Rutherglen Winery Walkabout 2017

This post was written by ANNIE CAUGHEY and first published on Her Canberra.

Lose yourself in some of the best vintage wineries Victoria has to offer… drinking, eating and dancing to your heart’s content.

Take a step back in time to the historic Rutherglen region across the Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 10 + 11 2017) and soak up the ambient atmosphere of this year’s Winery Walkabout. Whether you’re a serious vino fanatic, an ambitious foodie or just looking for some autumn indulgence, here’s what to expect and what not to miss.

This ain’t my first walkabout: The Serious Winos

If you’re all about first class experiences and award-winning labels then here are some festival highlights to consider.
Experience first hand how beautifully fortified blends are created in a muscat master class from the award winning winemakers themselves.

Look forward to the All Saints’ VIP wine tasting room in the castle’s Great Hall. Unfortunately, no, there won’t be any floating candles, but there will be a showcase of new releases, vintage favourites and flagship wines. Stressing because you only have a one-day Saturday pass but you still want to impress your friends at the next dinner party? All Saints are also offering a master class for fortified wines starting at 11am on Saturday.

Join their Cellar Club and sample back vintage releases, Bobbie Burns magnums and their take on world-renowned rare Rutherglen muscat and topaque.

Discover the stories of Mount Prior in an underground cellar that’s more than 150 years old. You’ll learn all about the roots of this established vineyard and the Rutherglen region through a privatised tour led by storyteller and vineyard owner Jim Sawyer.

I like it matchy-matchy: The Foodies

Because let’s be honest, all this wine tasting is hard and you’ve worked up quite an appetite. Besides, it’s never good to drink on an empty stomach.

Here are just a few of the delicious winter warmers being served up throughout the weekend (warning: they’ll have you sneakily undoing the top button of your jeans).

Indulge in a slow cooked lunch from the rotisserie or snack your way through some authentic tastes of Rutherglen with cheese and antipasto plates source from local produce at St Leonards.

The Boomtown Barbecue will be onsite at Warrabilla Wines cooking a low and slow American style BBQ across the weekend, keeping you warm and toasty on a chilly winters day.

Wanting to keep your hands and cheeks clean? Why not dine in for a sit down meal at Jones Winery. Their French inspired restaurant will be open both days of the weekend for à la Carte lunch.

Greek donuts, South Melbourne Dim Sims, freshly brewed coffee and egg and bacon rolls are all making an appearance at Chambers Rosewood across the weekend to warm your belly and hands.

Mama Mia! Gourmet wood-fired pizzas and Italian delights. Do I need even say more?

Whether you’re recovering from the day before or simply just treating yourself, tuck into a two-course breakfast at Buller Wines, served with specially matched bubbles of both red and white blends.

For all the sweet tooths out there, close your eyes and imagine doughnuts oozing with Nutella and glazed rings decorated in decadent caramel frosting…

I like to party: The Socialites

Now that you’re wined, dined and feeling good here’s where you can party the rest of the weekend away.

Expand your horizons and dive into a bubbly cocktail, Moscato slushie or try out the renowned muscat cocktail bar.

Get competitive in some afternoon lawn games whilst dancing to the sound of live music being performed all weekend long.

Pfeiffer is where you can get jiggy in the jukebox tent or unwind in the retro liquid lounge. Also be sure to keep a souvenir of the night by picking up a personalised photo bottle. Adorable!

Try your luck at winning a $1000 wine package on the Great Lake Moodemere Hole-In-One floating golf course.

After you’ve enjoyed a few warm reds, indulge in a guilt-free shopping spree at the boutique market stalls offered at the Cofield vineyard.

I’m a little bit country: The lovers of the simple life

Seeing as you’re already in town, why not roll up your sleeves and channel that inner cowgirl for an authentic country experience? The Rutherglen Rotary Fair is also in town on Sunday 11 June and it has plenty of activities that will have you in stitches.
Sign up as a team or take on the town all by yourself and test how much those pump classes are really paying off at the Barrel Roll! Grab a barrel and show off how fast you can race it down the main street of town

The APEX Rutherglen Grape Stomp will be an adults’ playground. Finally, a reason to take off your shoes, jump around and get dirty without the judgement. The barefoot grape stomping competition is a sure fire guarantee to get you smiling. It’s pretty simple; get in the barrel, stomp your heart out and the team who creates the most juice wins!

And finally, what’s a trip out west without some Sunday markets? The Rutherglen Sunday Market has over 300 stalls full of crafts, food and goodies it will be impossible to not find a bargain. An event bursting with buskers and music, the market has a carnival style atmosphere that will keep your and the entire crew entertained for hours.
Finish off the weekend by taking a piece of Rutherglen home with you. Stock up on local produce from fine food makers in the region with anything from cheese, honey and nuts to authentically homemade pastries and pasta.

So it’s decided a weekend in Rutherglen is inevitable, but I know what you’re thinking – being such a small town surely there is no accommodation left to book?
Well never fear, because your options span way out past the town of Rutherglen itself. Consider looking into accommodation in surrounding towns such as Albury, Corowa, Wodonga, Wangaratta and Yarrawonga. All of these towns are destinations for the regional bus shuttle system that will drop you off right on the front porch of Rutherglen each day.
With one-day admission tickets starting from just $30 there’s a lot to delve into at this year’s Rutherglen Winery Walkabout that won’t delve too deep into your pocket.

the essentials
What: The Winery Walkabout
When: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June 2017
Where: Rutherglen, Victoria (about a four-hour drive from Canberra)
Tickets: One-day tickets start from $30
Find out more and purchase tickets here: