rutherglen winery walkabout - photo by georgie james
Located between Yarrawonga and Wodonga, just 10 kilometres from the Murray River and the small state border town of Wahgunyah, Rutherglen combines historical charm with a burgeoning food and wine scene. With its roots in agriculture, the district was one of Victoria’s first to established itself as wine producing districts. These days, there are almost 20 wineries located within a short drive from the town centre.
Taste at Rutherglen
Nestled into one of the town’s heritage listed buildings, Taste At Rutherglen is a brewery café by day, offering a plentiful selection of coffee, gourmet pizzas and delectable house baked treats. In the evening, it undergoes a culinary transformation, presenting seasonal a la carte menus that celebrate the region’s freshest and finest ingredients. Five and seven course degustation menus are also available to indulge in, and are paired with a variety of local wines. 121b Main Street, Rutherglen Victoria, Phone: +61 2 6032 9765.
Jones Winery and Vineyard
Dating back to 1860, Jones Winery and Vineyard is one of the oldest and smallest wineries in Victoria. Open for lunch on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the heritage-listed cellar door matches hand-crafted wines with delightful French-inspired gastronomy. Picnic hampers are available with 24-hours’ notice, meaning visitors can gallivant around the countryside with an abundant assortment of epicurean delights. 61 Jones Road, Rutherglen, Ph + 61 2 6032 8496.
Thousand Pound Wine Bar and Store
Reinventing the wine bar genre, Thousand Pound blurs the boundaries between city and country, creating funky, affordable wine lists paired with Simon Arkless’s chef-driven fare. Visitors can sip and swirl their way through the best wines both the region – and the world – has to offer. 82 Main Street, Rutherglen, Ph: +61 2 6032 8179.
Built in the late 1800s, Carlyle House has been beautifully restored into a boutique bed and breakfast. Reminiscent of gold rush prosperity, rich furnishing and rustic embellishments accentuate its historical charm. Named after Rutherglen’s stellar variety of sweet fortified wines, the house’s four spacious rooms offer stately vintage comfort. Guests enjoy cordial country hospitality, a delicious home cooked breakfast provided. 147 High Street, Rutherglen, Ph: 02 6032 8444.
Tuileries Restaurant and Accommodation
With sixteen guest rooms, Tuileries offers luxury boutique accommodation that features the privacy of a motel but the services of a luxury hotel. The rooms are spacious and immaculate with king beds, spa ensuite, and verandas facing the vineyards or olive grove. 13-35 Drummond Street, Rutherglen, Ph +61 2 6032 8296.
The original Ready family homestead has been carefully renovated to retain its old-world charm while providing superb accommodation with all modern comforts. The three guest rooms all contain queen size beds, ensuite, television, heating and cooling. Located within an easy stroll to Main Street. 92 High Street, Rutherglen, Ph: +61 2 6032 7407.
Rutherglen Winery Walkabout
Since 1974, thousands of people have descended on Rutherglen for one of the biggest wine festivals in the country. Held this year on June 10 and 11, a general admission ticket to Winery Walkabout gets visitors access to wine tastings, live music, entertainment, and tours at more than 17 wineries. Many wineries also set up markets, food vans, masterclasses, buffet breakfasts, dinners, VIP tasting areas and more.
Rutherglen Rail Trail
Walk or cycle the Rutherglen Rail Trail, a nine-kilometre track that offers a multitude of scenic and culinary pit stops. Winding gently in and out of the track, the Murray River and tranquil a one-way route shared with pedestrians, for spectacular views of the granite landscape, local gold mining history and the surrounding countryside. At the bottom of the Gorge there is a picnic table and some shallow rock pools. A variety of short and long walks in and around the Gorge and Lake Kerferd allow visitors to explore the natural and historical features of this park.
Rutherglen Farmers’ Market
Bring a bag, basket or esky to the Rutherglen Farmers Market, a beacon of fresh and seasonal produce from all over North East Victoria. Held on the second Sunday of every month, the marketplace attracts more than twenty-five stall holders offering an abundant selection of artisan breads, seasonal fruit and vegetables, speciality meats, oil, jams, preserves and much more. Laden with the likes of Boosey Creek Cheese, Milawa Bread and Ross Tomatoes, visitors can ask stall holders questions and pick up various recipe ideas. Rutherglen Lions Park, Douglas Street, Rutherglen.