Rutherglen is run by real people putting real time, energy and money into the place. The cellar door staff behind the counter have their own skin in the game: no one’s spending someone else’s money, every winery in the region is family-run. It’s a corporate- and stockmarket-free zone. It’s long been a big-hearted region making big-flavoured wines, and it seems there’s now more energy going into the finishing touches. This region needs to be on your list.
- Every dot, every iota – nothing is missed here. It’s a tiny winery making big statements in wine quality. It’s creative, traditional and all manner of good things.
- It’s been around forever and will be forever. Every time I taste a Campbells wine I feel as though someone cared and fussed over it, regardless of the price. Both value and prestige are honoured.
- You hate to think where the region would be without the family behind All Saints – a leader of the area in many and varied ways. You have to visit – for food, wine and the whole shebang.
- Here you will find so many different varieties, usually done well, and so many different price levels. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll find something to love – and it’s centrally located, too.
- These wines are always interesting, the cellar door is the real deal, and the restaurant simply does a lot of things right. It’s Australian to its bootstraps, yet it has a certain European feel.
- Rutherglen is more than just fortified wine territory, though it is a world leader at just that. Chambers Rosewood is an old-school universe unto itself, and its fortified wines are magnificent.
- Fair to say no visit to Rutherglen is quite complete without a stop at Pfeiffer. The range of wines is wide and well made, you will always find something to your taste, and the location is scenic-plus.
- Three words: food and wine. The famed Pickled Sisters Cafe is still putting out hits. And the red wines of Cofield, shiraz and durif most notably, are as satisfying as ever.
This originally appeared as part of the feature “Rattling the cage” in issue #36 of Halliday magazine. For more on Australia’s leading wine regions, subscribe today.