Monday 29 August 2011


NSW Southern Highlands success story:
enjoy with seared salmon or smoked duck.


David Ellis

EARLY colonists soon discovered that an area to the south of Sydney Town and now known as the Southern Highlands, had a climate that was perfect for farming and grazing – and for also escaping Sydney's humid summer heat.

And while some wine grapes were grown there as early as the 1820s by those pioneering colonists, it was not until the late 1900s that serious thought was given to winemaking; today cool climate vineyards are scattered throughout the region, thriving in the region's warm summer days and colder nights.

Diamond Creek Estate, 680-metres up on the northern slopes of Mittagong, is one of the region's success stories, producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and a Botrytised desert wine from 6ha of sunny, north-facing vineyards planted in 1997.

CLEAN up on this for value:
great with fish or other seafoods.
Today's owner and vigneron, Helen Louise Hale hand-prunes and plucks her vines, which in the case of her 2006 Pinot Noir has resulted in a beautifully full-bodied wine with ripe cherry and strawberry fruit flavours, lingering tannins and a velvety finish. A great food wine to share with seared salmon or smoked duck, its available cellar door or online only by phoning Helen on 02 4872 3311 or visiting

ONE FOR LUNCH: WOOLWORTHS Liquor, BWS and Dan Murphy's have a new range of budget-priced wines they call CleanSkins Selection, created they say to "over-deliver in quality at the best-possible price."

Their CleanSkins Taster's Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc certainly lives up to this claim: at $9.99 it has subtle passionfruit, melon and capsicum notes on the palate, and a crisp finish that makes it a pleasant companion with fish and other seafoods. They've also a nice CleanSkins Taster's Choice

'DW31' 2009 Barossa Valley Shiraz if you are more into reds, and it too is priced at just $9.99.


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