Canberran Counterculture

Canberran Counterculture

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In NSW wine, the Canberra District stands alone at present as a hotbed of creativity.

The iconic Clonakilla winery has cast a long shadow for the region, having planted the flag for regional quality almost three decades ago. Now, a slew of smaller producers are emerging with an arsenal of edgier, innovative wines that are bringing invaluable colour to the region.

With nearby regions Hilltops, Gundagai and Tumbarumba offering Canberra's producers access to everything from legit cool-climate Chardonnay to warm climate Sangiovese, the opportunities for Canberran winemakers are near limitless.

Rather than just an endless sea of Shiraz and Riesling, today you'll find Pet Nats, extended skin contact whites, high-class examples of emerging varieties such as Nebbiolo all flowing from the surrounds of our nation's Capital.

Here are three of the region's star producers who have released some new vino recently, but if you are keen to explore more, you'll find plenty more names at the link below.

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Mallaluka

Sam Leyshon has well and truly found his groove at his family vineyard/winery just outside of Yass. Having been mentored by Tim Kirk and Bryan Martin at Clonakilla, Sam is now cranking out his own energetic wines under his family's label.


Bright crunchy Cabernet Franc, highly slurpable Sangiovese blends, an alt-styling of oxidative Chardonnay and a stack more creative wine styles are coming from this rock n roll operation.

Sam's lo-fi philosophy in the winery and his great value, eye-catching range are gaining plenty of attention. Check out the fun new small batch releases from Sam while stocks last.

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Mada Wines

Hamish Young hasn't put a foot wrong since launching his brand in 2016.

Sourcing fruit from some great sites across the Canberra and Hilltops regions, his wines are all about vibrant fruit and ease of drinking.

He looks for texture in his aromatic whites, freshness in his delightful reds, a much more youthful expression of the region than the more stoic, classic wines styles he and Nick Spencer created at Eden Road.

We've got a stylish new Canberra Shiraz from Hamish, as well as a skinsy Sauv and a bouncy bunchy Grenache that is cracking drinking. All three new wines and a bunch more from Hamish are available at the link below.

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Ravensworth

Bryan Martin acts as something of a mentor to Canberra's younger-gen producers. With his experiences making the regional flagship wines at Clonakilla and his personal cult-brand Ravensworth in hot demand, he's the go-to man for opinions on everything from ethereal Shiraz Viognier to wild, unfettered skin contact whites.

Bryan's wines are becoming a new marquee brand for Canberra and should be on your dinner table. Outstanding value on offer here from one of Canberra's brightest winemaking minds.

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