Some months ago, I visited Summerhill Road Vineyard, just off Bungendore Road. Elle and I are always on the lookout for new wineries to visit and we thought we’d check out what these guys have to offer. Originally owned by Nicolaas (Nico) and wife Shawn Duynhoven, there has been vines growing on this site since 1998 when it produced wine under the Koonaburra Wines label, there was also a restaurant out here at some stage called Nico’s. New owners Sarah Gallagher and Anthony McDougall took over in 2013 and have begun producing wines under the Summerhill Road label.
Sarah and Anthony warmly welcomed me into their home where we discussed a few things, mainly their interest in hosting wine enthusiasts. I got the sense that while there isn`t a formal cellar door, Sarah and Anthony were more than capable of offering a fun and comprehensive wine tasting.
With their new baby in tote, we went for a walk around their small farm which was great because I like to get a feel for the site selection and the overall ambience of a winery so that our groups enjoy picturesque scenery, good wine and hospitality.
The vineyard produces Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir which are all handpicked. Anthony kindly gave me a few bottles to take home but due to the oversupply of wine in our house (such a great problem to have!) we have only just now gotten round to drinking it.
Anyway, here we are. The 2015 Riesling has not long been released. We keep hearing that 2015 was a cracker so I’m expecting big things. After pouring a glass – lime, peach and pear are what I found on the nose. On the pallet I get orange peel and grapefruit which balances nicely with some minerality. The fruit flavours linger long after I’ve slurped indicating good length. At around $20 a bottle, I’d sum this wine up as an enjoyable and versatile. This is a good honest Riesling, not hugely complex but easy drinking with or without food – if you were to match with food, a Thai green curry or with a nice fruit and cheese platter would go well.
We’re taking a group out to visit Summerhill Road this weekend and I’m looking forward to trying the rest of their range – this vineyard is off to a good start and are a very welcome addition to the Canberra wine scene.