Southern Highlands

Southern Highlands

34° 55’ S


150° 30’ E




about this subregion

The Southern Highlands subregion, nestled in the heart of New South Wales, Australia, is a picturesque wine-producing area renowned for its unique environment and exceptional grape varieties. With a cool-climate influenced by its high elevation and proximity to the Great Dividing Range, this region offers a distinctive terroir that is perfect for viticulture.

The Southern Highlands is celebrated for its diverse range of grape varieties, but it's most notably recognized for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. These grapes thrive in the region's cool, crisp climate, which provides the ideal conditions for their cultivation.

Pinot Noir, the most planted red grape variety, yields wines that are elegant and expressive, with a delicate balance of red fruit flavors and earthy undertones. Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc are the prominent white grape varieties grown here, producing wines known for their vibrant acidity, aromatic complexity, and refined palate.

The Pinot Noir from the Southern Highlands showcases the region's terroir with finesse, offering notes of cherries and raspberries, while Chardonnay wines exhibit a harmonious blend of citrus and stone fruit, often with hints of oak influence. Sauvignon Blanc from this area is refreshingly crisp, boasting tropical fruit and herbaceous aromas.

In summary, the Southern Highlands subregion is a captivating destination for wine enthusiasts, where the remarkable environment and dedication to producing exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc wines truly shine. It's a testament to the region's commitment to crafting wines that reflect the beauty and complexity of their unique terroir.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares





Discover Terroir

The Shoalhaven Coast wine region, a hidden gem nestled within the picturesque landscape of New South Wales, is a testament to the captivating beauty and rich viticultural potential of Australia's southern coast. Stretching from the enchanting Kiama region in the north to the charming Milton region in the south and reaching as far west as the scenic Kangaroo Valley, this coastal enclave encompasses a diverse tapestry of terroirs and microclimates. The landscape here is a veritable feast for the senses, with rolling hillsides carpeted in lush vineyards, meandering rivers carving through fertile valleys, and rugged cliffs plunging into the azure waters of the Tasman Sea.

As one traverses the Shoalhaven Coast, they are greeted by a kaleidoscope of natural wonders, from the dramatic rock formations of the Kiama Blowhole to the serene beauty of Jervis Bay, home to some of Australia's most pristine beaches. Inland, the landscape transitions to verdant countryside, where picturesque villages dot the hillsides, and bucolic farmland gives way to verdant vineyards. It is amidst this idyllic backdrop that the region's wineries have taken root, each one a testament to the passion and dedication of its vintners.

At present, the Shoalhaven Coast wine region is home to nine wineries, each one a custodian of the land, committed to producing wines of distinction that reflect the unique terroir of the region. From boutique family-owned estates to larger, more established vineyards, these wineries collectively contribute to the region's reputation as a premier destination for wine enthusiasts. With a total of 41 hectares of vineyards spread across its diverse landscape, the Shoalhaven Coast boasts a remarkable array of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, among others.

Despite its relatively modest size, the Shoalhaven Coast wine region punches well above its weight in terms of quality and diversity. The region's maritime climate, tempered by cooling sea breezes and influenced by the surrounding topography, provides an ideal environment for grape cultivation. Long, sunny days and cool nights allow for slow, even ripening, resulting in wines of exceptional balance and complexity. Meanwhile, the region's fertile soils, composed of a mix of sandstone, shale, and alluvial deposits, impart unique flavors and characteristics to the grapes, further enhancing the wines' depth and character.

In conclusion, the Shoalhaven Coast wine region stands as a testament to the beauty and bounty of Australia's southern coast. With its stunning landscapes, diverse terroirs, and burgeoning wine industry, it offers a captivating destination for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. As the region continues to evolve and expand, it is poised to take its place among Australia's most esteemed wine-producing regions, offering a taste of coastal paradise with every sip.

The Shoalhaven Coast wine region unveils a complex interplay of factors that significantly influence grape cultivation and wine production. The region's climate is characterized by a unique blend of maritime influences, with the tempering effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean playing a pivotal role in shaping its weather patterns. The Shoalhaven Coast experiences a notably humid climate, a result of its coastal location and proximity to the sea. This humidity can prove both beneficial and challenging for vineyard management, presenting vintners with a delicate balancing act as they navigate the intricacies of grape growing.

During the growing season, which typically spans from spring to autumn, the Shoalhaven Coast basks in warm temperatures, courtesy of the moderation provided by the Pacific Ocean. This maritime influence helps to temper the intensity of the summer heat, creating a favorable environment for grapevine growth and development. The long, sun-drenched days and mild evenings provide the ideal conditions for photosynthesis, allowing the grapevines to thrive and produce grapes of optimal ripeness and flavor. However, the region's high humidity levels can also pose challenges for vineyard management, increasing the risk of fungal diseases such as mildew and botrytis. As such, careful monitoring and proactive measures are necessary to mitigate these risks and ensure the health and vitality of the vines throughout the growing season.

Despite these challenges, the unique microclimate of the Shoalhaven Coast offers vintners a wealth of opportunities to craft wines of exceptional quality and character. The combination of warm temperatures, ample sunshine, and cooling ocean breezes creates a dynamic environment that fosters the development of complex flavors and aromas in the grapes. Additionally, the region's varied topography, which includes rolling hills, river valleys, and coastal plains, further enhances the diversity of terroirs available to winemakers, allowing them to experiment with different grape varieties and winemaking techniques.

In conclusion, while the climate of the Shoalhaven Coast wine region presents vintners with both opportunities and challenges, it ultimately serves as a defining characteristic of the region's viticultural identity. The interplay of warm temperatures, maritime influences, and humid conditions creates a unique environment that shapes the flavors, aromas, and overall character of the wines produced here. As the region continues to evolve and mature, its climate will remain a central factor in the ongoing success and reputation of its wines, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the diverse and dynamic world of Australian viticulture.

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of New South Wales, the Shoalhaven Coast wine subregion is celebrated for its diverse terroir, which includes a variety of soils that profoundly influence the character of its wines. Among the notable soil types found in this region, red soils and brown soils stand out as the most prevalent, each contributing unique characteristics to the wines produced here.

  1. Red Soils:Red soils, also known as terra rossa soils, are renowned for their vibrant red coloration, which results from the high iron oxide content present in the earth. These soils are typically well-drained and nutrient-rich, making them ideal for grape cultivation. Originating from weathered limestone or sandstone bedrock, red soils offer excellent water retention capabilities while allowing excess moisture to drain away efficiently. The iron oxide content not only imparts a distinctive hue to the soil but also contributes to its fertility, providing essential nutrients for grapevine growth. Wines produced from grapes grown in red soils often exhibit bold fruit flavors, structured tannins, and a characteristic minerality, reflecting the unique terroir of the Shoalhaven Coast.
  2. Brown Soils:Brown soils, also known as chocolate soils or podzolic soils, are another common soil type found in the Shoalhaven Coast wine subregion. These soils are characterized by their deep, chocolate-brown color and are typically formed from weathered sedimentary or volcanic rock. Brown soils tend to be well-drained and moderately fertile, with a rich organic content that supports healthy root development and nutrient uptake by the grapevines. While they may not possess the striking red hue of terra rossa soils, brown soils offer their own unique advantages for viticulture. Wines produced from grapes grown in brown soils often display ripe fruit flavors, supple tannins, and a lush, velvety texture, reflecting the fertile and nurturing environment in which they were cultivated.

In conclusion, the Shoalhaven Coast wine subregion boasts a diverse array of soils, each contributing distinct characteristics to the wines produced within its borders. Among the most common soil types found here are red soils and brown soils, which offer unique advantages for grape cultivation and contribute to the region's reputation for producing wines of exceptional quality and character. Whether it's the bold fruit flavors and minerality of wines grown in red soils or the ripe, velvety textures of wines cultivated in brown soils, the terroir of the Shoalhaven Coast shines through in every glass.


The Shoalhaven Coast wine subregion of New South Wales is celebrated for its distinctive viticultural landscape, shaped by its coastal proximity and unique climate. This area supports a diverse range of grape varieties, each with specific agricultural and climatic requirements. Below, we explore the most common grapes found in this region, focusing on their cultivation needs without delving into their aromatic and flavor profiles.

  1. Chardonnay: Chardonnay thrives in the cool-climate conditions of the Shoalhaven Coast, benefiting from the region's ocean breezes which moderate temperatures during the growing season. This variety requires well-drained soils to prevent root diseases and prefers locations where it can receive ample sunlight without excessive heat. The maritime influence ensures a slower ripening process, allowing Chardonnay grapes to develop balanced acidity and structure before harvest.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: Despite the region's cool climate, Cabernet Sauvignon is successfully cultivated here, thanks in part to carefully chosen vineyard sites that maximize sun exposure. This grape demands well-drained soils, typically found in the slightly elevated areas of the Shoalhaven Coast. Cabernet Sauvignon vines are robust, requiring a longer growing season to fully mature, which the region's extended autumn period accommodates, allowing for the development of complex tannins and concentrated fruit.
  3. Verdelho: Verdelho, a white wine grape variety, is well-suited to the Shoalhaven Coast's climate, which provides a balance of warm sunny days and cool nights, mimicking its native Madeira's conditions. This grape prefers rich, fertile soils but can adapt to a range of soil types as long as there is good drainage. Verdelho's versatility and drought resistance make it a valuable variety for the region, capable of producing high-quality fruit even in less than ideal water conditions.
  4. Sauvignon Blanc: The maritime climate of the Shoalhaven Coast is ideal for Sauvignon Blanc, which requires a cooler growing environment to maintain its characteristic acidity and freshness. This variety benefits from the region's well-drained soils and the cooling sea breezes that reduce the risk of vine diseases. Sauvignon Blanc vines are relatively early to bud and ripen, making them well-suited to the region's climate, where they can be harvested before the onset of autumn rains.
  5. Shiraz: Shiraz is grown in the warmer, sheltered sites of the Shoalhaven Coast, where it can receive ample sunlight to ripen fully. This grape variety adapts well to various soil types but performs best in well-drained soils that retain heat. The region's climate, with its warm days and cool nights, contributes to the development of Shiraz grapes with good color and tannin structure, requiring careful vineyard management to balance growth and ensure optimal ripening.

These grape varieties represent the core of the Shoalhaven Coast's viticultural identity, each bringing unique requirements and challenges to vineyard management in the region. The success of these grapes underlines the adaptability of vine growers to the region's specific conditions, showcasing the Shoalhaven Coast's capacity to produce diverse and high-quality wines​​​​​​

The Shoalhaven Coast wine subregion, located on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia, is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and the production of premium wines, benefiting from the cool climate and ocean breezes. This region is home to a variety of wines, with a focus on both white and red varieties that reflect the unique terroir and climate of the area.

  1. Chardonnay: A standout white wine from the Shoalhaven Coast, Chardonnay thrives in the region's cool climate, which is ideal for producing wines with a good balance of acidity and fruitiness. The ocean breezes and the cool nights contribute to the slow ripening of the grapes, allowing them to develop a complex flavor profile while maintaining their natural acidity.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: Among the red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is a prominent variety in the Shoalhaven Coast. The region's unique climate, with its warm days tempered by cool sea breezes, allows for the development of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with concentrated flavors and a good tannin structure, making wines that are both robust and elegant.
  3. Verdelho: Another white wine variety that excels in the Shoalhaven Coast is Verdelho, a grape that produces vibrant and aromatic wines. The variety benefits from the maritime climate, yielding wines that are fresh and lively, with a characteristic tropical fruit profile.
  4. Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc from the Shoalhaven Coast is known for its crisp and refreshing qualities. The cool growing conditions are perfect for preserving the grape's natural acidity and aromatic profile, resulting in wines that are expressive and highly food-friendly.
  5. Shiraz: Shiraz is also successfully cultivated in this region, producing wines that are rich and flavorful, with a good balance between fruit and spice notes. The climatic conditions allow for the slow and even ripening of Shiraz grapes, contributing to the depth and complexity of the wines.

The Shoalhaven Coast's wine profile is distinguished by its ability to produce both exceptional white and red wines, benefiting from the region's temperate climate, influenced by its coastal location. The wines from this area are celebrated for their quality and distinctiveness, contributing to the Shoalhaven Coast's growing reputation as a fine wine-producing region in Australia​​​​​​.