Looking for NSW South Coast best wineries? Amidst the stunning landscapes of the Illawarra & Shoalhaven, our local award-winning wineries offer more than just a sip of fine wine. There is something magical about walking among the vineyards at golden hour… The passion of the place and the people seems to be in the air. The sublime scenery from the mountains to the pacific ocean fires the imagination. A visit to a south coast winery is often accompanied by a renewal of inspiration for the pleasures of life.

From sprawling vineyards to boutique wineries tucked away in green valleys, the NSW South Coast boasts a delightful array of wine destinations waiting to be explored. The seasoned connoisseur seeking an in-depth winery tour or seated wine tasting will be well pleased. And if you’re looking for a luxurious winery with fine dining and accomodation for a weekend escape, you’re about to be seriously delighted. So uncork your passion with me, as we round up the best wineries on the South Coast.

Coolangatta Estate

Golden hour over Coolangatta Estate. Photo credit Jon Harris Photography

Coolangatta Estate boasts the distinction of being the region’s most awarded winery. They also happen to be one of the oldest, established in 1822. Situated in the foothills of Coolangatta Mountain, the estate looks out to the ocean on one side and the Shoalhaven River. When the light touches the mountain and the vines at sunset, it’s something magic down here.

There is so much history in this place. Every corner of the estate has a story connected to it. Wine tasting are hosted by members of the family, and after generations of wine making these guys really know their stuff.

Their cellar door is open 7 days a week and offers a seated, guided tasting of 5 wines from their current range. They also offer a private tasting experience hosted in their heritage listed “Great Hall” for groups of 6 or more.

Coolangatta Estate offers casual dining Lunch and Dinner on Saturdays. Their menu evokes their historic roots in subtle ways whilst holding true to its Mediterranean influences. Labneh and arancini are offered alongside a ploughman’s platter!

They also have ample accomodation for those wishing to stay, 26 motel-style rooms are scattered across the estate in restored convict-built cottages and stables. All very cosy and cute. And when it comes to events, Coolangatta seem to really go above and beyond. Their wedding and function packages are flexible and very much tailored to suit the individual. I personally can’t get over the idea of a romp through the vines and a tipsy swim before a wedding feast… heavenly.

Did I mention these guys are the region’s only 5 star winery? They are one of our best South Coast wineries.

Crooked River Wines

Rolling hills and heritage vibes at Crooked River. Photo credit Destination Kiama

Crooked River Wines are another family run local winery that is so deserving of a visit. They’re set in the valley of Gerringong, where the soil is richest and the views to the sea are just drool-inducing. Crooked River have a bit of a reputation as award winners – their wines and blends seem to attract notice every year.

These guys are a commerical winery, and their operation is impressive. More than 12 hectares of vines and 70,000 liters of oak barrels make Crooked River the largest vineyard on the South Coast. Have a chat with anyone on the vineyard and you’ll be able to feel their passion.

Crooked River offers a few different tasting experiences at their cellar door. The group sizes are limited, so bookings are a must. They also offer a picnic version where you can take your own blanket and enjoy their wines and menus up on the hill. This sounds like a delicious date idea…

Their cellar door is open Tuesday to Friday 10:30am – 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday 10:30am – 6pm.

Their similarly award-winning restaurant serves up a mix of the usual suspects with some elevated touches – it’s a well rounded menu with something for every taste. And, of course, the views are amazing here too!

If you’re thinking about making a weekend of it, The Estate House is a large heritage-style house just up the hill from the cellar door that can accomodate up to 8 guests.

The majestic size and location of Crooked River makes them pretty much unbeatable as a wedding venue. Sweeping scenery, high-end chefs and on-site accommodation… somebody invite me to a wedding weekend here please!

Mountain Ridge Wines 

A relaxing Sunday session at Mountain Ridge Wines. Photo credit Mountain Ridge Wines

Mountain Ridge is a beautiful little family run operation that is more than worth a visit. Just east of Berry, the farm, vineyard, restaurant and market garden are nestled into the foothills of Cullungutti Mountain – and the views of the surrounding mountains are just breathtaking.

Mountain Ridge are passionate about sustainability, and committed to making their operation climate positive, which is so heartening to see on a local business scale.

These guys produce wines under the label Shoalhaven Coast Wines from grapes grown on the estate. But they also have two sister vineyards, Bawley Vale Estate and Stone Cottage – and make wine on-site from their grapes too. So they offer a decent variety – and their wine list is always evolving as new wines are introduced and vintages roll over.

They offer very affordable seated tastings at their Lookout Cellar Door. And the views! from Berry mountain to Seven Mile Beach. But the venue is on the small side, so booking ahead is recommended.

Mountain Ridge Restaurant serves modern aussie fare, where each meal is designed to pair with a wine. You can really taste the difference of local, seasonal produce. The covered verandah makes for a beautiful setting. These guys are open for breakfast any day from 9am to 11.30am. Lunch is available from 12pm to 3pm on weekdays and 12pm to 5pm weekends. During lunch hours the cellar is also open.

And if you find the vines too lovely to leave right away, they actually have a luxury tiny house accommodation set right in the vineyard!

Two Figs Winery

A perfect setting on the hill at Mountain Ridge.

Just this morning my own Mum was singing the praises of Two Figs!

These guys are my family’s pick for the best boutique winery experience in the region. Located just outside of beautiful Berry on a pretty hilltop, Two Figs Winery specialise in soft, fruit driven wines — in their own words “approachable” (isn’t that inviting?)

The winery has been operating for about 20 years, and they produce their own range of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, chambourcin and verdelho. They are quite small, their cellar door wine tasting experiences book out very quickly. But so worth it — they were actually chosen by Visit NSW as one of the most breathtaking scenic locations. From their cellar door you get 360 degrees views, it’s incredible.

Two Figs Winery is open 7 days a week from 11am and 5pm. I also love that they offer Gourmet Produce Plates that you can create from a range of local produce from the deli fridge. Ah, a luxe picnic is a such a delight. Two Figs is a must visit for the local connoisseur.

Silos Estate

Fluffy Alpacas add even more country charm to Silos Estate

Sticking close to our lovely Berry location we now have to talk about Silos Estate. The estate is a working winery operating from a repurposed dairy farm (which dates back to the 1800s). The whole place has been lovingly restored now and is, on the whole, rather luxurious. The estate is more of a mini-holiday destination, with ample accomodation in boutique cottages, an art gallery and a restaurant. Oh, and a working alpaca farm!

The vineyard is only 12 acres, and interestingly, is not irrigated. The temperate coastal climate and natural growing conditions allows the grapes’ full character to develop.

Their cellar door is inside an old Dairy Shed, where visitors are encouraged to chat with winemakers and sample their selection of wines from their hand-tended vines. Its also great to see that Silos Estates uses their cellar door to support other small local wineries — so you find a good local variety of drops you may not have access to elsewhere. The cellar door is open 7 days a week, 11am til 5pm.

The Silos Restaurant is always worth a visit. They specialise in regional fare, with a ‘farm’ style influence – think modern rustic beside an open fireplace.

Their scenery makes for a pretty unforgettable wedding venue too – they do big and small events and there is a real sense of spaciousness to the layout – they can cater to parties of up to 200. Lastly, over the June long weekend every year Silos Estate run a ‘Winter in the Vines’ festival, with wine tastings, wine talks and tours, food stalls and entertainment.

Cambewarra Estate Winery

Fine dining among the vines at Cambewarra Estate

Could it be the most photogenic vineyard on this list? That’s a very tough category! Cambewarra Estate Winery is situated in the foothills of Cambewarra Mountain, about 15 minutes from Nowra.

They are another family run, boutique winery that is so worth a visit. Alongside a diverse range of estate made wines, Cambewarra are known also for their indulgent High Teas, and for their many live music events. (They have also recently launched their own craft beer!)

The vineyard grows four varietals, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their cellar door offers affordable seated wine tastings with a paddle of four estate wines of your choice.

Cambewarra High Tea room overlooks the grape vines and offers morning and afternoon high tea sittings that can cater to groups from 2 to 60 people (and they do functions too!) They offer an irresistible collection of sweets, savouries, scones, and and interesting selection of teas, plus champagne.

​This Estate is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and selected Public Holidays. Private bookings and events available 7 days a week. Being child and pet friendly, Cambewarra is one the best south coast wineries for a family visit.

Best Wine Tours

Can’t choose just one winery to visit? Join a wine tour and sample the best!
Photo credit Visit NSW

We’re really spoiled for choice when it comes to enticing wineries on the South Coast — Thankfully we don’t have to choose! You might opt to join a winery tour, and get a taste of much of what the region has to offer in a single day! A catered tour is an opportunity to taste the variety in our unique maritime climate wines, or explore the cool climate wines further inland towards the highlands. Kenny Escapes Winery Tours operates out of Wollongong and includes priority access to some of the most renowned food and wine destinations in NSW.

South Coast Journeys runs larger tours catering for special celebrations, like hen’s parties and birthdays. These guys visit many of the best wineries on this list and include a gourmet lunch and multiple wine tastings… makes you glad someone else is driving!

Best Wineries for Weddings & Functions

Exquisite styling at Coolangatta Estate. Photo credit Wedding Hero

I’ve already made special mention of the elegance of Coolangatta Estate for large weddings, and of Crooked River for their stunning backdrop scenery, but there are a couple of other spots further down the coast that also deserve a mention…

In Bermagui you’ll find Mimosa Wines. A very pretty 200 acre vineyard wedding venue that is very close to the beach and surrounded by lush bushland — it’s hard to beat for a small destination wedding. They can accomodate 12+ guests in a self contained homestead and a 2 bedroom cottage and offer all-inclusive food and drink packages (which brings so much peace of mind when planning!)

Cupitt’s Estate is a boutique vineyard in Ulladulla that is also a wedding venue (and a brewery!) Their function rooms offer lovely views across the vineyard to Burill Lake. These guys also offer all-inclusive wedding packages — and accomodation for 20+ in their new luxury pods. I love their thoughtful wet-weather options, and it’s so much fun to have a brewery on site for those guests who prefer beer to wine!

Looking for more weekend inspiration?

We offer our gratitude and deep respect to the lands, waters and skies of Dharawal Country. We stand in solidarity with its traditional custodians, the Dharawal and Wodi Wodi people, whose sovereignty was never ceded.

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