You don’t need to be told twice to put on sunscreen during the day and a jacket at night in prime grape growing season in Cowra. Its population of just over 10,000 people and more than 40 vineyards revels in warm days, cool nights and a summer that keeps on keeping on well into autumn.

Visit Cowra and you will immediately get a sense of its rich history. Vineyards were notably planted from 1973 and the area became an established wine region in 1998, but scratch the surface and you find records of grape vines planted in the area as far back as 1865.

If chardonnay discovery is on your game plan, head to the beautiful Lachlan Valley in the Central Ranges of NSW where you will find Cowra (330km west of Sydney and 200km north of Canberra). The Cowra Wine Region takes up about 1,250 sq km and is the southernmost, lowest altitude and warmest of the three Central Ranges wine regions.

In addition to chardonnay, innovation and experimentation is ongoing in this wine district – resulting in verdelho, sangiovese, viognier, tempranillo and more.

Organic winemaking, as well as sustainable agricultural practices are widely embraced here. Formally recognising the need for grass roots action, the Cowra Sustainable Wine Partnership was established to reduce the environmental impact of the wine making process on the region.