Slipper Gate – A Vinsiders Investigation

by The Vinsiders

Recently, there has been some well-publicised controversy surrounding Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper. It’s been alleged that Mr Slipper used a Cabcharge to visit a number of wineries within the Canberra region.

With so many competing stories, it’s difficult to establish the facts and make sense of Mr Slipper’s actions. So, while the police, courts and public opinion do their best to ascertain the innocence or guilt of Mr Slipper’s alleged taxpayer-funded jaunt, the Vinsiders decided to undertake their own investigation and follow the trail of the Golden Slipper!

So, where exactly is the Honourable Member for Fisher alleged to have journeyed? As it turns out his alleged taste is rather good!

Poachers PantryPoachers Pantry

First stop up the Barton Highway towards Murrumbatemen is Poachers Pantry.  Better known for its food of the smoked variety, if you drop into its Cellar Door you’ll find a selection of wines from the Wiley Trout Vineyard. Varietals include Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Our pick – for taste and value – is the fresh and zesty Sauvignon Blanc, which goes brilliantly with some of their smoked-fish range.

431 Nanima Road


Gallagher Estate

If you venture to the other side of the Barton Highway you’ll eventually find Gallagher Estate. We are fans of the Gallagher sparkling and think this is what they do best. For a bubbly sub-$30, it is both unique and delicious. The 2009 shiraz ain’t bad either, especially with some home-made labneh (grab some!).

2770 Dog Trap Rd



Probably the most notable of all Canberra District wineries, where a range of high quality wines is available. For bang-for-your-buck, we’d suggest the red-fruited and peppery 2011 O’Riada Shiraz. At $35, this has been one of our favorites for some time. The new Tumbarumba chardonnay is quite something too, with its grapefruit and nutty flavors.  Why not grab some 2013 new release Viognier Nouveau, with its stone fruit and apple flavors, just in time for Spring.

3 Crisps Lane

Yass Valley Wines

Yass Valley Wines

Just down the road from Clonakilla is Yass Valley Wines. The 2008 Merlot was our pick of the range, with the riesling also pretty good. We didn’t try the food but it looked good enough to make us hungry!

5 Crisps Lane

Shaw Logo

Shaw Vineyards

On the other side of the Barton Highway is Shaw Vineyard Estate, with a large range of wines in the context of the Canberra Region. Shaw is one of those quiet achievers. Grab a bottle of the 2009 Premium Cabernet Sauvignon, put on a lamb roast, and enjoy!

34 Isabel Drive

It would appear that Mr Slipper allegedly selected these wineries based on their proximity to each other and relative order along the Barton Highway. We guess that with the taxi meter running and the federal budget shrinking, Mr Slipper didn’t want to venture too far or wide.  We’d suggesting using your own car and a designated driver should you want to try the Slipper Trail for yourself – and we recommend that you do and support the local industry!

So, allegedly, despite his other faults we’d like to firstly commend Mr Slipper for not drink driving and to secondly thank him for raising the profile of Canberra wineries in the mainstream Australian media.