Victoria – Rutherglen – history in the making

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Mount Prior vineyard, Rutherglen, Victoria

Mount Prior vineyard, Rutherglen, Victoria

All Saints Estate and St Leonards Vineyard, Wahgunyah, Rutherglen, Victoria

 

The families who founded Rutherglen are still making wine in the region today.  These pioneers have inspired a new generation of entrepreneurial newcomers who are building on the region’s rich history, as well as bringing fresh ideas of their own.

The region’s vignerons' assocation – the Winemakers of Rutherglen – is comprised of 20 magnificent wineries, 15 of which are operated by multigenerational families and three which have been in the region just a few years.  Its members work collaboratively to reinforce the strengths of the region.

Follow this day itinerary to take in some of the great history of the Rutherglen region.

 

Stop 1 – Gehrig Estate Winery

Soaking up the history of Victoria’s oldest winery is the perfect way to set the scene for your taste of Rutherglen tour. Gehrig Estate was established in 1858 and purchased by George Phillip Gehrig in 1867. The striking homestead ‘Barnawartha House’ soon followed, featuring a two storey bell tower that was built from bricks fired on the property. Currently at the helm of Gehrig Estate is Brian Gehrig, a fifth generation winemaker producing an excellent range of red and white table wines. Naturally, Brian has stayed true to the Rutherglen classics, also producing a range of muscats and a port.

Murray Valley Highway
Rutherglen
Tel: 02 6026 7296

 

Stop 2 – Mount Prior

There’s little chance of missing this next winery on your list, with the 19th century grand house at Mount Prior set high on the hill. The winery has a long history, with the first vines planted in the 1860s, followed by its famous in-ground, two level brick and stone cellars in 1896. Mount Prior was a major wine producer in Rutherglen’s early days, with huge quantities of fortified wines supplying the owners’ warehouse in Melbourne. Today, the winery boasts 100 acres of vines, producing the region’s much celebrated variety, durif, as well as Mount Prior’s acclaimed merlot. During your visit, be sure to view the unique underground cellars from the tasting area while enjoying the range of wines.

Howlong Road
Rutherglen
Tel: 02 6026 5591


Lunch – Vintara Restaurant

Panoramic views of the Murray Valley are on the menu as you stop for a bite at Vintara restaurant. The vineyard and the valley provide a scenic backdrop as you taste your way through chef Gavin’s indulgent local fare, from Peking duck rolls to rabbit gnocchi. Those after a lighter lunch will not be disappointed, with tapas style tasting plates available from the bar. Couples and groups alike can share plates of delicacies such as Greek style octopus, crumbed sardines or garlic and chili olives.

105 Fraser Rd
Rutherglen
Tel: 0447 327 517 

 

Stop 3 – Sutherland Smith

Sutherland Smith is one of Rutherglen’s longest standing wineries, first opening in the 1880s and reopen again in 1993. George Sutherland Smith is a fourth generation family winemaker; the Sutherland Smith philosophy is to make your visit an enjoyable and satisfying experience because of the quality of the wines.

Corner Murray Valley Highway and Falkiners Road
Rutherglen
Tel: 02 6032 8177


Stop 4 – St Leonards Vineyard

St. Leonards is situated on the banks of the Murray River. The grand gates welcome you, paving the way down the twisting driveway to the cellar door and cafe complex. The cellar door has a wide range of wines to sample, with white, red, sparkling and fortified wines available - amongst them the orange muscat and cabernet franc. Enjoy a glass of wine with a cheese platter and take in the stunning views from the café or take a leisurely walk down to the Mighty Murray.

St.Leonards Rd,
Wahgunyah
Tel: 1800 021 621


Stop 5 – Valhalla Wines

Finish your day by sampling the contemporary offerings of Valhalla Wines. Valhalla Wines is a passionate boutique wine producer making handcrafted, premium, individual wines, including viognier, shiraz, durif and a grenache/shiraz/mouvedre blend. Traditonal hands-on wine making techniques, supported by some newer technology, ensure the best transfer of flavours from the vine to the bottle, helping to create wines with character and soul. Owners Antoinette del Popolo and Anton Therkildsen are committed to using environmentally sustainable techniques to deliver these Rhone varieties, incorporating a worm farm waste system, recycling water and composting grape skins and stalks on site.

163 All Saints Road
Wahgunyah
Tel: 02 6033 1438
 

 

Regions

  • North East Victoria (VIC)
  • Rutherglen (VIC)

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January 12th, 2011
 
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