Star Cellar Door
The gloss has rubbed off the bar at Tim Kirk’s ‘new’ cellar door, opened three years ago to replace the original ’70s low key facility. But there’s still a shine on the glasses and a smile on the faces of the helpful staff led by knowledgeable cellar door manager, Rob Kearon. The use of local stone and re-purposed timber (the bar is made from used barrels) adds to the charm with the open fire a must in Canberra’s icy winters.
But it’s the Clonakilla wines that are the drawcard, from the pack of Rhône-inspired wines led by the benchmark Shiraz Viognier and the varietal Viognier, perhaps Australia’s best. The Riesling is equally stellar with the Pinot Noir a quirky option. Winery manager, Bryan Martin plays a big hand in the consistency of the Clonakilla wines – as Tim Kirk happily confesses. Tim has the vision, Bryan quietly delivers the goods. Speaking of the goods, make sure you sign up for the Clonakilla newsletter – these wines are finite and highly sought after. PETER BOURNE
OUTSTANDING WINE: 2017 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, A$108