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The Islander Estate Vineyards

News & Reviews

We love sharing our wines and our favourite parts of our beautiful Kangaroo Island.  Our blog shares our team's favourite ways to get the most from your visit when you're exploring Kangaroo Island.  And of course we like to share the latest news and wine reviews with you too!

Cath Williams
5 March 2024 | Cath Williams

Our favourite vegan & vegetarian wine pairings

Our guide to vegan food and wine pairings

Wine lovers everywhere are seeking more sustainable and health-based eating methods. 

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or just trying to eat more plant-based meals, matching your favourite wine with plant-based dishes can be a new challenge.

We're proud that all The Islander Estate Vineyards grapes are sustainably grown using organic principles. And our entire wine range is 100% vegan. So, we're sharing tips for matching our wines to vegetarian and vegan dishes.

What is vegan wine?

All wine combines grapes and yeast (wild/naturally occurring or added). However, animal-based products derived from eggs, fish, or dairy have traditionally been used to clarify and filter wine to create the clean, bright wines consumers love to drink. Vegan wine producers like us seek alternatives like bentonite clay to achieve the same result without using any animal products.

Some basic guidelines for pairing wine with plant-based dishes.

The fundamentals of wine pairings apply regardless of your diet. Here are some overarching guidelines we like to follow:

  • Pair fresh foods like salads with bright wines with acidity or minerality;
  • If you're having something fatty or fried, choose a wine with higher acid to help offset the richness & cleanse the palate;
  • Spicy foods like curries pair well with lower alcohol, off-dry or sweeter wins (as alcohol highlights spice);
  • Off-dry wines with a hint of sweetness can also work with sweet dishes when it comes to desserts;
  • Umami-based foods work well with wines with texture;
  • Grilled or BBQ dishes. Root vegetables & salty meals call for the tannins of red wine;
  • The famous rule of thumb, "What grows together goes together", also works for vegan foods – think Tomatoes & Sangiovese, Pesto & Pinot Grigio.
Our favourite plant-based dishes to pair with The Islander Estate Vineyards range:
The Islander Estate Vineyards Petiyante Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot NoirEstate Range Petiyante Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Classic champagne acidity & creamy texture. Brioche, pear, white peach & an elegant finish.
Petiyant's texture & acidity complement:
Sushi with avocado & cucumber
- Spring Rolls with soy dipping sauce
- Crispy fried salt & pepper tofu

The Islander Estate Vineyards Sauvignon BlancVarietal Range Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes: Tropical fruit, citrus, herbal notes & sea spray with middle palate texture.

Sauv Blanc's fresh citrus flavours & crisp acidity are delicious with:
- Asparagus & pea risotto
- Spring grilled vegetable skewers
- Spinach & feta stuffed mushrooms

The Islander Estate Vineyards The White ChardonnayVarietal Range The White Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Peach, nectarine, melon, toasted nuts with refreshing acidity & a long finish.

Pair Chardonnay's toasty notes with creamier dishes like:
- Creamy mushroom and garlic pasta
- Vegan Caesar salad with cashew dressing
- Butternut squash and sage pasta

The Islander Estate Vineyards Enigma Skin Contact Sauv BlancThe Enigma Extended Skin Contact Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes: Passionfruit, lime zest, ripe citrus, and herbal notes blend with savoury/sour secondary characteristics and tannins.

Skin contact white wine can carry more robust & umami flavours like:
- Vegan Thai green curry with tofu and vegetables
- Zucchini noodles with vegan pesto
- Vegan sushi bowls with marinated tofu and seaweed

The Islander Estate Vineyards Semillon Sauvignon BlancVarietal Range Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes: Preserved lemon, apricot, citrus & tropical fruit with a textural palate.

More complex whites like Sem Sauv Blanc pair beautifully with:
- Quinoa salad with fresh herbs and citrus dressing
- Grilled corn on the cob with lime and chilli
- Marinated Tofu Poke Bowl

The Islander Estate Vineyards Wally White SemillonEstate Range Wally White Oaked Semillon

Tasting Notes: Textural & elegant, lemon curd, vanilla custard & a mouth-watering natural acidity.

A sophisticated, textural white like Wally White complements dishes like:
- Cashew Alfredo pasta with roasted vegetables
- Bell peppers stuffed with wild rice
- Truffle-infused polenta

The Islander Estate Vineyards The RoseVarietal Range The Rosé

Tasting Notes: Strawberries & cream, peach notes & a light leesy grip add complexity.

Elegant, delicate & fresh, The Rose is delicious with:
- Watermelon and mint salad
- Vegan Caprese salad with tomatoes, basil, and vegan mozzarella
- Strawberry and rocket salad with balsamic glaze

The Islander Estate TempranilloVarietal Range Tempranillo

Tasting Notes: Black fruits, spice, vanilla, mocha, hints of liquorice & tobacco leaf. 

Pair our Tempranillo with Spanish-inspired dishes like:
- Vegan paella with assorted vegetables
- Eggplant and chickpea curry
- Vegan Tapas platter

The Islander Estate Vineyards SangioveseVarietal Range Sangiovese

Tasting Notes: Spicy cherries, vanilla oak & hints of leather. Mid-weight with fine-grained tannins.  

Sangiovese's tannins are stunning with tomato based & Italian dishes like:
- Vegan margherita pizza
- Ratatouille with polenta
- Spinach and vegan ricotta-stuffed shells
- Eggplant parmigiana

The Islander Estate Vineyards Old Rowley Shiraz GrenacheEstate Range Old Rowley Shiraz/Grenache

Tasting Notes: Plush & elegant with raspberry, boysenberry, lifted florals, vanilla & clove oak.

Rich & elegant Old Rowley deserves dishes to match:
- Dolmade's stuffed with rice and herbs
- Roasted red pepper and walnut dip with pita bread
- Vegan lentil and vegetable curry
- Eggplant & Chickpea Tagine

The Islander Estate Vineyards Cabernet SauvignonVarietal Range Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes: Red fruit, cherry, cranberry & raspberry with earthy notes, good acidity & a rounded palate.

Cabernet Sauvignon's tannins & earthy notes go well with:
- Ratatouille
- Vegetable Bolognese
- Mushroom red wine risotto with shaved parmesan

The Islander Estate Vineyards The Investigator Cabernet FrancFlagship Range The Investigator Cabernet Franc

Tasting Notes:  Blackcurrant, plum & mulberry, dried herbs & fennel. Lean with super fine tannins & a composed structure.

Pair elegant, lean Cabernet Franc with umami flavours like:
- Lentil and mushroom burgers
- Grilled portobello mushrooms with a balsamic glaze
- Vegan shepherd's pie with lentils and vegetables

The Islander Estate Vineyards The Cygnet ShirazFlagship Range The Cygnet Shiraz

Tasting Notes: Blackberry, liquorice, anise, menthol, cedar & savoury tannins.

The more robust flavours of Shiraz go with:
- Spicy black bean & corn chilli
- Vegan dark chocolate mousse
- Vegan pasta puttanesca

The Islander Estate Vineyards The Independence MalbecFlagship Range The Independence Malbec

Tasting Notes: Malbec's full-bodied structure & firm tannins with black plum, blackberry, cocoa & sweet tobacco.

Hark back to Malbec's home in South America, pair it with:
Vegan Argentine empanadas with vegetable filling
Black bean and corn salad with cilantro lime dressing
Vegan chilli con carne with kidney beans

Our vegan, sustainably grown wine range provides a host of options to bring out the best in your plant-based meals, from fresh, easy-drinking wines to the elegance of our Flagship range.

Choose a selection to have one wine for your next vegan or vegetarian dinner.
Shop The Islander Estate Vineyards now.

Time Posted: 05/03/2024 at 12:00 PM Permalink to Our favourite vegan & vegetarian wine pairings Permalink
Cath Williams
18 December 2023 | Cath Williams

Kangaroo Island Must-Do's for Summer 2023

Summer holidays are here on Kangaroo Island. Its such a stunning time of year to experience our island home & we're sharing our favourite new things to see, do, taste & sip.  

Whether it’s your first visit or Kangaroo Island is your second home, our Cellar Door Trail guides help you plan a day with something for the whole gang to enjoy - click here to explore & download our handy trail maps.


We hope we'll see you for a tasting of our new-release wines on the Cygnet River Cellar Door Trail.  Treat yourself to a premium food & wine experience.  Book here.

New in Town

Penneshaw Beach Bar Kangaroo Island

Penneshaw Beach Bar
A little piece of Greece islands in Penneshaw.  The Penneshaw Beach Bar pop-up team knows how to bring all the vibes.  It's the cafe, come ice-cream stand, and bar by the sea that the Dudley Peninsula needed.  Perfect for grabbing a bite before heading to the beach & an ice cream cone afterwards.  Open every day except Tues 7am-3pm.  Middle Terrace, Penneshaw 

<ooncake at Kangaroo Island Source Penneshaw

Mooncake at Kangaroo Island Source
Local icon chef Kate Sumner has opened her private kitchen on a hill just outside Penneshaw with stunning views for her new summer venture, Mooncake.  Serving up modern Asian cuisine & cocktails, weekends over summer.  Whether you want to call in for an afternoon drink & a serving of spring rolls or stay for an Asian feast, it is the new must-do dining experience on the island's east end.  Bookings:

Kangaroo Island Wool at Cygnet River

Kangaroo Island Wool at Cygnet River
After several years of hard work on their custom build facility, our newest neighbours on the Cygnet River Artisan Trail are open & running at full steam. They have been championing local wool for many years. Their new venture will bring visitors to KI in touch with our agricultural heritage with wool garments handcrafted on-island from the sheep to the lucky wearer. Book their fantastic immersive tour to really get under the skin (or wool) of our island's agricultural story:

Look Who’s Back for the Summer Season

The Enchanted Fig Tree, Gastronomo Kangaroo Island

The Enchanted Fig Tree
Gastronomo at The Enchanted Fig Tree experience at stunning Snellings Beach on Kangaroo Island’s North Coast. It is one of South Australia’s most memorable dining experiences from the moment you arrive. You will be invited to venture through the leafy entrance of a majestic old fig tree before it opens into a collection of natural ‘living’ rooms. Each space is decked out with stunning table settings ready for you to experience a magical feast of the senses. Open this season for lunch & starlit dinners, the season runs from 8 November 2023 until 4 April 2024. Bookings:

Sunset Food and Wine Kangaroo Island

Sunset Food & Wine 
Kangaroo Island foodies are doing a happy dance that Jack Ingram & Vanessa Chu are reopening the east end’s icon restaurant for the summer season. A modern bistro focusing on local produce, Sunset Food & Wine combines stunning views overlooking American Beach, a killer wine list & elegant dishes that are a work of art. The season runs from 15 December until early April.  Bookings:

Kangaroo Island Wilderness trail

Walk this Way
In a milestone in the recovery of Flinders Chase National Park from the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires, The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail and Kelly Hill Conservation Park have reopened their doors to visitors, offering a chance to rediscover the island’s stunning natural attractions.  Go for a visit this summer to experience the beauty of the island and learn about its ecology and geology.

Southern Ocean Lodge Kangaroo Island

Southern Ocean Lodge
We've been on a journey of recovery with our friends John & Allison, Managers of Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 since the 2019/2020 bushfires.  It's been a privilege to assist them with planting & regeneration days. They, in turn, have helped us with our vineyard rebuild.  So, we were so excited to see their enormous task of rebuilding South Ocean Lodge completed with its reopening in early December 2023.  And we're proud to have our wines stocked in the guest suite mini-bars and served as the arrival bubbles. If you have the opportunity to treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is it.



Time Posted: 18/12/2023 at 6:38 PM Permalink to Kangaroo Island Must-Do's for Summer 2023 Permalink
Cath Williams
13 September 2023 | Cath Williams

Delicious Spring Food & Wine Pairings

Image courtesy of Ecopia Retreat

Spring is in full fling here on Kangaroo Island. As the days get longer & warmer, we start to think about wines to match the season.
Our team have selected their favourite The Islander Estate Vineyards wine & food pairings for Spring.


Petiyante Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir & Kangaroo Island Oysters

All about it:  Our popular sparkling honours the wines of the Champagne region in France.  Made in the same 'Méthode Traditionnelle', we blend cool-climate Chardonnay & Pinot Noir with a 'liqueur de tirage' to generate a second fermentation in the bottle. We age the wine on the lees for seven months before disgorging to build texture, body and a super fine bead.

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Lemon tart, baked apples, white floral and citrus zest
On the palate: Nashi pear, white peach, grapefruit, brioche
On the finish: Fine, elegant acidity and creamy texture.

We'll be drinking it with:  You can't beat sparkling with Kangaroo Island Oysters at their plump best after the cold winter oceans.  The yeast notes and acidity perfectly complement the rich, salty oysters.

2021 The White Chardonnay by The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo IslandThe White Chardonnay & Grilled Chicken

All about it:
The White Chardonnay is our 'House Style' wine created by Jacques Lurton to complement our Estate Range of premium wines. Leave behind all your perceptions of heavily oaked chardonnay. The White is a modern Australian style with just a touch of nuttiness to add complexity to the fresh & clean style.

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Peach, apricot & melon
On the palate: Slightly toasty with peach, nectarine, melon & toasted nuts.
On the finish: Textural with fruit sweetness offset by subtle acidity, leading into a soft lingering finish.

We'll be drinking it with:
We love it with a roast or BBQ chicken cooked over flame. If you're heading outdoors, pair it with a Quiche Lorraine, a soft ripe brie or a picnic Caesar salad.

2022 Sauvignon  Blanc by The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo IslandSauvignon Blanc & Asian Salads

All about it:
Who doesn't love a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc when the sun is shining? Like all our wines, we use a restrained winemaking hand with our varietal range Sauvignon Blanc. All the classic varietal characteristics with an elegant finish to complement rather than overwhelm your spring dishes.

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Passionfruit, lime zest, citrus, sea spray.
On the palate: Ripe citrus, tropical fruit, a light herbal note & middle palate texture.
On the finish: Fresh, crisp acidity & a long finish. 

We'll be drinking it with:
A delicious match with fresh herbaceous Asian salads (or Vietnamese bahn mi), oysters, BBQ spring vegetables & soft goats' cheese.  

Wally White Semillon & Pork Belly

All about it:
Wally White defines our old-world meets new-world wine style. Crafted from Semillon, fermented & aged in French oak, it is rich, textural & elegant.  

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Lemon rind, white peach, vanilla & slight smokiness from the barrel fermentation.
On the palate: Rich & textural with notes of lemon curd & vanilla custard creaminess on the mid-palate, complemented by a zesty, mineral finish.
On the finish: An elegant finish with a hint of spruce from the oak and a cleansing lick from the natural acidity.

We'll be drinking it with:  Roast pork belly or creamy seafood dishes.


2022 The Rose by The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo IslandRose & French Charcuterie

All about it:
Our Rose has become our most popular wine, crafted in Southern France's Provence region style. Pale salmon in colour, elegant, delicate, dry & dangerously easy to drink.

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Sherbet, strawberry, honeydew, rock melon.
On the palate: Strawberries & cream, peach notes with a light leesy grip adding complexity.
On the finish: Bright fruit gives way to a dry, clean finish with hints of acidity.

We'll be drinking it with:
A glass after work with French charcuterie like a pot of rillettes & a soft goat cheese would be heaven. Tuna or salmon sashimi, a classic Nicoise salad or fresh prawn all work beautifully.


2021 Sangiovese by The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo IslandSangiovese & Antipasto

All about it:
Italy's most planted wine variety and the pride of the Tuscan regional wine Chianti, Sangiovese is a sensitive soul, changing its character to reflect its growing conditions. It's a variety that genuinely expresses regionality.

Tasting Notes:
With all the hallmarks of a classic Italian Sangio, this wine has inviting vanilla oak notes supported by subtle red fruit & hints of leather. Medium weight on the palate, full of flavour & texture with spicy cherry, plum, mocha & fine-grained tannins on the finish.

On the nose: Red cherry, dried herbs, anise, dark chocolate, leather & vanilla.
On the palate: Medium weight, spicy cherries, plums, mocha & sweet oak notes.
On the finish: Classic varietal savouriness and fine-grained tannins.

We'll be drinking it with:
Sangiovese is our go-to for antipasto platters & pizza nights. It's also a perfect pair for vegetarian dishes, especially tomato, red peppers & grilled vegetables.


2021 The Red Shiraz by The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo IslandBoxing Bay & Classic BBQ

All about it:
A European approach to this classic blend brings Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon together with elegant restraint.  Power and structure abound in the Cab Sauv, with Shiraz adding softness & elegance.

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Notes of pepper, eucalyptus, toasted vanilla, cedar & baking spices.
On the palate: Cherry, blackberry, a hint of charry oak and leatherworking beautifully with the fleshy fruit.
On the finish: Classic varietal firm tannins are balanced with acidity by a deft winemaking hand.

We'll be drinking it with:
A classic pairing to chargrilled meats makes this your warm-weather BBQ companion.

Majestic Plough & Argentinian BBQ

All about it:
The first release of our Estate Range Malbec since 2016 & it's worth the wait.

Tasting Notes:
On the nose: Toasty oak supported by aromas of leather, blackberry, dried herbs & spices.
Rich & layered.
On the palate: Dense & dry but rich with dark fruit flavours.
On the finish: Powerful tannic grip with natural acidity helping to retain elegance through the long finish.

We'll be drinking it with:
Slow-roasted beef rib or shoulder of lamb cooked over coals.


Want to try them all? 
Take advantage of our New Release Tasting Pack & save.

Time Posted: 13/09/2023 at 5:14 PM Permalink to Delicious Spring Food & Wine Pairings Permalink
Cath Williams
15 July 2023 | Cath Williams

Must-do Kangaroo Island Experiences: 5 reasons to explore our unique wine region on your Kangaroo Island holiday.

Kangaroo Island wine experiences for every holiday

If you're planning a trip to Kangaroo Island & looking for unique experiences, don't miss exploring our Island's wine region. Here are our top five reasons why.

Cape Younghusband Kangaroo Island South Australia
1.  A wine region unlike any other

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 wine region offers incredible diversity of styles
2.  Incredible Diversity

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.

Kangaroo Island offers a range of unique wine varieties to try
3. Unique Wine Varieties

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.

Have an intimate Kangaroo Island wine experience at The Islander Estate Vineyards tasting room
4. Intimate Wine Experiences

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.

Get to know the Kangaroo Island locals at The Islander Estate Tasting Room

5. Get to know the Kangaroo Island locals

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.

To sum it up, Kangaroo Island's wine region is a hidden gem that offers a unique and intimate experience. With its unique climate, diverse wine styles, and intimate cellar doors, a wine experience should be at the top of your list when planning your Kangaroo Island holiday. Don't miss out on this unforgettable experience.

Book your wine experience now at The Islander Estate Vineyards

Time Posted: 15/07/2023 at 12:39 PM Permalink to Must-do Kangaroo Island Experiences: 5 reasons to explore our unique wine region on your Kangaroo Island holiday. Permalink
Cath Williams
14 July 2023 | Cath Williams

Recipe: Smoked Fontina & Truffle Arancini

Smoked Tontina and Truffle Aranchini

If you’re entertaining, this is a show-stopping finger-food or entree.  While there are a few steps, all the preparation can be done well in advance, with just a few minutes of cooking required before serving.

Pair this with our Petiyante sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir for a cocktail party.  If you are serving a few arancini as a dinner party entree, our Semillon Sauvignon Blanc would complement the richness of the dish perfectly.

Thanks to our good friend Kate Sumner of Kangaroo Island Source for this recipe.


Makes approx 24 arancini

This recipe is a great way to use leftover risotto if you have it on hand, if not, use the recipe below to make a simple risotto from scratch.
Simple Risotto
1.25 litres (5 cups) hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
20 gm butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
250 gm Arborio rice
150 ml dry white wine
100 gm finely grated parmesan (2/3 cup)

Truffle & Smoked Fontina Filling
100 gm Smoked Fontina Cheese cut into 1cm cubes 
15 gm fresh black truffle, finely grated

For Assembly
3 eggs, lightly beaten
75 gm plain flour, seasoned (½ cup)
100 gm fine dried breadcrumbs (1 cup)
Vegetable oil for deep frying

To serve
Aioli (homemade or store bought)
Shaved fresh truffle


Simple Risotto

  1. Heat oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Gently fry onion and garlic until translucent
  3. Add rice, stir to coat in oil & allow to toast lightly
  4. Pour in the wine and stir until evaporated (1-2 minutes).
  5. Add hot stock a little at a time, adding more as it’s absorbed.  Continue stirring until rice is cooked & risotto is creamy.
  6. Stir through grated parmesan, season to taste with salt & pepper & finely grate over 10gm of fresh truffle.
  7. Pour risotto onto a tray, cool & refrigerate until chilled (20-30 minutes).


  1. With damp hands, place 1 tbsp of risotto mixture in your palm and flatten.
  2. Place a cube of smoked Fontina cheese in the centre of the rice and gently form the rice mixture around the filling to create a ball.
  3. Transfer arancini to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining rice mixture and filling.
  4. Place flour, egg & breadcrumbs each in separate bowls.
  5. Roll each arancini gently in flour, dip in egg, roll in breadcrumbs and place on a tray. Refrigerate until needed.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or deep fryer to 180C.
  7. Deep-fry arancini in batches for 3-5 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and serve at once.

To serve
Pipe half a teaspoon of aioli on each arancino & top with a fine shaving of fresh truffle

Time Posted: 14/07/2023 at 4:23 PM Permalink to Recipe:  Smoked Fontina & Truffle Arancini Permalink
Cath Williams
14 July 2023 | Cath Williams

Recipe: Potato Gnocchi with White Castello & Truffles

Potato Gnocchi with White Castello & Truffles
We are so excited that our neighbour Enzo, owner of Kangaroo Island Truffle Co, is approaching his first truffle harvest after many years of hard work & perseverance.  He recently opened his gate to give our guests a tour of his Truffiere. Afterwards, chef Kate Sumner served a menu of dishes featuring French black truffles.

This gnocchi dish is a signature of Kate’s Kangaroo Island Source catering business, so we were very lucky to have her share it with us.

To take this delicious rich dish to a whole new level, serve it with our barrel-aged Semillon, Wally White.  It has all the richness to match the dish, balanced with plenty of acidity to cleanse the palate.


Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as an entree

1.1 kg floury potatoes (Desiree are a good choice)
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

White Castello & Truffle Sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter, divided
2 shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine
1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
150g White Castello cheese, cut into small pieces
1 x 45-50 gram
1 x 45-50gm French black truffle (or substitute with preserved truffles in oil)

To assemble
Salt and pepper
Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish



  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. Pierce the skins of the potatoes with a fork and bake for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. When cool to the touch, peel potatoes, then press flesh through a potato ricer.
  4. Transfer riced potato to the work surface and sprinkle with flour and salt.
  5. Incorporate flour with the potato until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overwork. Lightly dust the work surface with flour as you go.
  6. To form the gnocchi, pull roughly 1 cup (240 ml) of dough off from the rest and roll into a ¾- to 1-inch (2-2.5 cm) cylinder. Slice the cylinder into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.
  7. Place the gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator until ready to cook.


  1. Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add dry white wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  4. Add cream and cook until sauce coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Reduce heat and stir in grated parmesan and the white Castello cheese.
  6. Stir until white Castello has melted & the sauce is silky.
  7. Finely grate half the truffle into the sauce.
  8. Remove sauce from heat and stir in remaining butter.

To Assemble

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add gnocchi, simmering just until they rise to the surface.
  3. Meanwhile, return the sauce to the heat and warm through.
  4. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer directly into the skillet with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  5. Divide portions between serving plates. Garnish with chopped chives.
  6. Shave the remaining half of the truffle over the dishes. If desired, drizzle black truffle oil over gnocchi. Serve immediate



Time Posted: 14/07/2023 at 3:59 PM Permalink to Recipe:  Potato Gnocchi with White Castello & Truffles Permalink
Cath Williams
12 April 2023 | Cath Williams

Gutsy 2023 Festival is here. Start planning your cool season visit.

Gutsy 2023 Festival on Kangaroo IslandFrom the Source:  Cabernet Franc and Truffles Experience at The Islander Estate Vineyards

Join us for the Gusty 2023 Festival on Kangaroo Island

In its second year, the Gutsy Kangaroo Island 2023 festival will take place from June 8 to June 12.  A winter celebration of the determination and brilliance of the Island’s producers. With nineteen events scheduled over five days, including the June long weekend, the Island is set to be bustling.

Kangaroo Islanders defy the odds, always, whether that be the distance, the weather, or the isolation, to craft their product, and the stories to be told about how they achieve this, are incredible.”

The Islander Estate Vineyards is excited to be holding a unique event
"From the Source.  A Cabernet Franc and Truffle Sensory Experience".
Saturday 10th June at The Islander Estate Vineyards Tasting Room.

Join us for a unique experience exploring two of the world's luxury products Cabernet Franc and Truffles, with the beauty of Kangaroo Island as the backdrop.

This intimate event begins at our Tasting Room with an educational masterclass on Cabernet Franc, one of the world's most elegant wine varietals. Enjoy a museum tasting of The Islander Estate Vineyard's flagship wine, The Investigator and discover what inspired Bordeaux winemaker Jacques Lurton to grow it on Kangaroo Island.

Then stroll to Kangaroo Island's first fledgling truffle orchard & meet owner Enzo Di Lalla for an exclusive insight into the dedication required to grow and harvest this coveted luxury food.  

To wrap up the event, we will pair the two delicacies with a selection of rustic truffle dishes prepared by Kangaroo Island Source served stand-up fireside at the Tasting Room.

General Public Ticket price is $150.00 per person
Our Discoverer's Wine Club Members are offered a special ticket price of $99.00 for themselves & 1 guest.  

Book your ticket now

Download the Gutsy 2023 Festival Program

Time Posted: 12/04/2023 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Gutsy 2023 Festival is here.  Start planning your cool season visit. Permalink
Cath Williams
12 December 2022 | Cath Williams

Festive food and wine pairings for every celebration

Festive food and wine pairings

Whether your festive entertaining style is traditional or contemporary, indoors or outdoors, there are so many delicious menu options, & wine can make the meal.
We’re sharing our festive recipes & wine pairings - if there’s ever been a year to indulge, it’s 2023!

Pétiyante & Gin Cured Salmon

Gin Cured Salmon with Islander Estate Vineyards Sparkling

The Food:  Salmon is the perfect make-ahead entree or canape for any party.  The acidity in the Pétiyante pairs perfectly with the richness of salmon.  Of course, we recommend you cure it with the fabulous Kangaroo Island Spirits gin.  Try this recipe for Gin Cured Salmon with cucumber and lime.

The wine:  Our traditional method bottle-fermented sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noirs, Pétiyante is beautifully balanced with fine, elegant acidity and creamy texture, balancing the fruit flavours. Classic Champagne-like brioche notes on the nose and palate with a super fine bead with hints of nashi pear and white peach leading to a long, crisp, elegant finish.

Stock up on Sparkling for Party Season

Wally White Semillon & Pork Belly
Christmas Porcetta

The Food:   Crispy pork crackling surrounding tender, juicy pork. Porcetta is a crowd-pleaser at Christmas.  How good does this Portennos Christmas Porcetta with Chimichurri via the Sydney Morning Herald look?  To really showcase this spectacular dish you need just the right wine, with enough richness to complement the pork but great acidity to cleanse the palate, luckily we have just the thing!

The Wine:  Wally White Semillon is our Flagship white wine with a cult following.  And for good reason.  Handpicked Semillon is barrel fermented & aged on lees to create a sophisticated, textural wine with notes of lemon rind, lemon curd, white peach, hints of vanilla, creaminess on the mid-palate, underscored by a zesty, mineral finish and mouth-watering natural acidity.  Pork is a heavenly pairing for this stunning wine.

Try Wally White Semillon Now

The Rose with a Charcuterie PlatterPair Rose with Charcuterie

The Food:  Elegant, delicious Christmas entertaining doesn’t always mean slaving over a hot stove.  Our friends at Les Deux Coq make the most delicious range of authentic French charcuterie we’ve come across outside France.  A quick stop at their Adelaide Central Market stall or website gives you everything you need for the most delicious meal that pairs perfectly with a chilled French-style Rose.

The Wine:  One of our fastest-selling wines, The Rose honours the classic Provence style of southern France. Light in colour with a focus on elegance but full of flavour and texture.  Flavours of strawberries and cream, even some peach notes with a light leesy grip add complexity to the delicious freshness.  It’s dry, fresh and dangerously easy to drink.

Get some Rose on ice in time for Christmas Eve

Roast Christmas Turkey with Bark Hut Road Shiraz/Cabernet Franc
Roast Turkey paired with Bark Hut Road Shiraz Cabernet Franc

The Food:  Pairing wine with Turkey can be a tricky affair.  You have the white meat with some richness and gaminess, but often, wine matching is about the sides, which are more robust in flavour,  like stuffing, gravy and roast vegetables.  Red wine can be a delicious pairing if the tannins don’t overwhelm the dish.  That’s where the elegance and delicacy of Bordeaux-style blends Bark Hut Road hit the perfect note. A fantastic complement to the flavours in this Turkey with Sour Cherry stuffing and pickled cherries recipe.

The Wine:  A classic from our premium Estate range, Bark Hut Road is one of the first wines Jacques' released on Kangaroo Island. This elegant Bordeaux-style blend offers firm tannins, natural acidity, blackberry and sarsaparilla notes at the darker end of the fruit spectrum, and oak notes, vanilla, and coconut.

Pop some Bark Hut Road in your basket

The Investigator Cabernet Franc & Beef Wellington
Pair Beef Wellington with Cabernet Franc

The Food:  The ultimate luxury dish for a special occasion, a rare beef fillet coated in pate & mushrooms, baked in pastry.  If there’s ever a time to dedicate this much love to a dish, it’s at Christmas.  Chef Gordon Ramsay has made Beef Wellington his signature dish, you can try his recipe here.

The Wine:  If you’re preparing a dish like this, then only the very best wine will do.  The Investigator Cabernet Franc from our Flagship range is the perfect foil for the richness of the dish.  With elegance and structure, the variety’s classic leanness and firm brooding tannins will complement perfectly. There are loads of savoury and herbaceous notes, with balance and a composed structure across the palate.

Treat yourself to The Investigator for Christmas Lunch

The Cygnet Shiraz & Glazed HamThe Cygnet Shiraz and Glazed Ham

The Food:  What’s Christmas without a Ham as the centrepiece?  After hours of tender-loving-basting, this showstopper should be served with a wine to match.  If you’re looking for new ham glazing ideas to spice it up this year, Australian Gourmet Traveller has collected glazing secrets of Australia's best Chefs.

The Wine:  When pairing a wine with ham, it's all about the glaze, which most often has a sweet element to counteract the saltiness of the ham.  Glazes tend to work well with medium-weight wines with plenty of acidity and bold fruit.  The Cygnet Shiraz from our Flagship range is often referred to as Christmas in a glass – steeped red and blackberries and baking spices complement the spice of the glaze.  This highly-rated shiraz shows just how elegant the variety can be.

Indulge in The Cygnet Shiraz this year

Sangiovese & Boxing Day BBQ 
Cabnernet Sauvignon is a fantastic match with BBQ meats

The food:  The day after Christmas is time to cog back and relax.  Backyard BBQ, thongs and sandy feet.  No need for a recipe here. Whatever you’re having on the BBQ, from steak to burgers to sausages, our cool climate Sangiovese is a great all-rounder.  Try it lightly chilled for a warm weather red.

The wine:  Our varietal range, 2022 Sangiovese, is the ideal wine for BBQ meats.  It's medium-weight with plush red fruit notes, spicy cherries, vanilla oak, hints of leather and fine-grained tannins on the finish.

Try our new release 2022 Sangiovese

Sauvignon Blanc & Australian Seafood
Seafood and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

The Food:  If your Christmas tastes lean more towards seafood, then our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc is going to be a winner at the table.  Pair it with shellfish like BBQ scallops, prawns or lobster with a rich homemade aioli.

The Wine: Our Sauvignon Blanc has classic passionfruit, lime zest, citrus & sea spray notes.  On the palate, it's delicate & aromatic with a light herbalness, ripe citrus & tropical fruits, rounded off with just enough acidity to finish elegant, clean and crisp.

Discover the perfect Christmas seafood companion
Time Posted: 12/12/2022 at 6:00 AM Permalink to Festive food and wine pairings for every celebration Permalink
Cath Williams
22 November 2022 | Cath Williams

Wine Serving Temperatures: Getting the most from your wine

How much does the wine serving temperature really matter?  The answer is just as much as a cold beer & a hot cup of coffee!

Getting the serving temperature right will help you to get the best enjoyment from your wine. 

Serving white wine too cold will inhibit those beautiful delicate aromatics & flavours.  Serving red wine too warm will allow alcohol to mask subtle secondary & tertiary characters that the winemaker has put so much work into creating.

Especially in Australia, where ‘room temperature' is often significantly warmer (in the mid-20s celsius) than in Europe, where it might be 15-18c.
Generally, it's best to serve white wine a little warmer than we think & red wine a little cooler than you might assume.

Here are our best practice tips on wine serving temperatures for each of our wines.

Sparkling, Light Unoaked White Wines & Rose

Our Guide to Wine Serving Temperatures Sparkling Rose and White Wine
Sparkling wine, light-bodied white wines & our crisp Provence-style Rose are best well chilled to match their crisp acidity.  Ideally, chill your wine in the fridge overnight, but if you're in a hurry, here's our top tip for quick chilling.  Fill an ice bucket three-quarters with ice and water so that the wine is entirely surrounded by cold water.  This method will allow the warmth of the wine to transfer to the ice bucket more easily.  Even faster?  Add salt to create a slurry.

Full Bodied White Wines & Light Bodied Red Wine

Our Guide to Wine Serving Temperatures - Oaked White Wine and Light Red Wine

If the winemaker has fermented or aged white wine in oak or gone to the effort of lees or malolactic fermentation like our 'Wally White' Semillon, Viognier & Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, the wine will have delicious texture, secondary & tertiary characteristics that will shine at a slightly warmer temperature.  For these wines, we suggest a light chilling only.  Or remove the wine from the fridge an hour before serving.

We often think red wine should be served at ‘room temperature'.  This is true if you live in a century-old French chateau where the room temperature is likely closer to 13 degrees celsius. In Australia’s climate, red wine, especially light-medium-bodied reds like our Sangiovese & Tempranillo, benefit from a light chilling, especially when consumed in the warmer seasons.  Try chilling them for an hour in the fridge. Or if you’re headed for a picnic or party, pop them in your esky with your beers to enjoy when you arrive.

Medium & Full Bodied Red Wines

Our Guide to Wine Serving Temperatures - Medium and Full Bodied Red Wine
Depending on how you store your red wine, getting the best from the aromatics, structure & winemaking characteristics of medium and full-bodied red wines will be achieved by serving them at a cool room temperature of 14-18 degrees celsius.

So in Australia's warmer climate, it makes sense to give your reds some time to cool down in the fridge before service (20-25 min).  But if you store your wine in a wine fridge at cellaring temperature (12 degrees Celsius), take it out 15 minutes prior to serving to allow the temperature to come up a little.  If in doubt, it’s always better to serve your reds a little cooler, as it will warm as you consume it.

Explore our wine range now

Time Posted: 22/11/2022 at 12:04 PM Permalink to Wine Serving Temperatures:  Getting the most from your wine Permalink
Cath Williams
22 November 2022 | Cath Williams

On the Rebound: Three years on, how winemakers are recovering from the Black Summer bushfires

Almost three years ago, during the Black Summer bushfires on Kangaroo Island, an unstoppable firestorm destroyed our 280-hectare estate & 20 years of work in a matter of minutes.  We were not alone.  Bushfires devastated not just our region but also a number of wine regions around Australia.

While it is a chapter of our story that will never be erased, our latest chapters are all about reaping the rewards of facing the challenge head-on with hard work & determination.  And recognising the silver linings.  

Our thanks to The Weekend Australian & journalist Ricky French for continuing to tell the story of our rebound from life's challenges. 

Subscribers can view the full story here:  Read the story

The Weekend Australian Magazine - on The Rebound

The Weekend Australian Magazine - On the Rebound

The Weekend Australian Magazine - On the Rebound
The Weekend Australian Magazine - On the Rebound
Time Posted: 22/11/2022 at 11:16 AM Permalink to On the Rebound:  Three years on, how winemakers are recovering from the Black Summer bushfires Permalink