A taste of Canberra's Contentious Character

By Halliday Promotion

26 Mar, 2021

Friends Tony, Ross, Ben and Jeremy took over the Wamboin vineyards in 2017 – now the cellar door is one of the region's unmissable wine destinations.

Set in one of the Canberra District’s highest elevations is cool-climate winery, restaurant and cellar door, Contentious Character. Located just half an hour's drive from the Canberra CBD in the Wamboin locality, the winery features stunning native timber boundaries and commanding views from the restaurant windows.

Founded by four friends, Contentious Character continues the viticultural history of Lambert Vineyards, transforming the site into a must-visit wine destination. With one of the region’s most comprehensive list of winery experiences and classic regional varieties with a contemporary twist, put this dynamic cellar door on your list for a day trip, event or long lunch.

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When four contentious characters took over the Lambert Vineyards site in 2017, they set out to redefine it as an unmissable wine destination in the Canberra District. Together, Tony, Ross, Ben and Jeremy tended to the grounds, overhauled the existing facilities and gave the cellar door a face-lift – the only thing that remained untouched were the vines. “We love living here,” says Director, Tony Mansfield. “Everything is designed to blend harmoniously with the natural landscape – our open cellar door and kitchen welcomes locals, their friends and visitors from afar”.

With both estate-grown and regionally sourced fruit, the winery produces unique label designs that initiate discussion and debate about Canberran cool-climate wines. There are seven regional varieties on the property: riesling, chardonnay, pinot gris, shiraz, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon – meaning the contentious character portfolio is a diverse one to suit all palates and preferences.

Stop by the cellar door for the Half or Full Monty wine tasting experience and compare the Founders Museum Collection of European Old World aged vintages, along with recent New World styles made by the Contentious Character team. Paired food and wine experiences are also on offer – take your pick from a three course lunch or private winemaker tasting and lunch, or a range of decadent seasonal experiences like truffle lunches and local chocolate tastings (plus more).


Flagship wine:

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2019 Contentious Character Crisp in Your Cakehole Riesling
Citrus and cut hay aromas underpinned by rich Meyer lemon flavours and finely spun acidity for a crisp clean finish. A delicate tasting riesling, paired perfectly with seafood, Asian and Indian dishes and roast pork. Best served at 8 degrees celsius. 

RRP $29 | Drink to 2029 | Try it here.

Upcoming events:

  • ANZAC Day weekend – Taste Before You Buy Mother’s Day Shopping Fair
  • Thursday May 29 – Maker & Grower Dinner: A behind the scenes look at the 2021 harvest and wines arising.
  • June 13-15 long weekend – Creative Juices Arts Festival

  • To see all of Contentious Character's upcoming events and wine experiences – plus the full range of cool-climate wines – click here


    This article was produced in partnership with the featured winery.

    Top image credit: Wine Australia