Kangaroo Island is Australia’s only Geographically Indicated small island wine region. Located off the coast of South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula with the wild Southern Ocean to the south, Kangaroo Island combines a mediterranean climate with a strong maritime influence.
The dominating ocean influences moderate the temperature, making it significantly cooler in summer and warmer in winter than other South Australian wine regions. This allows for a long, even growing season and an excellent balance of sugar and acidity in the grapes. Being an Island wine region, these maritime conditions are unique to Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island offers a diverse range of wine styles to explore. This wine region covers an enormous area of 4,400 km2 (10 times the size of McLaren Vale), with just seven wine labels producing across diverse sub-climate zones and soils. Unlike more intensely planted wine regions, vineyards on Kangaroo Island are surrounded by vast tracts of open farmland and native vegetation, each with its unique terroir.
As a young wine region, different approaches and winemaking experiences also drive diversity. Some of the region's labels were established by farming families with generations of agricultural experience on Kangaroo Island, who diversified into wine, learning and experimenting along the way. Other wine labels were established by experienced winemakers bringing their expertise from other regions nationally and internationally.
When Jacques Lurton, a sixth-generation winemaker from the famous Lurton family in Bordeaux, visited Kangaroo Island in 1997, he instantly recognised the conditions similar to both Bordeaux and Languedoc regions where he had grown up in France. He decided Kangaroo Island would be the place to establish his own Australian wine label and found the perfect property to grow and handcraft wine that would put Kangaroo Island on the world wine map.
The first grapes planted on Kangaroo Island were classic Australian varietals, such as shiraz, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay. As winemakers with different expertise gravitated to the region, more interesting varietals were planted, like savagnin, arinto, albariño and tempranillo.
Having worked with an array of varietals throughout Europe and South America, Jacques chose to introduce varietals like cabernet franc, malbec, semillon, viognier and sangiovese to his vineyards on Kangaroo Island to create unique cool-climate expressions unlike those he has produced elsewhere in the world.
The Islander Estate Vineyards blends European elegance and finesse with Australian creativity. Using European varietals, equipment imported from France and many traditional 'old-world' winemaking techniques, our hallmark is elegant cool-climate wines that take their inspiration from French heritage but are creatively crafted and uniquely Kangaroo Island.
The Kangaroo Island wine region offers a personal wine-tasting experience. There are no "mega" wine complexes. Each cellar door is small, rustic and unique. This allows for a customised experience where you can get to know the winemakers and learn more about the winemaking process.
The Islander Estate Vineyards Tasting Room was designed to be deliberately intimate and pared back. It offers beautiful rural surroundings with decks and lawns to enjoy a platter and a bottle of wine. Our staff's personalised experience and knowledge will ensure that your wine tasting is an unforgettable experience.
One of the best ways to get a feel for a new place is to meet the locals, learn about their stories, and get insider tips on the best spots to visit. A hosted wine-tasting experience is a fantastic way to spend one-on-one time with locals.
Our team at The Islander Estate Vineyards love sharing their favourite spots to enjoy wine on the beach, at sunset, and where to picnic each season.