The Riverland has been a thriving part of the Australian wine industry for over a century, originally producing brandies and fortified wines for the British and domestic markets before leading the modern focus on table wine. We are now the home to some of the world’s favourite brands, such as Banrock Station at Kingston on Murray or Angove Family Winemakers in Renmark.
The vineyards of the Riverland have a unique landscape, sweeping down to the majestic Murray River or sunbathing under a sky that stretches from horizon to horizon. The landscape and the climate are an integral part of the Riverland wine industry, with the region’s wineries investing in innovative techniques that reduce the impact of farming activities, such as planting varieties that originate from Spain, Portugal, Italy and the South of France. The Riverland has more hectares of certified organic vineyard than any other region in Australia, and a number of wineries have environmental rehabilitation projects that are internationally acclaimed.
Take for example Byrne Vineyard Flavabom Vine Dried Shiraz. This wine has massive flavour and is richly coloured. The wine originates from the Scotts Creek Vineyard near Morgan, where the vineyard overlooks the wetland sanctuary. Visitors can stay in eco accomodation on site for a truly immersive experience.
Banrock Station is world renowned for its wetlands, being RAMSAR-listed, and has a board-walk through the red gum forest to bird-hides that overlook the lagoon. Here you can listen to reed warblers and water-birds, then wander back to the wine centre for a glass of Banrock Station Boardwalk Tempranillo. This variety originates from Spain, and has a cherry chocolate character that pairs well with Mediterranean food.
The Markeas family of Mallee Estates were one of the pioneers of Tempranillo in Australia, producing a traditional easy to drink style with cherry-cola flavours. Try this with authentic Greek cuisine in their winery restaurant.
The Angove family have been making wine and innovating for 100 years, and were the inventor of bag-in-box packaging for wine. Angove Family WInemakers Organic Shiraz Cabernet comes from Australia’s largest organic vineyard just out of Renmark. This wine combines two of Australia’s favourite grapes to produce a soft and spicy wine, perfect for a winter’s campfire.
The Bassham family in Barmera have been growing grapes for 4 generations. They too have organic certification on their vineyards. Bassham Wines Lagrein is an Italian variety that is rich and hearty, perfect with slow-cooked beef cheek or beef and mushroom casserole.
Dominic Wines are innovators in the winery, producing fresh vibrant styles which have made a mark internationally. Their Moon Harvest Cabernet is a rich blend of Riverland and cool climate fruit with summer fruit characteristics of blackberry, mulberry and fine white pepper. Pair this to a classic Aussie steak.
Whistling Kite Wines have certified biodynamic vineyards fronting the Murray River. They were one of the first vineyards in the Riverland to convert to organic production and to experiment with Mediterranean varieties. Their Whistling Kite Montepulciano has won numerous trophies and awards, and is a lovely rich wine with violet and spice notes. This is perfect with roasted port with fennel done in the classic Italian style.
919 Wines have approached the environment and climate in a unique way. The winery was constructed from straw-bales to provide passive insulation in summer and winter. Their two vineyards are both certified organic, and the varieties they have planted originate from the hotter parts of Europe. The 919 Reserve Durif is a massive wine, inky dark, and with flavours of mulberry, chocolate, pepper and coffee. Hunt down your favourite cut of mammoth to have with this wine.