The Muscat Mile of Rutherglen
Just south of the New South Wales border, the Rutherglen region has its own world-famous and unique wine style.
Although the region produces a range of wines, it’s most known for the luscious fortifieds. The world-famous Muscat has four classifications: Rutherglen Muscat, Classic Rutherglen Muscat, Grand Rutherglen Muscat and Rare Rutherglen Muscat. The classifications mark a progression in richness, complexity and intensity of flavour – and price. Rutherglen’s Muscats are rarely bottled as a single vintage wine, but are generally blended from many vintages aged for up to 100 years in oak barrels.
On The Trail
Rutherglen’s Muscat Mile is a wine trail with a difference, leading you to 14 different wineries offering a range of experiences. As well as Muscat tastings you can explore food pairings, sip Muscat cocktails, enjoy a three-course wine-matched lunch or even create your own Muscat blend. Bookings are essential and prices vary from winery to winery, so plan ahead.
Topaque and More
While Rutherglen Muscat is renowned for its rich raisin and chocolate notes, its fellow fortified, Topaque, has been described having flavours of candied fruits, honey and toffee. Made from the white Muscadelle grape, it used to be called Tokay until trade negotiations with the European Union forced a name change.
The same restrictions applied to Rutherglen Port, which is now simply known as Rutherglen Vintage and Rutherglen Tawny. Other distinctive regional wines include white Rhone varietals and the spicy Durif, a rare red variety introduced from the south of France in 1908.
On Your Bike
If you’re feeling energetic, the Pedal to Produce Cycle Trail is a great way to sample Rutherglen’s wines, fruit and culinary delights. Otherwise, if you don’t have a designated driver, there are companies offering a choice of tours in mini buses, luxury limousines or even vintage cars. Many wineries have restaurants attached and some even offer accommodation with views of the vines.
Top times to visit include Revel in Rutherglen in early March or the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout on the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June.