Immerse yourself in the incredible food and wine scene of the New England region.
New England boasts some of the best cool climate wines, artisan beers and ciders, boutique spirits and delicious fresh food; all made or grown locally with passion.
BOUNTIFUL FRESH PRODUCE
Thanks to the region’s rich soil and optimum growing capabilities, lamb and beef raised here have long been sought after by chefs and specialist butchers across the state and further afield.
Grazing on the region’s lush pastures, it seems, produces exceptionally tender and succulent cuts of meat. You’ll also find trout on the menu with the region boasting some of Australia’s best fishing rivers. The Dutton Trout Hatchery is also nearby on Point Lookout Road.
Orchards also flourish in the high altitude climate. In season, you can buy freshly picked berries, apples, pears and stone fruits from farm stands and local markets, or head out of town to pick your own – a popular activity for families with children.
Guyra hosts an annual Lamb and Potato Festival, celebrating the specialties of nearby farmers. Elsewhere in the region, trout farmers, bakers, cheese makers, and even a chocolatier, are among a growing number of small businesses producing delectable artisanal foods.
At the monthly farmers’ markets held in most of the towns, you’ll find local honey, homemade jams and chutneys, olive oil, teas and free-range eggs, among the array of local food products. Fortunately, most of the food that’s grown ends up on the tables of local eateries. Seasons of New England Market and Fair Days in Uralla are renowned for their quality stalls, food and wine tastings and family fun.
PADDOCK TO PLATE
From casual family restaurants, cafés, clubs and pubs to fine dining rooms and cellar door establishments, there’s a diverse choice of dining options and cuisines in the New England High Country.
Ask for advice and the locals are likely to recommend starting the day with a robust espresso at their favourite café. Blackboard menus across the region feature local seasonal produce including ricotta hotcakes piled with berries and honeycomb butter, curried lamb pies and honey and lavender brulée, to name a few inspired dishes.
In warmer months, tables and chairs spill outside under shady umbrellas and trees. On weekends year round, you can head out of town to one of the cellar door operations that serve food with a view of the vineyards.
In 2008, New England was declared an official Australian wine region for its unique climatic and topographic conditions. Indeed, it is a re-emerging wine region, with grape growing dating back to the first settlers.
These days, local vineyards are generating excitement for producing distinctive cool-climate wines. On the New England wine trail you can taste award-winning wines at a number of cellar doors including Whyworry Wines, Merilba Estate and Thunder Ridge Wines. At Petersons Wines, located on a landmark pastoral property just outside Armidale, you can savour award-winning riesling, semillon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, shiraz, cabernet and merlot. If you happen to indulge in a few too many el vinos, then you can spend the night in the historic homestead.
CURE WHAT ALES YOU
New England is leading the surge with award-winning breweries and distilleries. New England Cider Co., located at Merilba Estate Wines, is one of the newest onthe map and it uses fresh apples and ingredients from the region. Where The Old Wool Store once stood in Uralla is now the home of New England Brewing Company, which boasts a range of craft beers from pale to darker ales and seasonal brews.
Eastview Estate in Kentucky is a unique sensory experience. As well as a winery, craft brewery and fine restaurant, it is home to Dobson’s Distillery where different types of gin, whiskey, vodka and liqueurs are individually crafted. The Welder’s Dog in Armidale showcases much of the region’s brews, spirits and wines.