Cowra Wine Region

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The Cowra Wine Region likes to regard itself as the quiet achiever of the Australian wine industry. It is situated in the Central Ranges Zone of New South Wales and includes the townships of Cowra, Canowindra, and Billimari.

The climate is generally warm, but suitable hillsides can be found with some mitigation to the hot summers. The region was established in the 1970s with early emphasis being on the production of fruit for vinification elsewhere, in particular at Mudgee and in the Hunter Valley. In fact it has been described by Huon Hooke as "the Padthaway of New South Wales".

Large scale grape production in the Cowra Region though has spawned quite a number of boutique wineries, something that has yet to happen in Padthaway.

Shiraz and Chardonnay are the dominant varieties, but some interest is now being shown in expanding the range. The warmish climate indicates that Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo could play a bigger role in the future.

Some of the wineries in this region which are using alternative varieties include

  • Catherine's Ridge: Verdelho
  • Hamiltons Bluff: Sangiovese, Viognier
  • Kalari Wines: Verdelho
  • Mulligan Wongara Vineyard: Sangiovese
  • Mulyan Sangiovese, Viognier
  • Wallington Wines: Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petit verdot, Tempranillo, Viognier
  • Windowrie Estate: Pinot Gris, Petit verdot, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Verdelho

Visiting the Cowra wine region

Wine tours to this region can be combined with visits to the nearby Orange Wine Region and the Hilltops Wine Region around the town of Young to the south.

The township of Cowra itself is well worth a visit. It is the site of a World War Two prisoner of war camp from where a large breakout of Japanese prisoners occurred in August 1944. There is a war cemetery and a Japanese Garden commemorating this event.

Cowra accommodation options

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