Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Discover emerging food and wine in The Hilltops

The Hilltops region in southwestern NSW includes the towns of Young, Juigong, Harden and Boorowa, and is renowned for its cherries, cool climate wines, quirky events and beautiful countryside. Visit to discover cellar doors, quality restaurants, local produce, great cafes and more.

Cellar Doors and distilleries

Visit cellar doors and taste test Hilltops’ signature varietals including shiraz, semillon and chardonnay at Chalker’s Crossing and Grove Estate. Moppity Wines, one of the most awarded wineries in the region, is currently constructing a new cellar door which will provide a memorable visitor experience. Trandari Wines also host tastings at the Taubman and Webb Trading Post in Murringo.

Bluestill Distillery produces a range of handcrafted Australian spirits including vodka, gin, rum and cherry port. Visitors can take a tour and wander through the gallery featuring works of local artisans.

Pick your own cherries at Ballinaclash Orchard and Cellar Door during cherry season in November and December. While you’re there pick up some goodies such as cherry pies, cherry cordial, cherry ice-blocks and ice-cream.

Caf├ęs and Restaurants

Young boasts a plethora of great cafes serving top-quality coffee including Art of Espresso, that has been awarded three Gold Medal’s at the Royal Sydney Fine Food Show. Other great coffee shops include s&aj, who roast their own beans on site, and Kettle & Grain, which is housed in the heritage former public schoolhouse and feature local produce on their menu.

Drop into Long Track Pantry, a country food store and cafe in Jugiong, who serve 400,000 cups of coffee a year. Don’t miss the Riverside Markets every Saturday morning showcasing local talent with an emphasis on homemade products and goods. There’s also a Cooking School as well as a large range of kitchenware and giftware.

Also in Jugiong, The Sir George is a former tavern built in 1852 which has recently been lovingly restored to its former glory. Today it is a great place to stop for coffee & cake or lunch in the restaurant. The menu features pies made from Sir George’s own lambs, wood-fired pizza, and seafood delivered from the NSW South Coast daily. There’s also a boutique bar serving cold beers and an artisan bakery

Any road trip to Hilltops should include a stop in Yass for brunch or dinner at Clementine Restaurant. Chef Adam Bantock has returned to his hometown after cooking overseas, presenting a menu that is French and Italian inspired and features the best of local and seasonal produce.


The National Cherry Festival is held every December in Young with key events including a Cherry Pie Eating Contest, Cherry Pip Spit, Street Parade & markets. Another not to miss event is Irish Woolfest which is held in Boorowa in October, featuring the iconic Running of the Sheep down the main street of town.

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