Grapes have been grown and wine made in the Canberra District since the 1840s, although in common with a number of other smaller Australian wine regions, the industry went into decline for several decades from the turn of the 20th Century.
Interest in viticulture and winemaking in the Canberra District was rekindled in the 1970s and 1980s with a number of what are now highly regarded vineyards and wineries being established around Lake George, the Bungendore Escarpment, Hall and Murrumbateman/Yass. Over the past 15-25 years the number of vineyards has continued to grow right across what is now formally recognised as the Canberra District. It is estimated that there are some 110 vineyards with approximately 450 hectares under vine.
Over that 40 year period the District has gradually gained both a national and international reputation for the high quality of its elegant, cool climate wines, most notably its Shiraz, Shiraz Viognier and Riesling, but other varieties, both established and emerging, are also held in high regard and attracting attention.
Information on district wineries is available at www.canberrawines.com.au.
The Viticultural Society of the Canberra District was set up in 1993 to support growers in their quest for the best grapes. We meet regularly and have an extensive program of workshops and seminars to support local growers.
The formal objectives of the Society are;
- To pursue excellence in the practice of viticulture in the Southern Tablelands and ACT region and in particular among members of the Society.
- To disseminate information about best practice and latest developments in establishing, maintaining and managing vineyards.
- To inform members of the most up-to-date research findings and new developments in providing for the nutritional requirements of healthy vines and in the prevention and eradication of diseases in grape vines.
- To promote, in conjunction with other organisations and Government, the wine grape industry in Australia and particularly in the Southern Tablelands and the ACT.
- To encourage and assist research or other projects which further the interests of the viticultural industry.
- To conduct such meetings, seminars, demonstrations and other events as may be necessary to further the objectives of the Society.
- To represent the interests of the grape growers of the region to Government and wine industry bodies.
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