With over 140 vineyards and 30 cellar doors, Visit NSW states the Canberra Region is home to Australia’s most rapidly growing wine regions. The Yass Valley is fast becoming the region to visit for wine connoisseurs. However, Helm is not a new kid on the block. Established in 1973 it was one of the region’s first commercial wineries and has a slew of awards to demonstrate their success, including a five-star rating in James Halliday’s famed Wine Companion.

Helm Winery looking towards the vineyards, standing under an enormous oak tree, with its branches spread out over the vines, the sunlight streaming through

The beautiful grounds of Helm Winery

Ken and his daughter Stephanie are the winemakers. They are fourth and fifth generation descendants of German vinedressers from the Rhineland. Stephanie produces The Vintner’s Daughter and her Pinot Noir, would have to be one of my all time favourite wines. However, you won’t find her wine in a bottle shop so you’ll have to head over to her website to purchase it. Or even better, head over to Helm Winery so you can sample it.

Helm's awards align the walls of the old school house, with countless trophies sitting in glass cabinets.

It is worth taking a moment, or two, to listen to Ken’s stories behind the countless awards they’ve won.

I visited Helm Winery with my mum… and my two children in tow! We had a few hours to spare and the weather was beautiful, so it made sense to us to spend a few hours sitting in the sun, drinking some lovely wine.

The small weatherboard school house is painted cream with an olive green trim. Behind it sits the timber shed, with a rustic colourbond roof and vines growing all over it.

The historic 1888 Toual Public School House

Helm Winery is located in Murrumbateman, NSW and tastings are held in the 1888 Toual Public School House, which is listed by the National Trust. The building gives that little bit of character to an already beautiful location.

The philosophy at Helm Wines is that winemaking is an art not a science. The winemaker is the custodian of the grape and has the potential to create a masterpiece. We strive to produce premium quality wines that reflect the true characteristics of the grape and the land or ‘terroir’ in which they have been grown. The cool climate wine country near Canberra allows Helm Wines to produce unique styles of wines that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.       (from www.helmwines.com.au)

My Ken Helm himself, standing behind the counter with his wines in front of him. He is an older gentlemen and isn't too please to be having his photo taken!

Mr Ken Helm talking us through his wines.

I’m a big fan of red wine, and really loved Helm Winery’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. This has been matured in oak which gives it a lovely deep flavour, just what I like from a Cabernet blend.

My mother and I were lucky to have Ken Helm talk us through his wines. Like anyone passionate about what they do, he was more than happy to answer all our questions, explaining in detail his efforts to pursue wine that would rival, and has done, the best in the world.

 

Where: 19 Butts Road, Murrumbateman NSW

Open: Thursday – Monday, 10am to 5pm

Prices: Wines range from $29 to $52

For more information, check out their website

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Written by Nadia

12 Comments

Janice Taggart

Great place to spend a relaxing hour or two … good wines, especially their Reisling

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Rosemarie of Travel and Beyond

I love that you visited with your mum. It’s such a fantastic way to bond and this post is making me miss my mum a lot. She would love a trip to a vineyard! Thank you for sharing, I will definitely bookmark this for when she does visit. ūüôā

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Nadia

It was a lovely way to catch up with my mum. And then we brought home some lovely wine to have over another catch up at dinner!

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John @PreppyKitchen

Thank you so much for sharing! I love visiting wineries as well and especially ones with a rustic feel like Helm.

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Kerri

Always good to know of wineries that people have actually been to, when there is such a selection. I had no idea Canberra had such a burgeoning winery scene either. Can’t say I’ve ever drunk a wine from this region. Will look out for them now. I do need to get to Canberra – so much more than I ever thought would be there from a foodie perspective.

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Nadia

Canberra has come a long way in the last few years. Restaurants still annoy me – they can be really hit and miss. Not like in Melbourne or Sydney, where a bad restaurant will go out of business quicker than it opens. The wineries are good – I just wish more served food! There can be quite a drive in between.

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Nadia

I thought so too! It’s not uncommon in the Canberra Region to be speaking to the people directly involved in the wine making. I think that’s part of the charm.

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Evelyne CulturEatz

I could spend a few hours sipping wine there as well for sure, love the public school house. What a personal experience you had at this small vineyard, they can be the most memorable.

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Prateek Dasgupta

Not a big wine person but I do love to take vineyard trips to see the process of wine making and their tasting and pairing sessions, this looks like a great place to spend the weekend

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