wine weekend in rutherglen, victoria
Last week, we travelled to Rutherglen for the long weekend to meet our Tassie friends who had recently moved to Melbourne. Rutherglen, a small town in North-East Victoria, happens to be fall smack-bang in the middle of Canberra and Melbourne, a perfect way for us to get together. Rutherglen is about 380km from Canberra and 290km from Melbourne – it took each of us between 3 and 4 hours drive to get there.
We were so lucky to find this amazing Airbnb at the last minute, as everything had booked out - we didn’t know why. Later, we found out that there was a huge wine festival on that same weekend – perfect timing! The house that we stayed in absolutely blew us away and exceeded all expectations. Upon arrival, the heating was on, the fire was prepared to be lit, there was fresh bread from the bakery, eggs and butter in the fridge, and a nice bottle of red from a local winery! Oh, and not to mention the gorgeous bathtub, Sheridan towels, and all-round cool décor. We felt right at home, enjoying the fireplace every night with a good bottle of red and quality company.
On Saturday, we took it nice and slow in the morning, with brunch at Zest Studio, before a big day of wine tasting. We made it to a total of 6 vineyards in about 5 or 6 hours – hectic! All the wineries were within 15 minutes’ drive of our accommodation. We had pre-purchased tickets for the Winery Walkabout that day, which included all tastings. We thought it would be really crazy with the crowds, but it was surprisingly super well managed. We didn't realise this, but people actually dress up in costume for the event - oops! We tasted an incredible array of wines from St Leonards, All Saints Estate, Valhalla, Cofield, Campbells and Jones. I honestly can’t tell you my personal favourite wine, but we bought a few nice bottles from each for our mini ‘cellar’.
On Sunday, we had a good sleep-in, the boys cooked some breakfast, we visited the farmers’ market and went on another adventure to do some olive-tasting and then headed for another glass of vino with some live jazz at All Saints. That evening we spent some time at the house enjoying the fire pot outside, before grabbing some pizzas and beer at the Rutherglen Brewery down the road (their Truffle Chips were crazy good).
We had a wonderful time in Rutherglen, all leaving with a little taste of what the region has to offer – we didn’t even make a dent in all the wineries in that area. I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we will be back. Maybe next time we’ll do some more food and wine touring by bicycle!
Check out www.explorerutherglen.com.au if you want to know more.