The Rutherglen wine region is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia. Most people know the region for muscat and other fortified wine, but with its perfect grape growing conditions, you will find an incredibly diverse range of wines worthy of your dinner table and your cellar. Combine with family owned and ran cellar doors and genuine country charm, this is a region you will remember forever.
There is a sign in the middle of the town of town that says “Sydney might have a nice harbour, but Rutherglen has a great port.” In the modern Rutherglen wine region, this is a bit misleading, but it does point to the history and one of the strengths of the region: fortified wine. Glorious, decadent and luscious ports, muscats and topaque that in the modern Rutherglen era, are now cocktail ingredients for some of the best bars in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Rutherglen wine region is an inspiring collective of 19 wineries that are nearly all family owned, and in many cases, ran by fifth, sixth and seventh generation winemakers. The first plantings were in 1851 and the familiar names of Chambers, St Leonards, Gehrig’s, Campbell’s, All Saints and Morris all established their first plantings between 1858-1870. Today, more than 160 years of winemaking heritage comes together with a range of familiar and distinctive varietals being handcrafted by passionate winemakers.
According to the locals, the region is viticultural “God’s Country”. It is protected by the Great Dividing Range to the east and south giving the region cool nights, warm days and gloriously long, dry autumns. In essence, the ideal conditions for growing grapes and pioneering varietals that are uniquely Australian in charm and in spirit.
Along with its fortified wine, Rutherglen is also famous for Durif which was bought to the region in 1908 from the south of France. It’s the perfect grape growing conditions that make Durif at home in the region, and now with over 100 years of experience, the winemakers have perfected it’s growing and use to not only make spicy, full-flavoured reds that will cellar, but also sparkling red and port.
There are few wine regions in Australia like Rutherglen. With Durif and Muscat at its heart – representing both innovation and tradition – combined with family owned and run cellar doors, a genuine community spirit and comradery between winemakers, and a location full of country charm, you will fall in love with Rutherglen and discover wines that are versatile, brave and joyful.
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