The Shoalhaven Coast region has become known for its quality wine, with vineyards extending from the rolling hills of the hinterland to the coastal plains.

The region faces quite warm temperatures during the growing season, with the best results obtained from vineyards located on the north facing slopes that are well-exposed, well-drained and well-ventilated.

The principal threat to viticulture on the Shoalhaven Coast resides in the unpredictable but sometimes substantial summer rainfall, a problem that diminishes to the south of the region.

36° 40'S
Latitude
10-70m
Altitude
324mm
Growing season rainfall

Chambourcin

Chambourcin constitutes the majority of the other red plantings. It is grown for precisely the same reasons as it is in the Hastings River region, far to the north. It is highly resistant to mildew and performs well in even the wettest summers. The vibrant colour and fresh plum fruit aroma and flavour of the wine are best enjoyed while it is young; sometimes a touch of new oak is introduced to increase the balance, complexity and length of the wine. 

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is planted up and down the length of the Shoalhaven Coast. It produces a pleasant, mid-weight wine with gentle peachy fruit flavours and a soft finish. 

Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon

These are paired because they are so often blended and because, either as single varietal wines or as blends, they produce soft, faintly earthy wines without having an especially distinctive varietal character. With appropriate winery techniques, these are fresh, well-balanced, light-to medium-bodied wines best consumed while young. 

Top varieties grown in Shoalhaven Coast
Climate
  • Growing season temperatures are quite warm, though extremely high summer temperatures are uncommon due to the strong influence of the Pacific Ocean. 
  • The sultry climate, with its high humidity, also diminishes stress on the vines and aids growth but, together with heavy summer rainfall, significantly increases the risk of  downy and powdery mildew and Botrytis. 
  • Sunshine hours are not particularly generous in the north but improve as one moves south. Frost is rarely a problem.  
Soil
  • Selection of well-exposed, well-drained and well-ventilated north-facing slopes is important if the best results are to be obtained.  
  • The soil varies in depth and consistency from the alluvial valleys to the hillsides, but most are red and brown earths which are well suited to viticulture and promote good yields.