Experience one of NSW’s best hidden gems with a trip to the Hilltops food and wine region.
The Hilltops wine region can be found on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, within close proximity on the towns of Boorowa, Harden and Young. The region is a comfortable four hour drive south-west of Sydney and about an hour and a half from Canberra.
Gourmet travellers will relish a visit to this scenic pocket of New South Wales. The cool climate of the region has given rise to a number of high quality wineries producing award winning wines, while numerous local restaurants and cafes offer extraordinary menus focusing on locally sourced produce. Visitors have the opportunity to call in to a range of orchards and farms, and see for themselves why the area is renowned for its plump stone fruit. Throw in the bustling towns and historic architecture, and there is so much waiting to be discovered in the Hilltops.
Wine grapes were first planted in the area in the 1800s during the gold rush era. Today, the region boasts 13 wine producers and five cellar doors, with visitors also able to sample these wines at many local pubs, clubs and restaurants. The Hilltops Region Wine Cellar in the Young Visitor Information Centre is also well worth a visit, as it offers drops from twelve local wine producers for purchase.
The region is known for producing a wide range of grape varieties, including Barbera, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, and Viognier, and in particular is gaining a reputation for producing premium reds. Additionally, the Hilltops offer several dessert and fortified wines, as well as unique blends of local produce, such as cherries, apricots and plums.
Food is treated as an experience in the Hilltops region. Boorowa, Harden and Young offer a selection of high quality eateries where visitors can enjoy unique paddock-to-plate style meals, long café-style lunches, and delicious homemade treats and preserves. Fresh produce is the name of the game here, with the Young and Region Farmers Market offering foodie’s a fantastic opportunity to stock up on seasonal produce while meeting with local growers.
The Hilltops region – and Young in particular – is known as the Cherry Capital of Australia. This moniker has been earned as a result of the region’s proclivity for producing only the highest quality cherries and stone fruits. The region produces an average of 600,000 cases cherries every year, while peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, apples, prunes, figs and more are all available from farm gate stalls and farmers markets. Some orchards even offer pick-your-own experiences.
In fact, cherries are so popular in the region that a day each year has been put aside to celebrate them. The National Cherry Festival occurs each year in December at the height of the cherry season, and offers three days of fun for the whole family.
No trip to the Southern Inland region of NSW is complete without a trip through this foodie’s haven, so what are you waiting for? Grab your appetite and make your way to the fascinating Hilltops region today!