Finally, some glass half full news for Yass Valley wineries.

Founding wine vigneron Ken Helm of Ken Helm Wines reports a record number of visitors and sales were experienced by wineries and associated attractions, during the June long weekend.

A spotlight has shone brightly on local vineyards with the Australian Traveller Magazine naming a local winery among the six best in Australia and also announced the Murrumbateman wine region, a must-visit tourist destination. Five wineries were also listed in the Top Wineries Australia by respected wine critic Huon Hooke.

Helm Wines reported record sales over the long weekend.

“Massive number of visitors mainly from Sydney. The influx also experienced by other wineries, food outlets, accommodation and associated attractions in the Murrumbateman and Yass area,” said wine-maker Ken Helm.

The sales have continued in the following weekends with many visitors coming to the wine region.

“The tourists bring much needed new dollars to the community, with the follow-on spending benefiting everyone,” Mr Helm pointed out.

It’s welcome good news after a dreadful 2019/2020 season with smoke deterring tourists during summer, then hail, dust and drought devastating the vines. Very little of the estimated 5000 tonnes (or 300,000 cases of wine) grape crops made harvest; an estimated loss of $30 million.

Five local wineries are listed by Huon Hooke’s Real Review in the Top Wineries Australia, among only 415 chosen of the estimated 2800 Australian wineries. Clonakilla is listed 4th, Mt Majura 76th, Helm 171, Lark Hill 232 and newcomer to the list Collector 380.

“This news in sales and recognition is a welcome turn around after a very difficult six months for Yass Valley – Canberra District grape growers and wineries,” Ken Helm AM.