I don't know whether what happened in Rutherglen was actually rapscallionism, but I do like the sound of that the alliteration makes, and that's all that really counts right?
About a week ago M, my dad and I took a trip to Rutherglen. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Canberra, through Holbrook, passed Albury / Wodonga in north-eastern Victoria.
The area is probably most famous as a wine region. However, with stretches of dry paddocks, windmills and the odd dilapidated corrugated iron shed, Rutherglen is also quintessential regional Australia. It is at once quaint, small and feels somewhat remote and isolated, while at the same time it is cultured offering beautiful wines, fine dining and amazing produce.
The town found initial fortune in gold – beginning in the spring of 1860, at one time over the next 50 years it was claimed that 21 pubs lined the streets (now, that’s my kind of town!). Today, only two of those pubs remain: The Star and The Victoria.
After gold mining stopped being a viable industry the region turned to agriculture, and it is this industry which continues to sustain the town, “there is more gold to be won from the top twelve inches of soil than from the depths below” (according to a tourist brochure this was said by a Rutherglen district agriculturist). Now, Rutherglen is the home of nearly 20 wineries and cellar doors. I cannot think of a much better way to spend a weekend.
It is one of two regions in Australia famed for fortified wines. James Halliday suggests that fortified wines coming from either Rutherglen or Glenrowan (which is not too far from Rutherglen) have no match in the world. Now, that’s a big claim! There are also some damn good reds (Shiraz, Durif and Cabernet) on offer too.
I intend to share with you some of the highlights from the region, and hopefully it inspires you to visit, because it is a very special place. If you want to know about the delights of the region stay tuned!