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WE'LL GIVE YOU
PLENTY TO TALK ABOUT
TRY OUR WINES
AND SHARE OUR VIEW

ABOUT

Welcome to the home of good wine and great debates.

Contentious Character is a cool-climate Canberra winery, set in the hills of Wamboin, just 30km east of Canberra city.

We’re a single vineyard winery and our first plantings date back to 1990. 

At one of the Canberra wine region’s highest elevations, our undulating hills give every vine the chance to breathe fresh air, and bask in the sun. These conditions akin to Continental Europe mean our wines take on an elegant, nuanced character. It’s a lovable contrast to what many expect from Australian wines.

Come taste our boutique Australian wines at our cellar door and enjoy our contemporary Australian menu (with an Italian flair) featuring local produce at our restaurant; all against the backdrop of rolling hills and distant views of the Snowy Mountains, create a charming backdrop to our cool-climate vineyards. 

Whether you come to us, or our wines come to you, we’ll give you plenty to talk about.

ALL ABOUT US

ABOUT

Welcome to the home of good wine and great debates.

Contentious Character is a cool-climate Canberra winery, set in the hills of Wamboin, just 30km east of Canberra city.

We’re a single vineyard winery and our first plantings date back to 1990. 

At one of the Canberra wine region’s highest elevations, our undulating hills give every vine the chance to breathe fresh air, and bask in the sun. These conditions akin to Continental Europe mean our wines take on an elegant, nuanced character. It’s a lovable contrast to what many expect from Australian wines.

Come taste our boutique Australian wines at our cellar door and enjoy our contemporary Australian menu (with an Italian flair) featuring local produce at our restaurant; all against the backdrop of rolling hills and distant views of the Snowy Mountains, create a charming backdrop to our cool-climate vineyards. 

Whether you come to us, or our wines come to you, we’ll give you plenty to talk about.

ALL ABOUT US

CONTENTIOUS CHARACTER? YOU'RE IN GOOD COMPANY.

As a boutique vineyard and producer, we don’t believe in making the ‘same same’ wines each year. 

We’re directed more by the season and what happens in the vines. We often don’t make a firm decision about what or sometimes even how we will produce our next vintage until it comes time to harvest and press our grapes. 

From austere, yet elegant Pinot Noirs and Rieslings, to full flavoured Shiraz, Cabernets, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, we have a wine to suit every set of taste buds. 

And if you love our wines as much as we do, sign up to our Wine Club for regular delivery of our Australian wines to your doorstep and save with a generous loyalty discount (not only on our wines but also at our restaurant)

JOIN OUR WINE CLUB

CONTENTIOUS CHARACTER? YOU'RE IN GOOD COMPANY.

As a boutique vineyard and producer, we don’t believe in making the ‘same same’ wines each year. 

We’re directed more by the season and what happens in the vines. We often don’t make a firm decision about what or sometimes even how we will produce our next vintage until it comes time to harvest and press our grapes. 

From austere, yet elegant Pinot Noirs and Rieslings, to full flavoured Shiraz, Cabernets, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, we have a wine to suit every set of taste buds. 

And if you love our wines as much as we do, sign up to our Wine Club for regular delivery of our Australian wines to your doorstep and save with a generous loyalty discount (not only on our wines but also at our restaurant)

JOIN OUR WINE CLUB

try our wines and share our view

When it comes to what we believe in, we stand our ground. And there’s nothing contentious about our hospitality.

Come across the ACT/NSW border to Wamboin to our classic, cool-climate Canberra winery.

Out here, the locals are friendly, and the odds are good you’ll spot a kangaroo or two bounding through the vines. Join us for a tasting of our boutique wines, a good meal made of local produce and a simple yarn.

VISIT US

try our wines and share our view

When it comes to what we believe in, we stand our ground. And there’s nothing contentious about our hospitality.

Come across the ACT/NSW border to Wamboin to our classic, cool-climate Canberra winery.

Out here, the locals are friendly, and the odds are good you’ll spot a kangaroo or two bounding through the vines. Join us for a tasting of our boutique wines, a good meal made of local produce and a simple yarn.

VISIT US

FEATURED PRODUCTS

2020 Riesling

2020 Rose

NV Red Blend Bubbly

Private Tasting with Winemaker

THE RAMBLING VINE

Contentious Character
 
14 April 2021 | Contentious Character

3 Ways To Celebrate Mum This Mother's Day

PSA. Mother's Day is on Sunday 9 May 2021 and is just around the corner.

Because Mums are the real superheroes (especially since the Rona), we've got a few ways you can celebrate her, regardless of whether you find yourself in the Canberra wine district or not.

 

Mother's Day shopping fair

Over the Anzac Day long weekend (24-26 April), come by our winery in beautiful Wamboin for a Mother's Day shopping fair with free entry.

Sample a selection of Contentious wines, condiments and ketchups, Jasper & Myrtle's award-winning artisanal chocolate and cheeses and nibbles.

And if you like what you taste, purchase some for Mum with gift-wrapping available on-site to create bespoke hampers.

More info here

 

Mother's Day gift hampers

Want us to make gifting even easier?

Or separated from your Mum this Mother's Day but want to send her something special, delivered straight to her door (with shipping on us**)? 

This Mother's Day, we're offering three types of gift hampers for Mum.

 

 

At 99 dollars, our hamper includes a bottle of our 2019 Rosé (Stop and Smell The Rosé), a large MOJO French Pear candle, a Loveshak Red Wine soap bar and a block of Jasper & Myrtle White Chocolate & Sour Cherries chocolate.

More info here

 

 

At 159 dollars, our hamper includes a bottle of our 2019 Rosé (Stop and Smell The Rosé), a large MOJO Wild Basil & Cucumber candle, a Loveshak Pink & Sparkling soap bar and two blocks of Jasper & Myrtle artisanal chocolate; White Chocolate & Sour Cherries and Orange Cinnamon & Cayenne Dark Chocolate. And there's more! Mum will also receive a jar of Contentious loose leaf tea and a boxed trio pack of Contentious condiments. 

More info here

 

If you're feeling creative or if Mum's a wee bit fussy, you can even order a customised hamper. Simply let us know your budget then we'll contact you and help make your selections. 

More info here

**We're offering free shipping on all Mother's Day hampers until 28 April

Mother's Day lunch

And finally, for the big day on Sunday 9 May, join us for Mother's Day lunch.

Mum will be greeted with a complimentary glass of sparkling because she's the VIP.

Then, choose to lunch à la carte or feast on our seasonal 4-course tasting menu of burrata, wild mushroom gnocchi, Korean-style beef short rib and your choice of dessert. If mum's a wine lover, add on paired wines for an afternoon she'll love.

We can even arrange for a gift to be placed on the table to surprise Mum on arrival. After booking, just give us a call and we'll take care of the rest.

More info here

  

Contentious Character
 
16 March 2021 | Contentious Character

Canberra Wine Week 2021

From Canberra Wines:

Grapes have been grown and wine made in the Canberra District since the 1840s, although in common with a number of other smaller Australian wine regions, the industry went into decline for several decades from the turn of the 20th Century.

Interest in viticulture and winemaking in the Canberra District was rekindled in the 1970s and 1980s with a number of what are now highly regarded vineyards and wineries. Our district, which spreads across Canberra, Hall, Murrumbateman, Yass, Bungendore, Lake George, Wamboin, Gundaroo and Collector has grown considerably over the past 50 years it is now estimated that there are some 140 vineyards with approximately 450 hectares under vine, and upwards of 40 cellar doors.

Canberra District Wine Week 2021, is not only a special year of celebration due to a disastrous 2020, but we’re recognising and celebrating 50 years of the first plantings of vines and subsequent production of wine within the district, cementing our place as a premium cool climate wine region in Australia.

And we want you to celebrate with us.

Here is how you can celebrate Canberra Wine Week at Contentious Character:

Join us for an Indulgence Wine Tasting experience with a 2-course meal

Over the weekend of 20-21 March and 27-28 March, enjoy an intimate group Indulgence Wine Tasting experience, hosted by a Contentious Character, followed by a 2-course lunch or dinner. 

You'll be joined by no more than 3 other couples. Wines will be curated for the group and drawn from the Founders Museum Collection, our unique collection of old world style aged vintages as well as from the Contentious Character range of new world styles.

Our Indulgence Wine Tasting was recently launched with new matched food elements as well - an experience unique to our winery and kitchen! You can check out the tastings menu here

When it comes to lunch or dinner, we offer a wide range of tempting fresh local produce in a blend of traditional Italian flair with contemporary Australian. Our food is chosen to complement our Canberran cool-climate wines beautifully - and yes, you'll also get a glass of wine of your choice with your lunch or dinner. 

MORE INFO & BOOKINGS

Wine Tastings only

Are you all about the wine only? We're hosting Indulgence Wine Tastings on their own for Canberra Wine Week as well.

Experience the best of Contentious Character by traversing styles and vintages across 12 wines with newly matched food elements including jamon, salami, cheddarbelle cheese and housemade pate. You can check out the tastings menu here

Available Saturday 20 to Monday 22 March and Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 March.

MORE INFO & BOOKINGS

 

We are so proud to be part of the Canberra Wine District.

Hope to see you at our beautiful winery in the rolling hills of Wamboin.

Contentious Character
 
5 March 2021 | Contentious Character

Riesling Day: Everything You Need To Know About Riesling Wine

In celebration of Riesling Day on 13 March, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on riesling wine from descriptions of sweet and dry rieslings, how to serve riesling wine including what to eat and pair it with and the state of riesling wine in Australia. 

Contentious Character - wineries near Canberra & NSW

A quick history lesson on riesling wine

The first mention of riesling dates back to 1435 in Germany, though of course there’s contention around that. 
For centuries, Alsace in France and Australia have also produced premium rieslings.

What we do know for sure is that by the 1850s, riesling had become a very fashionable wine, thanks to its popularity with German nobility. 

Riesling in Australia

Riesling came to Australia in the 19th century with the first planting at Camden Park near Penrith in New South Wales. It then spread throughout Australia, especially to South Australia in the hands and hearts of German settlers. 
According to Wine Australia, riesling is one of the most underrated wines in Australia. However, as of late, it is definitely on the rise in popularity, as it was in the 1960s and 70s.

The two most popular riesling regions in Australia are the Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia. Here, their riesling is bone-dry with distinctive lime, lemon and grapefruit flavours.

But of course, we find ourselves in the Canberra district! Australian cool-climate rieslings are dry and complex, typically associated with tight, crisp finishes. 

You read that right - rieslings are not always sweet; they can be dry. 

Sweet riesling vs dry riesling

The most common misconception about riesling is that it is always sweet - and that it always tastes like that sugary, white cask wine (which in our opinion, shouldn’t really be called wine at all).

Riesling-Contentious Character - wineries near Canberra & NSW

But riesling can also be dry and in fact, Australian cool-climate rieslings (i.e. the rieslings you’ll find out of the Canberra wine region) are known for their crispness. Dry rieslings can have notes of apple, pear, lemon, pineapple and even rockmelon. 

Our 2015 Riesling, for example, is a bright riesling, with abundant fresh citrus aroma, and crisp finish, thanks to an acidity that's friendly, but firm. 

BUY 2015 RIESLING

Sweet rieslings typically have flavours of fruit and a lasting, sweet honey finish.  

But rieslings can’t just be broken down into ‘dry’ and ’ sweet’. The riesling grape is very versatile; it is complex and has excellent ageing potential where the flavours can mellow and develop over time. In fact, it’s one of the few white wines that can be aged for decades. Knowing this, it shouldn’t surprise you that rieslings can be also be dessert wines or sparkling wines!

Serving and pairing riesling wine

Because riesling wine is so diverse (thanks to its high acidity), it comes down to selecting the right riesling to pair with your meal.

Dry rieslings are great with seafood, curries and other Asian dishes. 

Sweet and aged rieslings match deliciously with rich cheeses, salty cheeses and even fruity desserts.

Contentious Character - wineries near Canberra & NSW

So to celebrate Riesling Day, start with a crisp, dry riesling and a zesty ceviche. Our 2017 Riesling, ‘Come The Raw Prawn’, features lemon and lime with a floral twist combined with a crunch green apple texture and hints of tangerine make for an enjoyable finish. As the name suggests, our 2017 Riesling works wonderfully with prawns or any seafood for that matter. 

BUY 2017 RIESLING

Then, follow up with a richer, dry riesling with an Asian dish (think a curry or even Korean fried chicken). Our 2019 Riesling, ‘Crisp In Your Cakehole’, is a delicate riesling with citrus and cut hay aromas, underpinned by rich lemon flavours; we love to match it with an Indian fish curry!

BUY 2019 RIESLING

 

 

 

Finally, finish off with an aged riesling with a cheese and fruit platter. Our 2005 and 2006 Founder Museum Collection rieslings were showered with awards and are now drinking their best, with rich honey-lemon flavours. 

And if you’re looking for a rounder Australian riesling, here are our tasting notes for our 2020 Riesling, ‘No Riesling to Worry’. 

BUY 2020 RIESLING

As a general rule of thumb, serve your riesling at 8 degrees.

Contentious Character rieslings

If you’ve been paying attention, you might’ve noticed that our riesling range spans over a decade, from 2005 to 2020!
Come visit our cellar door and book a wine tasting to sample some of our Australian cool-climate rieslings and experience the best of the Canberra wine region.

Here’s to a delicious Riesling Day on 13 March!

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