CyclingGravel is a big fan of combining a ride with a cafe stop (are you really cycling if you don’t?). A special treat is a beautiful lunch cycling destination – preferably in the countryside with views and (for Mrs CyclingGravel) wine.
There are a number of wineries around Canberra that are easy destinations for a weekend ride – head out in the morning, linger over lunch, and cruise home in the afternoon. Each of the options below are ones I have visited and enjoyed, and would encourage you to do the same! There are many more options available (particularly if you are just keen on wine tasting) – a number of which are close to or passed by the routes below. There is a great Wine Tourism Map available from the local wine industry association to provide more inspiration.
Best for: woodfired pizza
Whilst requiring a longer ride from Canberra, Four Winds is also one of the more casual options we’ve headed by bike. With great woodfired pizza (and choose your own platter options as well), on a nice day it is possible to have a lawn picnic.
There are a range of ways to get here. Murrumbidgee & Murrumbateman loop and Yass on-road day trip include some options. If you are after a short trip from Canberra, I’d recommend heading out via Tallagandra Lane, then returning via Namina Road – as per the Komoot below.
Best for: finer dining
Offering hill-top views across vines, Contentious Character offers a more extensive set of options than many wineries – grazing platters, tasting menus with paired wines and a-la carte, not to mention the oyster and bubbles choices. Having said that, don’t feel self-conscious about turning up on a bike – the service is welcoming and excellent.
If heading direct, the bad news is that is mostly uphill to get there – including the 10% incline at the very start of Norton Road. The good news is that it is a rapid ride home! An alternative to the direct route is a loop via Bungendore (which you may prefer to reverse to get most of the miles done before lunch).
Alternative option: via Bungendore
Best for: awesome desserts
Nestled near a number of other wineries, Surveyor’s Hill has a different feel to others – it clearly is family run and incredibly welcoming. Offering seasonal and locally-sourced food choices, the desserts were a real highlight. Kudos as well for the very generously sized glasses of wine.
There are many different ways to get to Wallaroo Road from the centre of Canberra – the Komoot below shows a couple of to/fro options starting from LBG. Doing to full loop of Wallaroo (including Gooroomon Ponds and Southwell Roads) will reward with great country and mountain views.
Best for: value for money
Whilst not exactly a winery, the cellar door at Capital Wines in Hall offers a quick city escape and a much cheaper than typical opportunity to try to some local wines. With platters, soup and pizzas (and $6 glasses of wine – noting that the $25 pizza deal comes with a glass too), there is not a huge variety of food on offer, but there is an extensive selection of wine to pair with your selected meal.
Hall is on the route out to Wallaroo above, but is not nearly as far to cycle. Why not combine the ride with a stop at Spilt Milk in Dickson on the way home?