This weekend, we decided to “celebrate” the non-holiday Valentines Day by going on a quick road trip to Mittagong, located in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia.
About 90 minutes from central Sydney, Mittagong is the gateway to the Southern Highlands (‘The Highlands”) and boasts a handful of boutique wineries and pretty gardens that are even more picturesque during the spring and autumn months.
It was a last minute, spur of the moment decision on Saturday morning. We wanted to grab lunch somewhere nice without the expensive Valentines Day menu and over abundant of cheap paraphernalia. Plus, I absolutely hate the look and smell of red roses.
We had lunch at Feast @ McVitty, a long time favourite restaurant/vineyard of ours in the area. However, I must say, we were sorely disappointed by the slight change in their menu. But the views overlooking the olive groves and vineyards made up for it.
Off the Old Hume Highway, we spotted a sign leading up to Artemis Winery which we’ve never been to before. It’s a narrow dirt road leading up to the property, surrounded by lots of trees and greenery. What greeted us at the end took our breath away.
We met one of the co-founders, Mark Balog, and his fiancé who gave us a background on Artemis Wines, how their award-winning wines are produced (combining the best of both old world and new world techniques in viticulture and winemaking), and also got to taste their unique selection of of sparkling mead and cider.
What is mead?
Mead is an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water. It is considered to be one of the most oldest/ancient alcoholic drinks. You can find more information here.
Not only are the Balog family makers of award-winning Artemis Wines and Sunshack Cider, but they’ve also crafted BEE Mead, Australia’s first sparkling mead. According to their website, BEE Mead is “fresh & easy to drink, with surprising structure and floral characteristics provided by a wine-maker’s touch”. It contains a pure blend of Australian Clover Honey and New Zealand Manuka Honey. And it is absolutely divine.
After spending some time on the property, we decided to extend our visit just a bit longer to enjoy a bottle of their Lime and Lemon flavoured mead by the vineyards.
How did you spend your Valentines Day?
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If you’re looking for something to do outside of central Sydney, a day trip to The Highlands could be a welcome addition to your itinerary. Click on the links below for more information.