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Discover Hawkesbury's cider, wine and spirits

applesThe Hawkesbury is known for its amazing fruit and vegetables but there is also a growing boutique cider, wine and spirits industry right here. This weekend try something different, gather a few friends, find a designated driver and map out a ‘taste and sip’ roadtrip around the Hawkesbury.

And if you're finding it hard to twist a friends arm to be the designated driver consider a fully guided tour by Hawkesbury Winery Tours. It’s a great way to experience (and taste!) the highlights of the area with a local expert guide.

Kicking off at Bilpin here’s a great opportunity to taste the local apple cider! With both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties available Bilpin Cider and Hillbilly Cider have cellar doors where you can taste, purchase and enjoy the cider whilst overlooking the apple orchards. The new cider shed at Hillbilly is everything it promises to be – a rustic cider shed offering cider tastings, shop, wood fired pizzas (eat in or takeaway) open 7 days.  Bilpin Cider is open for tastings 7 days, serving apple pies and brownies each day to which can be enjoyed on the farms lush grassy picnic area. Picnic hampers are available on weekends (bookings advised).  Check out their websites and socials for live music and seasonal food offerings.

tastingAfter sampling ciders return down the hill towards the Hawkesbury River and enjoy the scenic rural drive to Sackville and Ebenezer.  Luckily the three wineries are all located a stones throw from each other.

Bull Ridge Wines is a family run cellar door and vineyard. Originally starting as a hobby, the vineyard began as just 6 rows of vines. The vineyard covers two acres of the East Kurrajong hills and boasts four varieties making a well-rounded wine list. Bull Ridge Estate is generally open on weekends after 11am, but we suggest you check opening hours before travelling (Ph.042 2348244).

Tizzana Winery  is situated in a stunning sandstone National Trust listed building offers cellar door tastings on weekends and other times by appointment (Ph.45791150) . Varietal availability includes Shiraz, Rose, Petit Verdots, Semillion and dessert wines. The family run vineyard has picturesque grounds and quaint gardens on the banks of Hawkesbury River.  Tizzana Bnb is onsite should you wish to stay overnight before exploring the rest of Ebenezer, Sackville and beyond.

Just across the road Jubilee Estate Winery produces it’s wines from Chambourcin vines, the grape produces a deep purple coloured wine with a full aromatic flavour and long depth. Open weekends and other times by appointment, bring your own picnic or cheese platter to enjoy with the wine on the sun drenched picnic tables (Ph.0473535325).

barrelsIf gin is more to your taste Ironbark (Ph. 0404189513) and Karu Distilleries (Ph.0405215011) both produce gin right here in the Hawkesbury. Ironbark is currently not offering tastings however it's products are available for purchase from their cellar door on weekdays. Karu is currently establishing their cellar door, contact them to check which markets they are attending to get your hands on their boutique gins. You can also buy all of these gins online if you can't make it.

And finally Gypsy Fox (Ph.0413696399) is a newish, local boutique brewer doing some amazing things.  You’ll often find them doing beer tastings at Richmond Good Food Markets on a Saturday morning.  The markets run 8am-1pm every Saturday in the heart of Richmond.