Designated a official wine region in 1999 by the Geographical Indication Committee of Australia, the Southern Highlands wine region is situated approx 120km south west of Sydney along the Great Dividing Range in the Wingecarribee Shire of NSW. The district is centred around the townships of Mittagong, Bowral, Berrima and Moss Vale and has a rich agriculture, cattle, sheep and dairying history back to the early 1800’s. Though there are records pointing to table grape vineyards and a modest wine production in the district in 1886, there was little viticulture during the early 20th century, and the current wine history of the region dates from the early 1980s, when the Joadja Vineyards and Winery were established. The Southern Highlands main defining theme for its designation as a wine region is its cool climate and high altitude vineyards which produce world class cool climate wines of distinction.
There are currently 52 registered vineyards, 12 wineries and 25 wine companies in the Southern Highlands wine region. There is a broad range of varieties planted in the region including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon.
The regions vineyards vary from 2 acres to over 100 acres in size and range from 550 metres to over 850 metres above sea level. Cool nights, mild days and dry ripening conditions allows the region to produce some of Australia’s classic cool climate grapes and wine styles with particular attention recently being focused on the regions Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines along with the potential for premium sparkling wine production.
southern highlands winery cellar door map