Surveyor’s Hill winery

6 Jun

This past Saturday, the weather was atrocious. In Winter, we’re usually spared rain and just have to put up with chill-you-to-the-bone winds with the icy weather. But Saturday we got the cold weather, the biting winds and a whole heap of cold, cold rain.

I was desperate to go shopping, but knew with the weather that simply everyone in Canberra would be at the shops and if it wasn’t impossible to get a park, it would definitely be impossible to walk around. What to do in rainy weather when one doesn’t want to deal with crowds? Go to a winery, of course!

We’d been to Surveyor’s Hill a few months back for the Wine Harvest Festival and really enjoyed its setting and atmosphere (not to mention the wine!). While we hadn’t tried out the food there, the options had interested us enough that we knew exactly where we wanted to spend our rainy, wintery afternoon.

Surveyor’s Hill is just a short drive out of Canberra, in Wallaroo (a little bit closer than the Murrumbateman wineries). It’s neighboured by Brindabella wines (which has won numerous awards), and nestled against, you guessed it, Surveyor’s Hill.

Looking rather picturesque

There was just one another group there when we arrived – as well as a cute dog lying against the entrance out of the rain – and the group left soon after we arrived. Despite the empty expansive setting, the echoey concrete floor and large glass windows, we felt very welcomed by our hosts, and being on our own with the misty rain about us felt, well, a bit romantic! (We were assured that, while the rainy weather usually keeps people away, there had been plenty of people earlier in the day.)

Surveyor’s Hill building – dog can be seen in the corner of the door 🙂

While the fireplace was in the middle of the floor, and we had literally the entire room to choose from, we chose to sit next to the window to best enjoy the views.

Empty, but inviting


Our orders were taken, and while they were being made we went up to the front of the room to enjoy the wine tastings. Surveyor’s Hill offers a lovely light champagne, a number of whites, a number of reds, a port and the most divine dessert wine (or ‘sticky’). On my first visit at the Wine Harvest Festival, a friend had remarked just how good the Autumn Gold was, ($13 a bottle) and she was right! It is unparalleled for deliciousness. It’s also low in alcohol content (which means you can drink lots! Or so I tell myself…). Boyfriend had been back in the meantime to get more bottles of it, and our host remembered him, “because it’s unusual for someone to just come in and buy something without tasting anything.”

Very colourful Surveyor’s Hill bottles, and obligatory water jug

Just as we finished sampling the wines on offer, the chef announced that our first meal was ready. We ordered two glasses of wine from our tastings (and were served very full glasses!), and sat down for the meal. We’d ordered the mixed platter, which consisted of a healthy serving of tsatziki, eggplant, tahini and chickpea puree, baked organic beetroot, and grilled asparagus spears, with a selection of their breads.

Lovely breads and asparagus spears

Tsatziki, chickpea/eggplant/tahini puree and beetroot, with glass of wine

It was a great platter, and the bread especially was divine. The beetroot was apparently local. All in all, a lovely start.

Of course, we’d ordered more dishes. We didn’t have to wait long, either. Boyfriend had ordered the vegetable pot pie, while I’d ordered the tea-smoked duck neck sausage.

Vegetable pot pie (apparently a Neil Perry recipe)

Boyfriend seemed to very much enjoy his dish, but at the end there was still a thick crust around the pot. I think it would have been made even more better if it was possible to peel away the crust and eat it, instead of it being stuck on tight to the pot.

Me with my tea-smoked duck neck sausage and sweet chilli sauce

I’d been advised that the tea-smoked duck neck sausage wouldn’t be hot – it’s best served cold. It was a great, if not unusual taste, but I did find the skin of the sausage just a touch too chewy. The sweet chilli sauce was great though, and certainly didn’t taste like it came from a bottle!

Supping the wine and pulling a face

We debated having dessert, but couldn’t help ourselves and went ahead and ordered the cake. I can’t tell you exactly what it was, but it was rich tasting while still being light to eat, and served with double cream. It was heavenly and a great finish to the afternoon.

We of course couldn’t leave without buying two more bottles of Autumn Gold!

Oh, and on our drive home we saw a wombat!

Bad photo of the wombat but I was so excited that I was fumbling!

Date: 2.45-4pm, Saturday, 2 June 2012

Attendees: T1 and Boyfriend

Cost: Our two glasses of wine, mixed platter for two, two main dishes and a dessert cost us just over $90 (plus $26 for two bottles of Autumn Gold). The bottled wine prices are very reasonable, averaging around $18-20 a bottle (much better than most Canberra wines).

Worthwhile factor: Very worthwhile. I think I’ll be going to more wineries while the weather is this bad!

Want more? – although the website is very out of date. Most of the dishes in the online menu are still available, but not all. Here are a few pics of the menu if interested:


4 Responses to “Surveyor’s Hill winery”

  1. Gary Lum June 7, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    Hey T1, that looks fantastic 🙂


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    […] alive – rain on a tin roof, toasty fires and stone walls. Remembering how much we enjoyed our outing to Surveyor’s Hill last year under similar conditions, we hit the […]

  2. Murrumbateman Moving Feast | In The Taratory - October 6, 2013

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    […] at Muse has a story behind it. Surveyor’s Hill (a favourite winery of mine!) features across every type of wine on the list because it’s where the owners got married. […]

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