness and body.
Things not to miss in the Hunter Valley: When you want a break from wine tasting, take a scenic drive to Wollombi. Explore the historical surroundings, and then have lunch at either the Wollombi Caffe Restaurant or Wollombi Restaurant.
The Canberra district offers low-intervention wines that are available in NSW.
Bryan Martin, who was previously the head winemaker of Clonakilla Wines in Australia, has joined forces with his partner Jocelyn to create Ravensworth. This is one of Australia’s most successful examples of minimal-touch wines. The Shiraz, viognier, and Riesling are some of Australia’s finest. Also, try the Grainery – a white Rhone blend that rivals anything French.
Sam Leyshon is another Clonakilla alumni who now makes wines under the Mallaluka brand. The reds, from Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc to the whites with their tight fruit and acidity, are all worth trying.
You’ll find helm down the road. Ken Helm is the godfather of the Riesling grape in the region. This winery produces drops that are not organic or biodynamic but let the grapes do the talking. Helm’s daughter, along with her husband Ben, has started The Vintner’s Daughter. The vineyards are regenerative, with sheep roaming among the rows. They also crush small batches of wine to produce wonderful riesling, pinot, Shiraz, viognier, and Gewurztraminer.
Lark Hill Biodynamic Winery, Queanbeyan
Lark Hill is a dedicated biodynamic vineyard that has been certified since 2006. Here, you will find a beautiful family-run winery producing a range of gorgeous red wines. Save room for the gruner-veltliner. This is a food wine with plenty of vigor.
Poacher’s Pantry offers the perfect lunch, whatever the weather. Gundaroo is a village that has an old-world charm. It would be best if you also stopped at the Some Cafe in Collector.
Orange & Canowindra
You can find sustainably produced wines in the Central West at the award-winning, family-run Rosnay winery located near Canowindra. The Grand Mere Reserve and Grand Pere Reserve Blends come in a variety of styles, from chardonnay to Shiraz. Chateau Acid, an up-and-coming Sydney label, uses Rosnay organic fruit to make vibrant syrahs and vermentinos.
The Orange region’s planet-friendly vineyards are located in the shadow of ancient Mt Canobolas. Word of Mouth wines bottles elegant and chemical-free pinots, noirs, and rieslings, as well as stunning examples of less-known grapes such as petit manseng or Mencia.
Seek out See Saw Wine for cool-climate, organic, vegan-friendly chardonnays and pinot noirs, as well as proseccos and sparkling roses that are perfect for picnics.
Don’t miss these things when you are in the area: Canowindra is a hot air ballooning mecca, and serene district views will reward you, and perhaps even a morning tipple. You can also enjoy a delicious range of pastries, pies, and organic bread at Orange’s Racine Bakery. Millthorpe is the perfect place to enjoy a lavish lunch.
Mudgee has some of Australia’s oldest organic vineyards, Botobolar. Thistle Hill has been producing organic wines and free of preservatives since its inception. Enjoy a cabernet sauvignon or a pinot noir in the cellar.
Lowe Winery offers a range of award-winning wines, including chardonnay and Shiraz, but the opulent, brooding zinfandel is a must. If you are looking for a full-bodied, terroir-driven red wine with black fruits, fine tannins, and a rich, opulent taste, then visit Vinifera Wines to find the organically produced tempranillo.
Martin’s Hill is a family-run, small-batch vineyard. It nurtures an array of birds, insects, and sheep, all of which play a crucial role in maintaining the 35-year-old organic vineyard. The company produces a variety of pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignons, and shirazs that are easy to drink. They also make a premium fortified wine, which is perfect for desserts.
Things to do in the area: For gold-rush enthusiasts, a trip to Hill End is a must. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of this town. Enjoy a variety of dumplings at 29 Ninth 99 or nearby Rylstone. Then, find glow worms in the Newnes Campground.