Monday 28 January 2013

Putting Durif on the map, Rutherglen-style.


DURIF grapes: Rutherglen makers look to
developing Durif as one of our iconic red wines.

David Ellis

DESPITE the many organisations they have to promote their industry, our winemakers are a pretty much independent and individualistic lot, so it was with interest we learned of a group in Victoria's Rutherglen who've been successfully working together to promote not their industry and not their region, but just one wine they all make, Durif.

And they're quick to point out that they've been doing it virtually since the first Durif vines were planted at Rutherglen in 1908 by the forebears of today's families behind the eight labels, All Saints, Bullers, Campbells, Cofield, Morris, Rutherglen Estates, Scion Vineyard, and Stanton & Killeen, seeking to develop the Durif style as one of Australia's iconic red wines.

"And at the same time they've also been able to further develop their own individual house styles through exploring new viticultural and winemaking practices," says Chairman of the Durif of Rutherglen Network, Colin Campbell. "And then about ten years ago we went a step further by establishing the Network to lift the profile of Durif amongst red wine lovers, and to win over new devotees.

EXCEPTIONAL Aussie sparkling from
exceptional fruit and exceptional handling.
"We've done events around member cellar doors, sommelier and trade tastings, and public information campaigns… we must be making some impact, because more and more Durif is appearing in bottle shops, on restaurant wine lists, and most importantly, on the dinner tables of homes around Australia," he says. For more information about Durifs of Rutherglen, email

CHRISTMAS, New Year and Australia Day may now be behind us, but that's no reason to stop drinking the bubbly stuff: as Sir Winston Churchill so famously once said of it: "In success you deserve it, in defeat you need it."

And Yellowglen have released two exceptional traditional method sparklings for those extra special occasions that will come up in 2013: a 2002 Exceptional Vintage XV and a 2004 same label that were both made from fruit sourced from their Hargrave Vineyard in Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills. Only the best parcels of fruit were chosen, and then the best resultant wines left to mature for up to 10 years, leading to wines with a rich complex palate, delicate bead and lingering finish; wonderful value at $49.99.



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