Plan a weekend in the ACT and taste award-winning regional wines produced by a French winemaker with a passion for pinot.
It’s a short 30-minute drive from Canberra, but as you turn into the cool shade of the majestic tree-lined driveway to Eden Road, you’ll find yourself in another world. This award-winning label, situated in the gently undulating hills of Murrumbateman, offers a cellar door experience where you’ll discover a wide range of wines from muscular syrahs to famously minerally rieslings, and more recently, outstanding pinot noirs and even Italian varietals.
And while Murrumbateman is where you’ll enjoy tasting the wines, Eden Road actually includes a number of vineyards throughout the Canberra region and beyond, including Gundagai and Tumbarumba. It was back in 1972 that the first vines were planted and by the early 1980s, the wines were winning prestigious awards. Today, Eden Road is led by French-born Celine Rousseau. “I’m from Bordeaux and we are very much attached to the terroir,” she explains. She’s particularly excited about the pinot noirs and chardonnays she’s making from the Tumbarumba region. “Pinot noir doesn’t like warm weather. It has to be in a region that has a continental climate with a big difference between night and day temperatures,” she explains.
It’s an exciting expansion and Celine is also sourcing Italian varietals such as sangiovese. “The Italian varieties need more sun – they can handle very dry weather. I think that’s probably the future of Australia.” But she’s not ignoring the syrah and riesling vines that have made the Canberra region so famous. It’s those early vines, planted in what was once rolling sheep fields, that Celine is so proud to be evolving. “My focus as chief winemaker is to make outstanding riesling and shiraz as they’re the hero wines of our Canberra district.”
Celine’s two favourite pinot noirs are worth checking out and she’s happy to share her tips about the best food matches for these lovingly created wines.
Eden Road Tumbarumba Pinot Noir is Celine’s flagship pinot noir. “I wanted it to be a lot more restrained and also savoury,” she says. “It’s a wine with a vibrant fruit flavour and I want it to age for at least 10 years.” Expect cherry and plum notes with a long silky finish. “My match would be duck breast or confit of duck and anything with truffles.”
Eden Road Long Road Pinot Noir is the entry level pinot. “I wanted to make this as a very good benchmark of what the Tumbarumba region can offer,” Celine says. “It’s an easy drinking pinot noir but has all the complexity of a traditional pinot noir. I’d match it with cheese or any dish with mushrooms such as mushroom soup or mushroom bourguignon.”
“Post COVID we’ve relaunched our cellar door,” Celine explains. “We’re now offering sit-down tastings and it’s a much better way to really explore every region we have for our wines. We’ve added an education element that looks at the different vineyards and soils.” She recommends making the time to really enjoy exploring the tasting session.
Products featured are available from 02/08/23 to 05/09/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.