June 7, 2020 / By Emma Moylan
If you’re looking for a riverside town rich in wine, dining and natural beauty, it’s hard to look past Victoria’s Rutherglen. With Australians being told it’s less about ‘staying home’ and more about ‘staying safe’, regional travel is now back on the menu – with caution.
So where to visit in the Rutherglen and nearby Wahgunyah? Here we bring you details on six great local wine destinations to visit.
If you like a little history as you sip and spit, a visit to Jones will deliver. Established in 1860 by German migrant Fritz Ruhe, the winery was first purchased by the Jones family in 1927, and has been passed through generations of the family ever since.
A winery, vineyard and kitchen in one, a visit to the Jones HQ in Rutherglen can be as laid back or all-inclusive as you choose. The Jones cellar door is open from Wednesday to Sunday, while the restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday for lunch, with monthly dinner dates posted on the website.
The focus is on reds and fortifieds, and Shiraz lovers will love working through their selection, including that old school treat, Sparkling Shiraz. If you generally opt for a lighter style, you must try the CORRELL, and finish on the Apero, a white tawny-esque Aperitif.
St Leonards Vineyard
Offering a huge collection of very drinkable wines, St Leonards Vineyards cellar door is open for tasting daily. Start your tasting day on the right foot with a little sparkling, dabble in a white or two, try a funky Cab Franc, and indulge in their range of fortifieds.
On the weekends, enjoy lunch at the cafe. With a beautiful outdoor dining option, enjoy their seasonal, rustic fare with views over the vineyard to the Murray River.
Roll in on the first Saturday of each month for the added bonus of live music, and be sure to pick up one of their Hip Sip Muscats to keep you warm between wineries!
All Saints Estate
Down the road from St Leonards back towards Rutherglen, you’ll find All Saints Estate. Producing a generous range of sparkling wines, whites, reds and fortified, you’ll find grapes such as Marsanne and an impressive range of Durif alongside Shiraz and Prosecco – something for everyone.
If you’re planning to roll through around lunch time, the simple yet opulent space of the Terrace Restaurant is a must. Between the cellar door and old Shiraz vines, the open air space offers a seasonal menu at the hand of critically acclaimed chef Simon Arkless.
Did someone say Prosecco? The Buller Wines cellar door is open seven days for all your dry bubbly needs. A real family cellar door, there’s a little something for everyone among the range. One of the older wineries in Rutherglen, roll through for a taste of their 50 year old muscat.
For those more interested in youthful wines, you’ll love the look of the ‘The Nook’ labels at home in your wine rack.
Beautiful enough to function as a popular wedding space, Ripe at Buller Wines is the dining hub at Buller. Enjoy a carefully curated meal overlooking hundred year old vines –truly everything you could ask for in a winery restaurant.
Stanton & Killeen
Set amongst established gums and rolling pasture, with beautifully landscaped grounds and rustic iron sheds, this Rutherglen icon is focused on Portuguese varieties, flavoursome reds and continuing the long tradition of award-winning Muscats, Topaques, Tawnys and Vintage Fortifieds.
These fortifieds sit alongside exciting new table wines including The Prince and, in exceptional vintages, individual expressions of the Portuguese varieties such as Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. The sought-after Jack’s Block Shiraz is produced from 98-year-old vines and the traditional Rutherglen reds, Shiraz and Durif, display a generous palate.
Thousand Pound Wine Bar & Store
Seeking a little of that Melbourne wine bar feel feel and a delightful range of local Rutherglen wines? Thousand Pound has your back.
With a curated list of pre-dinner cocktails, spirits, French Champagne and a broad curation of local wines, with Simon Arkless’ simple list of wonderfully made local fare on Friday and Saturday nights enticing you to stay put. We think it’s the best place for a drinks and dinner date in town.
With venue capacity increasing further in Victoria from June 22, winter is looking surprisingly bright in Rutherglen. So rug up and make the most of those blue skies, green pastures and sunny winter days with a fat glass of red (or cosy Chardy) in hand!
We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.