Evolution

The small family producers who continued fortified wine production in the area for 100 years prior, had established an international reputation for the region as a producer of iconic fortified wines. The suitability of the region for such styles, suggested that it would also be suitable for producing dry table wines from the later ripening varieties from the warmer Mediterranean regions. Varieties such as Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache, Mourvedre and Shiraz from France’s Rhone Valley were deemed ideal, as was Sangiovese and Fiano from Italy, as well as the proven local icons, Durif and Muscat.

Our vineyard estates enjoy a relatively isolated and pristine natural environment. Our Burgoyne’s Vineyard and winery are located on one of the original ‘Rutherglen Estate’ vineyard sites.

In the mid 1800s the Rutherglen region was one of the largest wine-grape growing areas in the southern hemisphere, exporting hundreds of thousands of litres of predominantly fortified wines to England and mainland Europe. Towards the end of the century however, the discovery of phylloxera and the expanding local gold-mining industry saw the majority of grapevines ‘pulled’ out, with only a few small family wine producers remaining to continue the fortified traditions.

In the 1990s, when the interest and demand for Australian table wine was increasing tremendously, an extensive search by a group of passionate wine professionals, for an area suitable for producing an innovative range of regional wines, led back to Rutherglen, and in 1996, Rutherglen Estates was born.

The small family producers who continued fortified wine production in the area for 100 years prior, had established an international reputation for the region as a producer of iconic fortified wines. The suitability of the region for such styles, suggested that it would also be suitable for producing dry table wines from the later ripening varieties from the warmer Mediterranean regions. Varieties such as Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache, Mourvedre and Shiraz from France’s Rhone Valley were deemed ideal, as was Sangiovese, Arneis and Fiano from Italy, as well as the proven local icons, Durif and Muscat.

Teaming with a leading vineyard development group, RE Vineyards Management, the first vines were planted in 1997. With new concepts, management techniques and cutting-edge technology, we now have a total of 185 hectares ‘under vine’ on four sites, the largest vineyard development in the region. Poignantly, our Burgoyne’s Vineyard and our winery, are located on one of the original ‘Rutherglen Estate’ vineyard sites, operated by Mr Burgoyne in the mid 1800s, and we use these names in respect.

Our state of the art winery was completed in 2001, and now processes up to 2000 tonne of grapes annually, predominantly from our own vineyards, but also for some other local growers.

In 2013 Rutherglen Estates was purchased by new owners with the aim of making and sourcing wines for the Chinese market, whilst maintaining and growing our Australian arm of the business and the Rutheglen Estates brand. In 2014 the Tuileries complex, which houses our current cellar door facility, was purchased. There are significant plans for the future to turn this accommodation, restaurant and cellar door facility into a world class tourist destination.

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