10 of the best wineries and cellar doors to visit in Rutherglen

woman walking through a vineyard in Rutherglen, Victoria

Tiana Nadalin

Posted June 16, 2022


Rutherglen, in Victoria’s northeast, is one of the state’s premier wine destinations. When it comes to shining stars, Rutherglen burns bright.

The historic wine region, just three hours’ drive from Melbourne, is a haven for epicurean escapists and intrepid travellers alike. 

Glistening plains and golden pastures fringe the highway into town, where the manicured village has retained its old-world charm, while sprawling vineyards stretch along the banks of the Murray River from Lake Moodemere into the rolling vine-blanketed foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

Once synonymous with big reds and fortified relics only seen in your grandma’s wine cabinet, these days, the inimitable region is asserting itself not only as a force to be reckoned with on home soil, but also as a key player on the global vine stage.

Here’s our guide to 10 of the best wineries to visit in Rutherglen.


Rutherglen's best wineries and cellar doors

Lake Moodemere Estate

12 Moodemere Road Rutherglen

Perched on the banks of Lake Moodemere, a natural billabong off the mighty Murray, you’ll find Lake Moodemere Estate. The sustainably-focused winery is run by husband-and-wife duo Michael and Belinda Chambers, whose family have been instrumental in winemaking in the region for going on seven generations.  

Whether it’s in the vineyard, the cellar door or the kitchen of their Lakeside Restaurant & Wine Bar, you can taste the difference the estate’s minimal handling, low intervention approach makes to the finished product – on the plate and in the glass.

Sip slip: Wine for breakfast? Don’t mind if we do. The 2017 Tara, a delectably sweet AM-appropriate blend of grenache blanc and muscat, is the perfect match for pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.

Visit: Open Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays, 10am-5pm.

Buller Wines

2804 Federation Way, Rutherglen

If you’re looking for a lunch spot with lush lawns and sweeping vineyard views, look no further than Buller Wines. The laid-back family-friendly winery, which recently underwent a major refurbishment, has something for everyone. Kick back with a glass of bubbly in the laid-back prosecco bar, sip your way through the estate-distilled Three Chain Road gins or take on the muscat mile – a guided tasting of four decadent fortifieds (choose from muscat or topaque) aged four to 50 years old. 

Sip slip: Don’t leave without swilling the Three Chain Road Rare Muscat Gin, a deliciously sweet, cinnamon-spiced stunner with a smooth, almost velvety texture. It’s like sipping on Christmas cake.

Visit: Open daily, 10am-5pm

 

woman and man drinking red wine and eating at Victorian winery

Buller Wines offers a gorgeous lunch spot. Image: Visit Victoria


 

All Saints Estate

205 All Saints Road Wahgunyah

If sipping wine in a 19th century castle surrounded by impeccably manicured gardens and a billowing water fountain sounds like your kind of thing, then high tail it to All Saints Estate. A majestic 300-metre avenue of elm trees (some of the oldest in Australia) guides you to the entrance of the heritage-listed 1864 castle, where the main hall is lined with huge, 100-year-old oak casks filled with rare tokays and muscats. Sip your way through the full range of estate-made wines then head to stunning, lakeside diner Bonnie and tuck into traditional woodfired pizzas washed down with a magnum of smashable estate-made rose. 

Sip slip: If you feel like a serious splurge, the NV All Saints Estate Museum Muscat and Muscadelle were recently awarded perfect scores in James Halliday’s Wine Companion. You can pick up a 50ml mini bottle of these superb 100-point wines for $160.

Visit: Open daily, 10am-5pm

De Bortoli

13-35 Drummond Street, Rutherglen

The story behind De Bortoli’s historic Rutherglen cellar door dates back to 1886. It spent the first 100 or so years of its life as Seppelts Wine, before it was taken over by the De Bortoli family who have continued the estate’s strong family-owned legacy. 

Located in the heart of Rutherglen, the contemporary cellar door is home to the Tuileries café and restaurant, as well as a beautiful art gallery featuring indigenous art and artefacts.

Sip slip: For something a little different, grab a bottle of De Bortoli’s 8 Legged Reg, a full-bodied blend of shiraz and durif grapes. The augmented wine experiment includes a QR code that, once scanned, will bring the bottle – and the creepy crawlies on its label – to life. 

Visit: Open daily, 10am-5:30pm

wine barrels in a storeroom

All Saints Estate lines its main hall with giant oak wine casks. Image: Visit Victoria


 

Jones

61 Jones Road, Rutherglen

Though she be but little, Jones – one of Rutherglen’s smallest wineries – is fierce. The heritage cellar door is housed inside a restored 1860s brick barn, where a stringybark-lined ceiling, exposed beams and corrugated iron walls accentuate the charming, rustic atmosphere. But this unassuming façade belies the exquisite experience that awaits inside. Jones Winery, Vineyard and Restaurant is a gastronomic must-do. Helmed by ex Le Cordon Bleu chef Briony Bradford, the seasonal farm-to-table menu heroes local produce and native ingredients, and is executed with the same level of oh-la-la that has become synonymous with French gastronomy. 

Sip slip: For something deliciously different, you can’t go past a CORRELL cocktail. The refreshing pre-dinner drop is an Australian spin on the classic Lillet Blanc aperitif.

Visit: Open Thursday to Sunday. Bookings recommended

Scion

74 Slaughterhouse Rd, Rutherglen

It’s all about the vibe at Scion Winery. The progressive outfit, run by self-taught winemaker Rowly Milhinch – whose great-great-great-grandfather was one of the vanguard vignerons of the mid-19th century – epitomises the next generation of winemaking in Rutherglen. The contemporary style blends old world techniques with new school philosophies and palate preferences, delivering delicious, premium drops that are made for the modern wine lover.

Sip slip: If you like the sound of a rose with a bit more bite, you’ll love Scion’s Daylight Red. The easy-drinking drop is best served chilled and makes an ideal sip sidekick at your next picnic.  

Visit: Open daily, 10am-4pm.

 

man pouring wine at Scion vineyard

Scion Winery creates rose with bite. Image: Visit Victoria


 

Pfeiffer

167 Distillery Road, Wahgunyah

If you’ve ever wanted to master the art of muscat blending, join the talented crew at Pfeiffer Wines for an immersive winemaking experience. Take a seat in the centuries-old barrel room and indulge in a selection of premium muscats, then create a personalised blend based on your own sip preferences. You’ll even learn how to use a wine thief to syphon muscat straight from the barrel. Becoming a master blender is thirsty works, so once you’ve finished the 90-minute course, grab a cheese platter or picnic hamper and head down to the historic Sunday Creek Bridge.

Sip slip: At this laid-back cellar door, it would be remiss not to try the gamay, a super smashable and oh-so-easy-drinking red that has become a Pfeiffer ‘pflagship’. As the saying goes… When in Wahgunyah. 

Visit: Open daily from 9am-5pm (Mon-Sat) and 10am-5pm Sundays.

Stanton & Killeen

440 Jacks Road, Rutherglen

Nearly 150 years of family winemaking is what makes the juice from this historic producer so delicious. The winery, which was established in 1864, is now run by mother-daughter duo Wendy and Natasha Killeen who are putting a Portuguese spin on the region’s grapiest hits. As well as offering a selection of fortified Rutherglen favourites (their award-winning Grand Topaque is a must-sip), Stanton & Killeen are pioneering alternative varietals such as alinto and alvarinho (crisp, dry whites that go down a treat with seafood), and touriga nacional, tinta roriz, tinta barroca and tinto cao – the key Port varieties. 

Sip slip: If you love fortifieds, don’t miss The Prince Iberian Blend 2018. This fragrant, fruity, earthy red is made for drinking with grilled meats and rich seafood dishes – so time to dust off the paella pan and get the family round for a Mediterranean-inspired feast. 

Visit: Open daily from 9am-5pm (Mon-Sat) and 10am-5pm Sundays.

 

Pfeiffer Wines signpost

The iconic Pfeiffer Wines sign leads wine-lovers to its cellar doors. Image: Visit Victoria


 

Olive Hills Estate

3221 Murray Valley Hwy, Rutherglen

Generosity is the name of the game at this warm and welcoming winery. Olive Hills is the passion project of winemaker, vigneron, and qualified oenologist Ross Perry, and his wife Kay, who run the winery with the help of their three kids. The dynamic duo purchased the sprawling, 200-hectare estate and its ramshackle heritage-listed mansion in 1997 and spent the next decade returning it to its former glory. Now, they invite guests to while away an afternoon at the lovingly-restored homestead, while enjoying a grazing platter and a glass of estate-made wine.

Sip slip: If you like Bordeaux, you’ll love Ross’s take on the beloved French style. da Cluse 2018 is an elegant field blend featuring classic Bordeaux grapes (cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot) with some Spanish and Italian varietals thrown in for good measure.

Visit: Open daily.

Campbells Wines

4603 Murray Valley Highway

A crackling fireplace and rambling barrel hall make this charming cellar door a must-do on any Rutherglen road trip. The Campbells have been producing fine wines from the same patch of soil in Rutherglen since the 1870s and this rich heritage shines through in the glass. Pull up a chair in the Bobbie Burns Room for a guided tasting experience.

Sip slip: Lovers of big and bold wines will love Campbells’ Bobbie Burns 2019 Shiraz. This powerful red is drinking beautifully now – especially with a slow-cooked lamb or beef ragu – but, if you have the patience to lay it down for 15 years, it will be worth the wait. 

Visit: Open daily from 10am-5pm (Mon-Sat) and 10am-4pm Sundays.