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Gundagai, New South Wales

Overview
Gundagai is a newly developed wine region and part of what traditionally and meteorologically has been called the south-west slopes of New South Wales. It is here that the landscape and its mountain streams run down from the western heights of the Snowy Mountains towards the baking plains of the Riverina.

The Big Picture
The McWilliam family established the successful Markview vineyard at Junee in 1877, but grapevines were absent from the Gundagai region from the 1920s to the mid 1990s. However, since 1995 there has been a flurry of plantings and by 2003 there were about 750 acres of vines under cultivation.

The region now has numerous small and several large vineyards. The largest so far established are the 190-hectare vineyard at Wirrilla (P. and H. Power), a 180-hectare development at Tumblong (Southcorp), and 147 hectares at Koolanooka (Morath).

Gundagai Wine Region

Climate
Stretching from Tumut in the south-east to Temora in the north-west and Junee in the west, Gundagai is an undulating region varying between 200 and 300 metres in altitude. The temperature is warm to hot, with an even year-round rainfall (though greater in the east), but with quite low humidity. It is only in the south-east corner around Adelong and Tumu, nearest to the Australian Alp, that climatic conditions are cooler.

Soil
The chief soil types are similar to those in other regions in south-east Australia; red earth and red podsols, though soils along the major rivers and creeks are more variable.

Wines
Shiraz: These are well-coloured wines of medium to full body, showing berry and earth characters on the nose and palate and distinctly reminiscent of the Hilltops region to the north-west. Though the vines are still young, the Shiraz will certainly be worthy of note in the future.

Cabernet Sauvignon: These are well-coloured, berry-flavoured reds of medium to full body. Again, there is a resemblance to the Cabernets of the Hilltops region.

Wineries, Cellar Doors & Vineyards

Those with wineries and cellar doors within the region are Borambola Wines, Oakey Creek, Tenerife, Wagga Wagga Winery and Wirrilla Wine Cellar. Others in the adjoining Riverina region and using Gundagai fruit either wholly or in part are Bidgeebong Wines, Charles Sturt University Winery, Smith’s (The Rock),Wirrilla and Yerong Creek Estate.