During this difficult time we would like to give a shout out to the beautiful wineries and wine cellars who stock Cool Clutch in New South Wales and the ACT. If you are in the area and able to support these amazing businesses, we highly recommend a day trip if it is permissible and safe according to the current restrictions at the time. We also suggest, wherever you may be in Australia, or the world, that you have some beautiful wines shipped straight to your door. Many of us are in need of a good drop at the moment, more than ever.
Location: Hall, a 15 minute drive from the centre of Canberra
Owners: Maria and Bill Mason and Colin and Kay Andrews are the current owners as of 2020.
Established: Capital Wines was established in 1986 as Kyeema Wines by Andrew McEwin and the name was changed in 2008.
A drop about Capital Wines: Andrew McEwin along with Phil Scott are the winemakers behind Capital Wines. The winery is known for its wide range of wines, particularly the Ministry Series.
Current status: Capital Wines is open from 11 am to 4 pm from Thursday to Monday with COVID Safe precautions in place. Bookings are not essential but recommended.
Cool Clutch loves: Their 2016 Frontbencher Shiraz which is a lovely cool climate shiraz. It has a spicy fullness with a hint of French oak that balances out the fine soft tannins.
Experience the region: Make a mini-wine crawl of the day and head on to Hops & Vine which is just a hop, skip and a jump away!
Owners: Brothers-in-law Neville Betts and Shaun O’Connor.
A drop about Hops & Vine: Neville and Shaun started Hops & Vine to share their passion for beer and wine and engaged family and local craftsmen to assist them in restoring an historic building for their store. They sell over 200 varieties of craft beer and locally sourced spirits as well as food products.
Current status: Hops & Vine is open from Wednesday to Saturday between 11 am and 7 pm and on Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.
Cool Clutch loves: The Hops & Vine Hibernation Hamper which has wine, craft beers, a variety of delicious snacks and a deck of cards.
Experience the region: Just out of Hall is the Cockington Green Gardens, Canberra Walk in Aviary, Canberra Reptile Zoo and National Dinosaur Museum.
Location: Various locations around Canberra
Founder: Pamela Fizz
A drop about House of Bubbles: House of Bubbles in a quirky pop up van which sells a range of champagne, bubbles and beer.
Current status: Follow House of Bubbles on Facebook to keep up to date on where they will be.
Cool Clutch loves: The Johansen Wines 2018 Sparkling which won Best Sparkling at the Australian Cool Climate Wine Show and is perfect for celebrating any special occasion.
Experience the region: Visit iconic sights like Lake Burley Griffin, Parliament House and the Australian War memorial.
Location: Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley
Owners: The children of Deen and Emeri De Bortoli, Darren, Leanne (and husband Steve Webber), Kevin and Victor, are the third generation and the current custodians.
A drop about De Bortoli: The De Bortoli family left war torn Europe in the 1920s. Their hard work, innovation, and philosophy of working with the ‘site and season’ has helped them create award winning wines.
Current status: De Bortoli are trading as usual and are open daily between 10 am and 4 pm with COVID Safe precautions in place.
Cool Clutch loves: The award winning Noble One Semillon that was initially created in 1982. It has a beautiful pale gold colour, an intense cinnamon and peaches aroma with a hint of burnt sugar syrup flavour.
Experience the region: Check out the Hunter Valley Gardens, Hunter Valley Zoo, go on a horse riding adventure or rise early for a stunning hot air balloon ride.
Location: Bowral, Southern Highlands
Owners: Siobhan Maloy and Matt Toomey together with Siobhan’s parents, Maureen and Paul Maloy took over the estate in 2016.
A drop about Joadja Estate: It is the oldest vineyard and winery in the Southern Highlands. They create a wide range of wines: whites, reds, sparkling, and liqueur.
Current status: Joadja Estate is open between noon and 5 pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 am to 5 pm on weekends. There are certain procedures in place to ensure all customers and staff are COVID Safe. They are now accepting bookings via their website.
Cool Clutch loves: Their 2018 Cabernet Merlot which is a medium bodied wine with hints of cassis and plum, and pairs nicely with a Sunday roast.
Experience the region: The Southern Highlands of New South Wales is a hidden gem with a variety of destinations for everyone: from stunning nature walks to museums and galleries.
Location: Jugiong, between Yass and Gundigai
Owners: The Mullany family, who are originally from Young.
A drop about Jugiong Estate: Jugiong Estate stocks wines from the four main surrounding wine regions (Tumbarumba, Hilltops, Canberra and Gundagai) as well as local produce and artwork.
Current status: Jugiong Wine Cellar is operating as usual, from 10 am to 4 pm from Wednesdays to Mondays, with COVID precautions.
Cool Clutch loves: The Grove Estate Hilltops Rose, which is a delicious dry blend of naturally ripe fruit and best served chilled.
Experience the region: Enjoy a coffee or bite at The Long Pantry Cafe or Sir George, and catch up on some local history at the Sergeant Edmund Parry Memorial.
Location: A thousand kilometres above sea level on the eastern slopes of Mount Canobolas, 8 kilometres from Orange.
Owner: Peter Gibson
A drop about Word of Mouth Wines: Originally an amalgamation of two neighbouring wineries, Peter Gibson continued with the Word of Mouth brand when one half of the partnership retired in 2013. They are known for their sustainable practices and traditional wine making process as they do not use fertilizers or insecticides.
Current status: Word of Mouth is open Friday through to Monday between 10.30 am and 5 pm and is undertaking COVID Safe practices. Bookings are essential and are for one hour slots. Contact them to make a booking and for more information.
Cool Clutch loves: Their 2018 Pinot Noir which has a delicious berry taste with a slight acidity. It is a natural wine which has no additions and is vegan friendly.
Experience the region: There are a series of beautiful walking trails in and around Mount Canobolas to explore, so bring your walking shoes or take a scenic drive.
Location: Gerringong on the New South Wales south coast
A drop about Crooked River Wines: The vineyard uses the local, rich volcanic soil to create its award winning quality white and red wines. The winery has stunning views of both the mountains and the sea.
Current status: Crooked River Wines is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. Bookings are encouraged to avoid disappointment.
Cool Clutch loves: The Premium Chardonnay 2018, which is a delicious medium to full bodied wine with a blend of tropical fruits with traditional oak flavours.
Experience the region: Enjoy the stunning views on the Gerringong to Kiama coastal walk, visit the Fern Street Gallery, or have a hit at the Gerringong Golf Club.