Wine Tasting In Megalong Valley

Jackie McMillan
15th Feb 2023

Those spectacular views you take in from the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath look down at the Megalong Valley. Despite it being a dead end serviced by a road that is broken in more than six places, it’s worth the half hour drive down through cool rainforest. The road being broken in places for more than two years is an exemplar of how John Barlilaro’s guideline changes that starved Labor-held councils of funds, have impacted people’s lives in bushfire-prone areas.

There are two wineries in the valley and they’re located right next door to each other, so you might as well visit both. Dryridge Estate is set up for relaxed tasting with cheese and charcuterie boards ($40/2). They have a bigger range of wines than their counterpart because they buy-in grapes from other areas. A tasting of seven wines from their range will set you back ten bucks. Waitstaff were quick to reassure the designated driver that their tasting adds up to one and a half standard drinks, leaving you under the legal limit for the drive out. Wines are served at shaded outdoor tables in front of the spectacular east-facing view. The 2019 Dryridge Eva Chardonnay ($30/bottle) was my pick of the range: simple, bright and inoffensive. It’s not a rich or robust Chardonnay so it suited food-free daytime drinking. Winery staff were unsure if it had any malolactic fermentation. While I’m not normally a Shiraz drinker; the 2021 Dryridge Florence Shiraz Cabernet ($40) piqued my interest by being very smooth and round, with juicy red fruit and a hint of whole bunch greenery.

Over the way, Megalong Creek Estate is a family-run vineyard. They make their wines in Mudgee using only grapes grown in the Megalong Valley. You can taste terroir in their single vineyard 2021 Megalong Creek Estate Pinot Noir ($30). The wine’s red Chesterfield leather reminded me of the winding, reddish dirt road in. It has a nose you could get lost in. The tastings here are free, held in an attractive barn-like setting surrounded by corten weathering steel sculptures. They have a new space woodfire pizza coming soon, and I have high hopes for their upcoming Grenache, planted with Mourvèdre back in 2018. No points for guessing which wine I was most excited to take home...