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24 Hours Tasting Rutherglen

Beatrice Smith

So you’ve booked your tickets to Tastes of Rutherglen 2017.

You have your accommodation sorted and your elegant but practical wardrobe planned. But what about an itinerary? Which masterclasses will you attend, what meals take your fancy and which cellar doors are on your ‘must do’ list?

With almost 20 wineries taking part in Tastes of Rutherglen 2017, you’d be forgiven for being a little overwhelmed. On top of the delicious selection of meals (all paired with the finest local wines, naturally) at each winery, there will be a variety of activities for all ages, entertainment and events across the weekend.

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Here’s our recommendation for seeing, eating and responsibly sampling as much as you can across the weekend of 11 and 12 March.

SATURDAY 11 MARCH

It’s a short, sunny walk from the centre of town to the Rutherglen Wine Experience where all three bus routes start from. Alternatively, if you’re staying outside of Rutherglen township, you can book a bus to pick you up from your closest town centre here.

Got your bus pass or a map? Excellent. You’ll be starting on Bus Route A.

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10am – Start the weekend on a sweet note

Make no mistake, this is a weekend of pure indulgence, and what says indulgence better than a decadent morning tea?

In partnership with Louisa Morris Cakes, Chambers Rosewood will be serving up a seasonal selection of cakes and pastries like the mouth watering “sassy” caramel and Muscat profiteroles, “rich ruby red cubes of rhubarb and Durif cake”, “velvety swirls of Mt Carmel and boysenberry in lush cheesecake” and “towers of sponge, custard and berries suspended in sparkling chardonnay jelly.” Need we say more?

These delicacies will be paired with a ‘When The Planets Align’ cocktail for this inclined.

Alternatively, since food will be served until 5pm, you could make this afternoon tea instead.

10am – 5pm | Chambers Morris Winery | Barkly Street, Rutherglen (First stop on Bus Route A) | $20 per person

11am – Chardonnay, darling

Hop back on Bus Route A, destination: Valhalla Wines.

Learn about one of Australia’s most popular white varietals at Valhalla Wines’ Chardonnay Masterclass – an hour of exploring the flavours and winemaking from local vineyards and beyond.

While you’re learning, the little ones can “navigate the maze to the Viking ship” and enjoy a little indulgence of their own in Valhalla’s lolly buffet or enjoy jaffles and spiders.

11am-12pm | Valhalla Wines | All Saints Road, Wahgunyah (Stop #5 on Bus Route A) | $25 | Bookings essential

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12pm – I Capture The Castle

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Stop into the next winery on the bus route and marvel as All Saints Estate’s castle appears before you.

We recommend stopping into the Providore to grab some local nibbles or produce to gift to those back home.

While you sample some of All Saints’ award-winning tipples from their cellar door (their reds are unbelievable), the kids can enjoy the live music and explore the extensive and lush gardens.

Winery open until 5.30pm | All Saints Estate | All Saints Road, Wahgunyah (Stop #6 on Bus Route A)

1pm – Lunch fit for a saint

Take the Bus Route A two stops further along to the ‘end of the line’ at the picturesque St. Leonards Vineyard for a spot of lunch.

The hatted Terrace Restaurant from sister vineyard All Saints Estate will be providing lunch, with slow cooked free range Bannockburn chicken from their charcoal rotisserie, served with Autumn slaw, charred sweet corn, grated cheese, chipotle mayo and French fries matched with their 2015 Pinot Gris.

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There will also be a face painting station and giant games for the kids, as well as ham and cheese sandwiches and Gundowring ice cream. Make sure to pop into the cellar door too.

Lunch 12-3pm | St Leonards Vineyard | St Leonards Road, Wahgunyah (Stop #7 on Bus Route A) | $25

3pm – And now for something completely different

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Time for an afternoon ‘wine down’ (sorry, couldn’t resist). Ride the Bus Route A back to Rutherglen Wine Experience and then jump on the Bus Route B for three stops until you reach Morris Wines.

Local duo Him&Her will be performing modern and classic hits acoustically on the lawns of Morris Wines until 5pm.

But wait, there’s more. Their Topaque Tiramisu will be being served, with layers of marscapone mousse, hazelnut dacquoise, strawberry topaque cream and coffee meringue. This will be paired with their Cellar One Classic Topaque. Need we say more?

Served 10am-5pm | Morris Wines | Mia Mia Road, Rutherglen (Stop #3 on Bus Route B) | $20 per person

6pm – Meet you on Main Street

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After your grand tour of the countryside and perhaps a well-earned nap, why not take a short wander up Main Street in Rutherglen before dinner? Boasting gorgeous original buildings and facades from when the town was established in the mid 1800s, stroll along until you reach Thousand Pound.

This chic minimalist wine bar is the brainchild of Eliza, Angela and Nick Brown – the siblings that manage both All Saints Estate and St. Leonards Winery, along with Eliza’s husband Denis Lucey, who established Melbourne eatery Bottega.

The drinks list is as impressive as you’d expect from fourth-generation wine makers and it’s a great place to try something from a winery you think you might not get to this time.

Thousand Pound | 82 Main Street, Rutherglen

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7pm – A casually delicious evening

Travel to Rutherglen Estates for a relaxed and entertaining evening at the Tuileries Complex for the ultimate Saturday night.

Their ‘Casual Soiree’ includes four delicious courses (with canapés in the vineyard) and some of the finest Rutherglen Estates wines matched to each course. The perfect way to cap off your day.

Saturday 11 March from 7-11pm
| Rutherglen Estates | Drummond Street, Rutherglen | $115 per person, $105 Cellar Club members | Dress: Smart casual, comfortable shoes (some walking) | Bookings essential on 02 6032 7999

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SUNDAY 12 MARCH

9am – To market to market

Come and meet the producers behind our regions celebrated local food. Stock up on a range of goodies including cheese, wine, bread, fruit, pasta, pastries, nuts, honey and more! Enjoy a hot breakfast with a latté and meet the locals. Find out why Rutherglen is the home of gourmet produce by celebrating all things delicious at our Farmers’ Market!

Sunday 12 March from 9am-12pm | Main Street, Rutherglen

11am – Mix magic

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Make your way from the Markets to the Rutherglen Wine Experience and hop on Bus Route C, second stop Campbell’s Wines.

Test your mixology skills with the world’s richest wine, all wrapped up in a Riedel glass for you to keep!

Sunday 12 March from 11am | Campbells Wines | 4603 Murray Valley Highway, Rutherglen | $20, $15 Cellar Club members | Bookings essential

12pm – Private tasting

Hop back on Bus Route C, three stops to Lake Moodemere Estate.

Indulge in a private tasting with sixth-generation wine producer, Michael Chambers. You’ll be sampling the full range of single vineyard wines and featuring exclusive back vintages from 150 years of tradition.

Sessions held throughout the weekend, call 6032 9449 for times | Lake Moodemere Estate | 12 Moodemere Road, Rutherglen | $10 per person, refundable on purchase.

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1pm – Slow and steady

Ride back to the Rutherglen Wine Experience and hop on Bus Route B to Jones Winery and Vineyard for a spot of lunch.

They’ll be serving up Cornwall Farm Cornishtown lamb braised in moghul spices, almonds and crème fraiche with Earthcare Barnawatha aubergine and tomato gratin, matched with their 2013 Shiraz.

Follow this up (if you can), with dessert of Hotson’s Chiltern Valley poached cherries, Riverina Dairy and Yarrawonga free-range egg Jamaican vanilla ice cream.
Wine Match: 2016 MO-Jurançon style made from late picked Marsanne.

Lunch: 10am-4.30pm | Jones Winery and Vineyard | Jones Road, Rutherglen (Stop #5 on Bus Route B) | $22 and $18 per person, respectively

2.30pm – Vintner’s choice

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Take the 20-minute ride back around on Bus Route B to Mount Prior Vineyard.

Proprietor Jim Sawyer will be conducting tastings of specific varieties comparing various vintages. According to Tastes of Rutherglen organisers “those who have attended in past years will know – this is both informative and extremely entertaining.” We’re intrigued.

11am-3pm, all weekend | Mount Prior Vineyard | 1194 Gooramadda Road, Gooramadda (Stop #1 on Bus Route B) | Free | Bookings essential on 6026 5591

5pm – Sparkle in the Twilight

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What a way to end the weekend. In the quiet fields of Wahgunyah, the atmospheric grounds of Cofield Wines will be transformed into a twilight paradise where wine and gin cocktails will be the tipple of the evening. There’ll also be bountiful seafood and tapas from The Pickled Sisters to graze on as you enjoy lawn games under the stars.

Raise your glass to an amazing weekend and start planning for 2018.  

Sunday 12 March from 5-9pm | Cofield Wines | Distillery Road, Wahgunyah | Free entry, pay as you purchase | Local courtesy bus available 

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the essentials

What: Tastes of Rutherglen runs
When: Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 March
Where: A variety of locations across Rutherglen
Tickets: General admission tickets start from $20 while tickets that include buses start from $27
More information and to purchase tickets: tastesofrutherglen.com.au

This is a sponsored editorial. For more information on sponsored editorials, click here

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

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