It's not easy growing grapes in a maritime climate - but Shoalhaven wineries have beaten the conditions to scoop several Gourmet Traveller awards.
Cupitt's Winery took out the top gong of Star Cellar Door. Spokeswoman Libby Cupitt said the accolade was "really exciting".
"It's wonderful to be recognised as the star cellar door of our region," she said.
"We were also finalised at the national tourism awards, so it's really nice to get a bit of exposure for the Shoalhaven wine region.
"It's a bit of a forgotten region, because there's such a wide spread of wineries - it's more people coming for a food and wine experience on a beach holiday."
She said challenges included high rainfall.
"Every year at vintage time we're looking to see if we're going to get that late summer rain, which can be problematic for the vineyard, but we've been pretty fortunate, it hasn't happened for a few years," she said.
"Semillon and Sauvignon are reasonably food varieties because they can be picked early."
The awards are decided by the country's leading wine writers who have scoured every region in search of star wineries, top tasting experiences and places that serve first-class food.
Other winners included: Coolangatta Estate - Best Lager Cellar Door; Two Figs - Best Small Cellar Door; Silos Estate - Cellar Door with Best Food; Cambewarra Estate - Best Tasting Experience.