The Southern Highlands form part of the Great Dividing Range, with the area sitting between 500 and 900 metres above sea level; the vineyards are positioned at up to 700 metres in altitude. Generally the region is cool, moist and slightly humid.
Though there are records pointing to table grape vineyards and a modest wine production of 4300 litres (1135 gallons) in 1886, there was little viticulture during the early 20th century, and the current wine history of the region dates only from the 1980s, when the Joadja Vineyards and Winery were established.
Wine tasting, sampling great regional food and unwinding are essential ingredients to a visit to the Southern Highlands, a favoured country retreat for Sydneysiders. The main wine varieties produced include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.