Well, the new tasting room at Shaw Wines, near Murrumbateman and in the Canberra Wine Region, is open —and from pictorial evidence a grand structure it is too.

I only caught a glimpse of it one evening a while back when it was in very much its embryonic stages and I was heading to the winery restaurant to have dinner with Graeme Shaw’s wife Ann and his daughter Tanya.

Graeme was in China selling wine but I quickly caught on to his vision.

Not that the place really needed a new tasting room. The previous one was grand enough, but Ann and Tanya … and son Michael … have come to let Graeme do as he pleases.

They’ve learnt from experience that he will have his own way, and that he’ll construct something twice as grand as necessary … and something that will outlast them all.

The building has been, according to the vineyard’s website, designed to take full advantage of its superb rural aspect and vineyard views … and to provide an memorable tasting experience for customers.

“Our new building provides an enhanced level of wine experience, doing away with the traditional squeezing everyone in at the one bar, and instead providing customers their own space to taste the wines in their own time,” Graeme notes.

“A separate tasting room allows for private group bookings and a lounge area for those who just wish to sit down with a glass of wine and a cheese plate to while away the day.”

There are charging stations for electric vehicles and the gallery stocks an exclusive range of hand-painted Italian ceramics from a small town in Umbria.

And I can assure readers that the wines are excellent. Visit www.shawwines.com.au.


Angullong 2017 Fossil Hill Chardonnay ($26): Smartly integrated French oak is a feature of this first-release chardonnay under Angullong’s Fossil Hill label. The fruit comes from about 800 metres above sea level, well above the 600-metre limit for the Orange-region appellation. The wine is complex and fruity, with the flavour mainly from the white-stonefruit spectrum.

Gartelmann 2018 Jessica Hunter River Verdelho ($22): Verdelho originally hails from Portugal but has long been quite at home in the Hunter. This is a light, fresh, totally unoaked style of dry white and has been named after Jan Gartelmann’s mother. It’s an early-drinking style and a more than useful alternative for fans of sauvignon blanc


Shaw Vineyard Estate 2018 Riesling ($30): This a classic cool-area dry riesling with crunchy green-apple and limey flavours. The wine has a touch of botrytis complexity but it is primarily its fresh minerality that I love. It forms a magic combination with a plate of freshly shucked oysters, but please take if easy with that squeeze of lemon.

Written by John Rozentals