It would be well recognised by wine lovers in the Yass Valley that in recent years, Mother Nature has thrown many sucker balls at the grape growers and winemakers in the valley. The severe hailstorm that hit some of the region’s vineyards in January this year rendered a total loss for some and partial for others. But in the face of teeth-gnashing adversity, sometimes a good news story can be cast.

Helm Wines – Ken Helm AM – winemaker Photo by Irene Dowdy

The grapes for Helm’s Riesling were set to be cocky fodder, but the persistence of the viticulturalist to give it a crack saw the rise of some quality Riesling from the Helm stable for 2022. A great example is this week’s “swirl” – the Helm Classic Dry Riesling 2022.

Harvest-2022- Winemaker Ken Helm AM inspects the grapes

This ripping little “Rizza” is a pale straw colour in the glass, with bright flashes from within. A swirl encourages aromas of freshly squeezed lemons and limes with a circulating overtone of blossoming citrus flowers. The palate is tangy and zesty with bright citrus flavours and a lovely lick of acid leading to a long and lingering finish. This is indeed “classic” Riesling stuff.

We enjoyed our bottle with Thai red curry paste-infused fried rice, and the refreshing tang of the wine worked wonders with the rich and spicy rice. This would go very well with any Asian stir-fry with a kick of chilli, or a freshly grilled south coast snapper fillet drizzled with fresh lemon juice and a shake of sea salt. I bought my bottle from Ken at the cellar door and if you’re up for a yarn or two and a terrific tasting, then I suggest you do the same. Otherwise, you can buy it for $45 online.

Brent Lello

Yass Valley Times Wine Columnist

This wine has also been recently rated by Huon Hooke The Real Review at 95 points, putting it among the best.

Helm Wines

Escape to Helm Wines for an experience of wine, history, politics and good fun. Helm Wines is more than just a working winery. A visit to Helm Wines involves wine tasting in the historic 100-year-old Toual School House, which inspired the use of the school bell on our label. A tasting with Ken may also involve discussing wine, politics and history trivia or perhaps a look behind the scenes on a guided tour of winemaking and viticulture. Helm Wines hopes that your visit is not only enjoyable but also educational.

Ken Helm – Photo by Irene Dowdy

Ken, Stephanie and Ben

At Helm Wines, we believe that “visitors should be treated to not only a good wine, but also to experience the art of winemaking”. An inexpensive family day out, the grounds of Helm Wines offer great potential for a picnic, with picturesque rural scenery and the chance to see many native birds and wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, hares and shy resident echidna.