While Bright’s multitude of picturesque hiking and biking trails have always been its major drawcard, there’s another reason crowds are flocking to this pretty alpine town. Nestled cosily in the foothills of the mountains are a growing number of wineries, breweries and distilleries offering quality thirst-quenchers to an ever-expanding crowd of appreciative patrons. Being the helpful people we are, we’ve personally tried out the best of Bright’s local producers multiple times (in the name of research, obviously) and have come up with our top picks for your next visit…
1. Feathertop Winery, 6619 Great Alpine Road Porepunkah
Fancy a privately hosted ‘Vineyard & Winery Discovery Tour’ that takes you to the inner sanctum of Feathertop with a behind-the-vines look at wine crushing operations, wine making philosophy and a tasting of current release wines? Or maybe a gourmet ‘Feathertop Picnic’ on the spectacular grounds of the estate, taking in the stunning views of the Feathertop vineyard & Mt Buffalo? Feathertop Winery offers a selection of private experiences, as well as weddings, celebrations, corporate retreats and luxury accommodation for weekend getaways. Oh, and with more than 22 varieties of wine to try, you’re going to want to set aside some serious time to explore and enjoy!
2. Reed & Co Distillery, 15 Wills Street Bright
As a family-owned and operated craft distillery, Reed & Co Distillery has a simple philosophy, and that’s to create quality Australian spirits and experiences that are worthy of sharing with others. As chef-turned distillers, owners Hamish Nugent & Rachel Reed are passionate about artfully crafting spirits that provide patrons with a genuine North East experience. Botanicals, both wild and locally grown, are at the heart of their products – their signature release, ‘Remedy Australian Dry Gin’ is a juniper-forward bush gin, one of the unique flavour profiles that have seen them featured in Good Food, Broadsheet, Delicious and the Washington Post. Make sure you book a tasting online to avoid disappointment!
3. Bright Brewery, 121 Great Alpine Road Bright
Bright Brewery was born from a desire to make beer great and to share Bright’s spectacular surrounds and environment with everyone who passes through it. And if you’ve ever been, you’ll know they’ve well and truly hit the mark. This independent family-owned microbrewery sits smack bang on the banks of the Ovens River in the heart of Bright. There’s no better place to soak up the sunshine than the brewhouse terrace – kick back and explore a few of their Mountaincrafted and Backcountry beers and seasonal brews across their 24 taps, have a delicious pub meal and enjoy live music with friends and family.
4. Nightingale Bros., 708 Morses Creek Rd Wandiligong
The Nightingale family are apple farming legends. Keith and Alan, the original Nightingale brothers, purchased their first apple orchard in the alpine region in 1954 and have been growing sweet, juicy apples ever since. With five orchards spread around the region now, the Nightingales take the best seasonal produce direct to consumers through their Nightingale Bros. Produce Store – including their own Alpine Cider and sparkling apple juice, naturally made from 100% family grown apples, cold-pressed with no added sugars or concentrates. With a picturesque orchard setting, the produce store is the perfect spot to taste test and buy not only their award-winning Alpine cider, but a whole range of delicious home-made and local goodies.
5. Ringer Reef Winery, 6835 Great Alpine Road Porepunkah
When Annie & Bruce Holm planted the first vines of Ringer Reef Winery in 1998, they were confident that the climate, good soils, spectacular views and Bright’s charm would draw in the crowds. And they were spot on. This vibrant family-run vineyard now grows 13 different varieties onsite, and Annie & Bruce still enjoy nothing better than taking customers through the diverse range at their relaxed and welcoming cellar door. With a stunning view of Mt Buffalo and the Buckland valley, it’s a tranquil spot to enjoy a glass of wine with a local, seasonal produce platter. And with the front gate conveniently located on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, you can cycle in from Bright and the Ringer Reef staff will happily deliver wine purchases to your accommodation at the end of the day!
6. Billy Button Wines, 11 Camp St Bright
So who is Billy Button? Botanists will recognise it as the name of the bouncy native yellow flowers that blanket the Alpine Valley mountain tops, creating a sea of yellow during the warmer months. And Winemaker Jo Marsh thought it would also be the perfect name for her regional label when she opened Billy Button Wines in 2014. Using the best fruit sourced from a variety of carefully selected Alpine Valley vineyards, Billy Button award-winning premium wines are sold across Australia and enjoyed in Billy Button Cellar Doors in the heart of Bright and Myrtleford. Cellar door visitors can taste the full range of Billy Button wines, including their extensive varietal range, as well as a great selection of local produce from the impressive onsite deli.
Autumn Beauty Cottages are centrally located to all of Bright’s major attractions, and make the perfect base to explore the best of Bright’s wineries, breweries and distilleries. Book your cottage online, send us an email or call us on 1300 551 117 to enquire about our rates. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for your regular dose of Bright inspiration!