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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
 
24 September 2021 | Cath Williams

Kangaroo Island Cellar Door trails with something for everyone

Kangaroo Island Cellar Door Trails

Kangaroo Island is a destination for families, couples, and friends.  For wine lovers, the Kangaroo Island wine region is a new discovery, but it’s not always easy to keep the whole crew happy on a cellar door tour.  We’ve put together two one-day itineraries that blend cellar door experiences with loads of other attractions to keep everyone happy. 

Itinerary 1: Cruise the Cygnet River and Surrounds

Emu Bay Lavender Farm Cafe Kangaroo Island
Breakfast at Emu Bay Lavender Farm 

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at the Emu Bay Lavender Farm.  They’re famous for their lavender scones (legitimate breakfast food we think) but there’s so much more on the menu.   They have a stunning setting and when the scent of lavender is in the air, how can the morning be anything but relaxing?  www.emubaylavenderfarm.com
 

Emu Bay Beach Kangaroo Island
Stroll along Emu Bay beach 

Work off breakfast with a stroll along this stunning 5km beach, one of the most popular on Kangaroo Island.  The sheltered North Coast waters are mostly calm and clear making it a great spot for a morning swim.  The main car park also has a playground where the kids can work off breakfast or explore the jetty for sea creatures.

Get off the bitumen and head along Boxer Road

En route to your first wine tasting, stop to check out the White Lagoon salt lake.  This road will take you past traditional farming properties and at the right time of year, you’ll pass stunning fields of bright yellow canola.
 

The Islander Estate Vineyards Cellar Door Cygnet River Kangaroo Island
Get tasting at The Islander Estate Vineyards cellar door

Start your tasting day with an introduction to our world of wine at The Islander Estate Vineyards.  Come in for a personalised guided tasting of our French-influenced cool climate wines crafted by our owner, Jacques Lurton.  After a career spanning several decades making wine in his native Bordeaux and around the world, Jacques fell in love with Kangaroo Island in 2000, purchased a property and established a vineyard with a vision to showcase the true potential of our Island region on the world stage of wine.  On Kangaroo Island Jacques combines his expertise and traditional French winemaking techniques with the freedom of winemaking offered in Australia.  The result is a range of wines that blend old world and new world wine styles. 

If you want the royal treatment book one of our food and wine experiences.  Or after your tasting, choose your favourite wine and let our team help you create a picnic hamper of French charcuterie, regional cheeses, and local produce to match. 
 

Picnic at Duck Lagoon Cygnet River Kangaroo Island
Picnic in nature at Duck Lagoon

Just a few minutes from Islander Estate’s cellar door, Duck Lagoon is a stunning natural lagoon.  It's home to a huge array of birds, echidnas and resident koalas.  It has picnic facilities, BBQ’s, toilets, and a bird hide.  Duck Lagoon is a fantastic spot to relax with a picnic while the kids explore and count how many different animal species they can spot.
 

Kangaroo Island Spirits Cellar Door Cygnet River Kangaroo Island
Get in the spirit at Kangaroo Island Spirits 

Continue exploring the Cygnet River Artisan trail with a visit to Kangaroo Island Spirits for a paddle of their award-winning gins or settle in the garden with a cocktail.  KIS has a fantastic rustic atmosphere at their cellar door and if you have the time, you can even join in a cocktail masterclass (book ahead).  www.kispirits.com.au

Our pick:  We can’t help but be partial to the Wally White gin, aged in barrels used for our stunning Semillon.  It brings together the best of spirits and wine.
 

Frogs and Roses Cafe Cygnet River Kangaroo Island
Get sweet at Frogs N Roses 

If you’re visiting on the weekend, refuel at Frogs and Roses, a green oasis incorporating a nursery with a café offering the best cheesecake on Kangaroo Island.  There’s plenty of room for the kids to roam or bounce on the trampoline while you relax under a tree.  www.facebook.com/frogsandrosesgardencenter
 

Springs Road Wines Cellar Door Cygnet River Kangaroo Island
Sip a new wine style at Springs Road Wines

Our neighbours and great friends, Joch and Louise Bosworth have a strong reputation for their organic wines in McLaren Vale under the labels Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed wines.  So, we were excited when they also fell in love with Kangaroo Island and purchased an established vineyard in Cygnet River in 2016.  Joch and Louise bring a new dimension to the Kangaroo Island wine industry and their intimate tasting room set overlooking the vineyard is a must-visit for any lover.  One of their McLaren Vale staff members also runs Second Valley Cheese company, so a glass of wine paired with their cheese is a unique experience.  www.springsroad.com.au

Our wine pick:  James Halliday’s 2021 Wine Companion rates the Springs Road Wines Kangaroo Island Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2018 at 94 points and we can’t argue with that. 
 

Bay of Shoals Wines Cellar Door Reeves Point Kangaroo Island
Sundowners at Bay of Shoals 

Vineyards don’t get much closer to the ocean than at Bay of Shoals.  Their cellar door overlooking Reeves Point and the Bay of Shoals is a great place to wind up your tasting tour. Their grapes are grown, harvested, and made onsite alongside the Cellar Door, offering guided tastings and build your own platters to enjoy outdoors overlooking the bay. www.bayofshoalswines.com.au

Our wine pick:  Bay of Shoals produce some wines unique to their label on Kangaroo Island.  Try their Savagnin or popular Sparkling Shiraz.

Wind up the day

Finish your day with an early dinner and a cleansing ale at Kangaroo Island Brewery (www.kangarooislandbrewery.com.au) on the weekends or back in Kingscote where we recommend The Ozone Hotel for contemporary cuisine (www.ozonehotelki.com.au/restaurant-bar) or Café Bella for fantastic Italian fare (www.bellacafekangarooisland.com.au).

We’ve even created a Google map for our Cruise the Cygnet River & Surrounds itinerary, click here and you’re good to go!  

Stay

Get a good night’s rest because tomorrow has a whole new day of Cellar Door touring in store!  

There’s no shortage of unique luxury accommodation options within reach of today’s trail.  Some of our very favourite places to settle in are: At Emu Bay, Hamilton and Dune www.hamiltondune.com.au.  On the northwest coast,  Lifetime Private Retreats www.life-time.com.au and Top Deck at Snellings Beach www.topdeckatsnelling.com.  At Stokes Bay, Stow Away www.stowawayki.com.au


Itinerary 2:  Explore the East End
 

Millie Maes Pantry and Cafe Penneshaw Kangaroo Island
Get nourished with breakfast at Millie Mae’s

Start your day in Penneshaw with breakfast at Millie Mae’s Pantry.  This café has become a star of the east end’s eating scene.  Treat yourself to local pastries, great coffee, fresh juices, or a cooked breakfast.  They’ll even wet your whistle with a mimosa made with The Islander Estate Vineyards Petiyante sparkling.www.milliemaespantry.com

 

Kangaroo Island Sculpture Trail Penneshaw
Stretch your legs on the Kangaroo Island Sculpture Trail 

Just a few minutes walk along the Penneshaw foreshore from Millie Mae’s, this sculpture trail is a constant evolution, set amongst 4.5 hectares of dunes overlooking stunning Hog Bay beach with views back to the mainland.  The 1.5 kms of the trail, winds through the dunes and feature lookouts, steps, boardwalks, a swing bridge, seating, and scenic views with a surprise at every turn.  Stunning sculptures are dotted along the trail with new installations always appearing, each one bringing to life an aspect of our Island’s culture, community, and natural environment. www.kangarooislandsculpturetrail.com

Look for surprises on the Wallaby Track 

If you have kids on board with some energy still to burn, the ‘locals secret’ Wallaby Track a little further along the foreshore is an entirely different trail for the little visitors to explore.  Look out for the signs at the start of this 3 km return hike which follows a spring-fed creek bed with naturally occurring waterfalls (in winter) into limestone features. Look out along the way for hidden animals, real and play. Find it here:  
 


Land at Dudley Wines for lunch with a view

Head out of Penneshaw on the road towards Cape Willoughby lighthouse and you can’t miss your first cellar door stop at Dudley Wines.  Relax on the deck with a pizza or platter and a wine paddle while you look back over the Backstairs Passage to mainland Australia and see if you can spot a whale.  They have a great nature playground for little kids and a golf tee for the big ones.  The Howards have a true family-run business incorporating wine and traditional farming on Kangaroo Island.  www.dudleywines.com.au

Our wine picks?  Dudley Wines have some great options for wine drinkers who enjoy fruit-forward wines.  Try Thirteen Sparkling Shiraz NV, Dudley Ripple or Glossy Black Sweet Red.
 

Antechamber Bay and Chapman River Kangaroo Island
Explore where the river meets the sea at Antechamber Bay

After lunch, continue on the road towards Cape Willoughby lighthouse.  After about 10 minutes you’ll spy the signs for Lashmar Conservation Park which includes the vast Antechamber Bay and the Chapman River flowing to the sea.   A wonderland for kids, take the second Southern turn off and you’ll pass a great variety of picnic and camping spots dotted along the river.  Continue to the end of this trail and you’ll come to a picnic area beyond with a magical grove of stringybark trees to play amongst and gently sloping riverbanks, perfect for paddling, feeding the fish or kayaking.

Make your way down onto the Antechamber Bay beach where you can walk on white sand for miles.  Stunning views back to mainland Australia make this a tempting spot to stop for a play or an afternoon nap.  Explore more here:  


Step back in time at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse  

At the most easterly point of the island, Cape Willoughby Lighthouse has stood guard over this part of the Kangaroo Island coastline since 1852.  A guided tour offers the chance to walk in the shoes of the lighthouse keepers and their families who worked 24 hours a day to assist the safe journey of ships passing through the treacherous stretch of water known as Backstairs Passage. Explore here:  

Hint:  While you’re here, stop and explore the stunning granite boulders and surf of Windmill Bay.


False Cape Wines Cellar Door Kangaroo Island
Get back on the (wine) trail at False Cape Wines

By now you’ll be ready for refreshments and False Cape Wines cellar door is a great spot to explore another dimension to Kangaroo Island wine.  Head back from Cape Willoughby before taking a turn west along Wilson River Road.  You’ll drive by stunning Lashmar Lagoon and through farm country before finding the signs for False Cape’s cellar door.   Set amongst the vineyards where owners Julie and Jamie Helyar grow their fruit, False Cape Wines are made by Greg Follett of Lake Breeze in Langhorne Creek, bringing a signature style to their wines.

The kids will be happy feeding the farm animals and rolling on the lawn in the sunshine while you relax with a wine paddle and a platter (if you’re really hungry their pies are delicious).  If the weather is cool, they’ll have their indoor and outdoor fireplaces roaring.  www.falsecapewines.com.au/Cellar-Door

Our wine picks? We’re partial to False Cape’s Riesling and their new fortified Shiraz is an excellent way to top off a meal by the fire.

Sunset at Brown Beach Kangaroo Island
Watch the sun sink into the sea at Brown Beach 

After leaving False Cape, turn onto the East-West Road and within 10 minutes you’ll roll down the hill towards the coastline, landing at Brown Beach campground. A stunning place to pop open a bottle of wine you’ve collected during the day for a sundowner while the kids play or swim in the safe waters.  Explore more:  

If you’re equipped, take advantage of the excellent BBQ facilities here and stay for a casual dinner, head to American River to the Reflections Restaurant at the Mercure Hotel (see below) or otherwise complete your day's loop with a short drive back into Penneshaw for dinner at the Penneshaw Hotel (known as ‘The Penny’ by the locals).

Stay

Two of our favourite places to stay on the eastern end of Kangaroo Island are:  American River, Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge www.kilodge.com.au or Cape Willoughby, Sea Dragon Lodge:  www.seadragonlodge.com.au

We’ve even created a Google map for our Explore the East End itinerary, click here you’re good to go! 

Don’t want to drive?

Let a local do the driving, there’s a range of local guides now offering unique cellar door trail experiences, two of our favourites:  Exceptional Kangaroo Island www.exceptionalkangarooisland.com or Kangaroo Island Hire A Guide  www.kiguide.com.au.

Time Posted: 24/09/2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Kangaroo Island Cellar Door trails with something for everyone Permalink
Cath Williams
 
14 June 2021 | Cath Williams

Our favourite things to see & do on Kangaroo Island in winter

It’s a secret mostly only known by Island locals, Kangaroo Island is at its most beautiful in Winter. 

Spectacular windswept coastline, deserted beaches washed clean by the sea, stunning green fields full of winter lambs, wildlife in abundance.  And the best part?  You can join the locals in feeling like you have Kangaroo Island almost to yourself.

With so many Australians holidaying at home this year, the secret is out.  And local businesses like ours are loving having the Island humming during winter.  So, The Islander Estate team are sharing our favourite ways to make the most of Kangaroo Island during these stunning cool months.

Meander the delicious Tasting Trail

Where else could we start but with the opportunity to spend time with our fantastic array of local producers?
Our cellar doors and farm gates are more relaxed in winter.  Producers are always happy to see you and they have plenty of time to stop for a chat to share their story - and to learn yours.

Central to the Island, Cygnet River trail offers two cellar doors (The Islander Estate Vineyards and our neighbours Springs Road Wines) and Australia’s most awarded gin at Kangaroo Island Spirits.

If you enjoy a brew as much as wine, then Kangaroo Island Brewery is a fantastic spot a little further afield on the way to Emu Bay.  Stop for a paddle of their fantastic hand-built beers and a platter by the fire (check their Facebook page for opening days).  A little along the road Emu Bay Lavender are super popular for their lavender products and their café fare – their lavender scones are legendary and their curries and burgers are favourites for lunch. 

Back a little towards Kingscote, the wine tasting trail continues at Bay of Shoals wines just five minutes outside of Kingscote.  You can’t visit Kangaroo Island without experiencing our famous Ligurian honey – both Island Beehive and Cliffords Honey Farm are worth a stop.

Head east, stop in at The Oyster Farm Shop in American River – oysters are at their prime in winter.  Then continue the tasting trail at Dudley Wines for wines with a view and great pizza, or the fantastic new False Cape Wines cellar door, their platters are becoming famous.

 

A bird watcher's paradise

Kangaroo Island has over 260 bird species and they abound in winter in many sheltered spots.

Just minutes from The Islander Estate Tasting Room, Duck Lagoon fills with winter rains and attracts a huge array of birdlife (you might see more than one Koala sharing the trees with the birds).  Stop in for a visit at our Tasting Room, grab a bottle of wine, cheeses and French charcuterie then spend a peaceful hour or two picnicking and bird watching. If you're with the family, the kids will have a ball koala spotting here.

Stormy southerlies from the Southern Ocean often bring in albatross and other pelagic species – Cape du Couedic is a favourite location for local birders. Endangered Glossy Black-cockatoo are nesting at this time of year and feeding near Penneshaw, American River and Stokes Bay, as are Yellow-tailed Cocktaoos. Cape Barren Geese are also seen in abundance with their young during winter. Be sure to view nesting areas from afar to avoid disturbing nesting pairs.

In the quiet of winter evenings (the stars on Kangaroo Island are definitely worth an evening venture), you may hear Cuckoos calling – hearingtheir distintictive “mo-poke... mo-poke” call is something special.

 

Kangaroo Island winter beach walks

Stormy Beach Walks

Nothing is as refreshing as a beach walk during a winter storm to restore the soul – and of course to give you a good excuse to recover with an afternoon curled up with a wine by the fire.

For spectacular rolling surf, visit the south coast beaches like D’Estrees Bay, Vivonne Bay and Hanson Bay.  Kangaroo Island's north coast offers more protected beach walks, washed clean by the rain.  Our favourites include Western River Cove, Snellings Beach and Stokes Bay 

In the east of the Island, Antechamber Bay is truly spectacular and you can follow up a beach walk with a sheltered picnic by nearby Chapman River.

Winter lambs in the fields on Kangaroo Island

Green fields full of new life

Nothing represents the renewal that Winter brings to our region like vibrant green fields full of bounding baby lambs, bright white with their new wool. They represent the promise of future prosperity for our region’s farmers and they simply make you smile.  It's worth keeping an eye out in paddocks all over the Island and stopping the car to watch their antics.

At this time of year Echidnas begin breeding, if you see an Echidna train it’s a very lucky day indeed so keep an eye out on roadside verges and wherever you are hiking.  And baby joeys begun venturing from their mother’s pouch to feed all over the Island, but often visible at Pelican Lagoon.

Winter beach fishing on Kangaroo Island

Hauling in a bounty 

Kangaroo Islanders often say the best meal you can have is fish, freshly caught yourself, cooked and shared with friends (with a fantastic local wine of course). 

The weather may be a little wilder, but the fishing can be at its best during winter, especially in the calm that follows a storm, when the fish often bite the hardest.  Whether you are fishing from a beach, a jetty or boat, bringing home your bag limit of our famous King George Whiting is a satisfying way to spend a day.  They are at their plump best in winter and extra active as they breed.

Salmon Trout can be caught from beaches like Hanson Bay (our tip, cooked super fresh in a beer batter perfect with Pinot Gris) and squid from jetties.  If you have a boat, Nannygai are great catching and eating.

Do make sure you’re familiar with Kangaroo Island’s protected by Marine Parks and Marine Park Sanctuary Zones and bag and size limits before you head out fishing.  Get all the essential info from Tourism Kangaroo Island's KI Fishing Guide. Or for a guaranteed catch, hook up with one of Kangaroo Island’s fishing charters and let the experts find the fish.

And if you can't catch them yourself, stock up in American River at The Oyster Farm Shop or KI Fresh Seafoods in Kingscote for the freshest local fish.


Southern Wright Whale in the waters around Kangaroo Island

Watching monsters leap from the sea

There are over 80 whale species in the world, 29 of these species visit our South Australian waters each year.

The Southern Right Whale, one of the largest, weighs up to 80 tons and grows to 18 metres in length. They are the most frequent whale visitors to Kangaroo Island waters, and often travel past between May and September before they return to Antarctic waters in October. Look for them close inshore right around the coast. Mothers may rest with young in more sheltered bays.

Blue Whales and Humpback Whales also visit, and Killer Whales (Orcas) sometimes drop by for a seal meal.

Kangaroo Island's native orchids flower in Winter

Hunting for native orchids

With such amazing vistas and coastlines, it can easy to focus on the wider landscape when taking a winter hike on Kangaroo Island.

But for a mindfulness exercise that will have you reconnecting with the details and forgetting everything, there is no better activity a hunt for our native orchids. With over 80 native species, a hunt for these tiny but spectacular flower really makes you slow to a meander and absorb the beauty to be found on a micro-level.

Whether it’s these tiny flowers, lichen and fungi, flowering native ground shrubs or the spectacular Wattle it’s worth slowing down and meandering.

One of our favourite spots is American River’s Cannery Walk.  Find out more here

Cooking around the campfire is a special Kangaroo Island winter experience

Slow cooking over a Bonfire

Gather your mates, light a fire, have a few wines while you wait for the coals to burn low, then nestle a camp oven on the coals.  It takes a while to cook but there's nothing better than passing the time with good conversation, plenty of red wine and a jam if you have a guitar on hand.

Spending an afternoon this way is iconicially Kangaroo Island.  And there’s nothing better than slow cooked local lamb, vegetables and red wine simmered for hours.

So what are you waiting for?  Start planning your cool season trip to Kangaroo Island.  We'll see you soon!

Tourism Kangaroo Island
South Australian Tourism Commission
Time Posted: 14/06/2021 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Our favourite things to see & do on Kangaroo Island in winter Permalink
Cath Williams
 
15 May 2021 | Cath Williams

Secret Autumn Sunset Spots on Kangaroo Island

Secret Autumn Sunset spots on Kangaroo Island

When Summer’s warm weather passes & Anzac Day is over, visitor numbers to Kangaroo Island traditionally slow through the cooler seasons of Autumn & Winter.

This is the ‘Islanders’ secret – the cooler months are some of the most stunning on Kangaroo Island.  Warm days, crisp nights, rain transforming dry paddocks to a vibrant green. 

And our favourite part of Autumn?  The light in the late afternoon and at sunset is magic.  Autumn Sunsets are our favourite.  We asked our team to share their favourite spots to end the day with a glass of wine.
 


Yale, General Manager, Managing Director,
Winemaker, Money Man, Wrangler of Staff

Sunset over West Bay Kangaroo Island, image courtesy of www.instagram.com/garrettlaur/

Favourite Sunset Spot?  West Bay Beach, Flinders Chase National Park

“I love watching the sun sink behind the horizon into the southern ocean at West Bay. Sitting on the beach with a glass of wine, feeling like you’re at the end of the earth.  Such a secluded spot but still totally accessible to anyone willing to make the drive.”

Favourite Sunset Wine?  Wally White Semillon
“Our white wine for red wine drinkers.  With enough  creaminess & texture to go with a fire & some fish caught fresh from the beach & cooked in a pan with a little wine”,

Image courtesy of Lauren Garret on Instagram


Sophie, Cellar Door Manager extraordinaire

Favourite Sunset Spot? Flagstall Hill Lookout, Reeves Point
“Just a few minutes from Kingscote, Flagstaff Hill is a stunning elevated spot for an evening walk to watch the sunset over Bay of Shoals.  With elevated views for almost 360 degrees, there’s no better place to let go of the day.” 

Favourite Sunset Wine?  Varietal Range Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
“A limited release wine, this is my new favourite for when you want something a little more textural & sophisticated in the white wine spectrum.  I’ve visited Jacques in Bordeaux & this reminds me so much of the Bordeaux Blanc blends that I tried there.”
Image courtesy of Ross Evans Photography on Instagram


Luca, Cellar Door Hand, Tour Guide & resident Italian

Favourite Sunset Spot?  The hill overlooking Stokes Bay
“Most people visit Stokes Bay in the height of summer to swim at the secret beach.  We love to visit it in the cooler months, when it’s almost deserted & the sunset views are ours alone”

Favourite Sunset Wine?  Varietal Range Sangiovese
What else for an Italian?  Taking its inspiration from a Tuscan Chianti Classico blend, the perfect pair to sunset picnic of antipasto, pizza or a great pasta dish.

Image courtesy of Carla Horton on Instagram


Sue, Cellar Door Hand, Luxury Accommodation Specialist, Farmer

Favourite Sunset Spot? One Kangaroo Island, Brown Beach
“There is no more luxurious experience on Kangaroo Island than sitting in a warm outdoor bubble bath on a crisp evening, in total privacy, overlooking Brown Beach & the sunset to the west.  Unforgettable”

Favourite Sunset Wine?  Petiyante
What else is there to drink in an outdoor bath at sunset than a delicious glass of Methode Champenoise sparkling?

Image courtesy of One Kangaroo Island on Instagram


Tracey, Our most loyal team member & wrangler of all things financial

 Favourite Sunset Spot?  Cygnet River
“In the late afternoon, just as dusk descends, the light through the trees surrounding the Cygnet River is something else.  And it only happens during the cooler months.  It makes you look up from your computer, step outside & take a deep breath.”

Favourite Sunset Wine?  Tracey’s been drinking Bark Hut Road, Shiraz/Cabernet Franc, our signature blend for 15 years ago.  It brings together our French & Australian heritage in a bottle & it suits just about any cool evening dish.

Image courtesy of Cath Williams on Instagram


Cath, Marketing & Story Teller

Favourite Sunset Spot?   Baudin Beach
“My home, Baudin Beach.  We live in a cottage snuggled behind a sand dune.  Just near our house is a path along the cliffs with a special chatting seat in honour of a much loved local.  After a long day on the keyboard, I can be there with a glass of wine, my partner, daughter & dog in just a couple of minutus, we all take a deep breath & let go of the day.  Then back home out of the evening chill & into the warm cosiness of the fire.”

Favourite Sunset Wine?  “When I worked in the Tasting Room I sold more Old Rowley Shiraz/Grenache than any other wine because I absolutely love it.  Elegant but robust, complex but drinkable.  Simply one of my go-to blends & I’m yet to find one I love more than the one we make at The Islander Estate Vineyards.”

Image courtesy of Cath Williams on Instagram


Plan your cool weather visit to Kangaroo Island now

Click to Visit The Islander Estate Vineyards
map of Favourite Autumn Sunset Spots

and
Visit the Tour Kangaroo Island Website

 

Time Posted: 15/05/2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Secret Autumn Sunset Spots on Kangaroo Island Permalink
Cath Williams
 
27 December 2020 | Cath Williams

Discover our neighbourhood - the Cygnet River gourmet trail

We chose to locate The Islander Estate Tasting Room in Cygnet River to join the growing and ever changing community of artisan producers with values similar ours - to showcase the true potential of Kangaroo Island. And we've never looked back. 

Sitting within easy reach for visitors, close to Kingscote and the south-coast touring route, the Cygnet River trail is compact making a great half or full day discovery, including two distinct styles of wine, award-winning spirits and liqueurs and delicious food – all hand-crafted with a shared philosophy, and authentically Kangaroo Island.

Come spend some time with us & we’ll introduce you to the neighbours!

Kangaroo Island Spirits

A visit to the Kangaroo Island Spirits cellar door is a must for any visitor to the Island (KIS to the locals).
Having won more than 130 awards including Best Gin in Australia, and most recently an array of high accolades from competitions in London and California.

KIS embrace native ingredients and use traditional processes to make spirits in their purest form, that have so much more to them. Their rustic cellar door offers tastings, sales and delicious seasonal cocktails to enjoy in the botanical Gin Garden. For the true romantics, indulge in one of their tailored experiences where you can learn to beauty of our native landscape.

This summer the About Thyme van will be serving up delicious food paired to their cocktail menu – winning! Discover KIS & book your experience:  kispirits.com.au

Springs Road Wines

We were so excited when Spring Road Wines joined us in the Cygnet River neighbourhood.  Kangaroo Island has a truly diverse range of wine styles, with something for everyone, so add a stop at Springs Road Wines to taste and enjoy the view at the newest cellar door in Cygnet River.

In 2016 McLaren Vale locals Joch Bosworth and Louise Hemsley-Smith bought the Springs Road vineyard (planted between 1994 and 2000), recognising that the property was an amazing site capable of producing beautiful wines.

Have a tasting then relax on the deck with a wine a delicious Second Valley Cheese platter made by one of their own team. Discover Springs Road Wines now:  springsroad.com.au

Frogs & Roses Garden Centre & Cafe

Take a break on the trail and enjoy a delicious meal at Café Scrumptious located inside the picturesque Frogs N Roses garden centre.  Their handmade pizzas are phenomenal and make room for their homemade cheesecake.  They're fully licensed so you don’t even need to stop drinking!

Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.  Discover more:  facebook.com/CafeScrumptiouski

The Islander Estate Vineyards

Of course, no Cygnet River trail visit is complete without a visit to our own Tasting Room.  Experience the fruits of Jacques 20-year vision to showcase the true potential of Kangaroo Island wine.

Drop in to our intimate cellar door for a guided tasting, treat yourself to a Flagship tasting experience or relax on the deck with a regional cheese & charcuterie platter.

We have a range of experiences you can purchase or book ahead via our website: iev.com.au/Visit-Us/Explore-experiences.

Just a little further afield:

If you have a little more time, there is so much more to see and do all within 10 minutes of Cygnet River:

Kangaroo Island Brewery



 

Hand-built beers in a fantastic ‘brewery door’ on the way to Emu Bay.  Stop in for one of their famous beer paddles to try a range of brews or pick your favourite to enjoy overlooking the field.  It’s one of our favourite watering holes.  Check them out:  kangarooislandbrewery.com.au

Emu Bay Lavender

Closer to Emu Bay, the Lavender farm is one of our favourites for breakfast or lunch and a great spot to pick up gifts for friends and family back home.  We highly recommend their amazing scones and lavender jelly for afternoon tea - perfect refuel for after a swim.  Explore more:  emubaylavenderfarm.com

Emu Bay Beach  

Kangaroo Island is spoilt for choice when it comes to beach, but they don’t come much longer, whiter & more beautiful than Emu Bay beach.  A huge favourite with locals over summer for its stunning sands and safe swimming waters. 

The Mini De Lights van at the Emu Bay boat ramp serves up cocktails, wine & delicious snacks in season - a truly unique Kangaroo Island experience.  Check their facebook page for opening days & times: facebook.com/minidelightscatering

Time Posted: 27/12/2020 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Discover our neighbourhood - the Cygnet River gourmet trail Permalink
Cath Williams
 
7 April 2020 | Cath Williams

Our top 10 post-corona wine connections moments



10 ways our team will be reconnecting 
over a few wines post "the rona"

If you're like us at The Islander Estate Vineyards, you're passing isolation-time dreaming of all the things you'll do as soon as we're free to move around as we used to. 

And won't we all just appreciate the simple things so much more?  This is our team's list of way's we'll be re-connecting with the people and the place we love.
 

1.  At our heart centre

We had to start here.  It's our passion to connect with visitors to our share stories,
our passions & a good chat over a glass of wine.  

So many wine lovers from all over the world come to spend their precious holiday time with us learning a little about why Kangaroo Island is the world's undiscovered wine treasure.
We miss that connection dearly & can't wait to crack open our best wines for tasting and throw open the door to our Tasting Room.  Next time you visit, treat yourself to a Flagship wine tasting.

2.  Simple pleasures with family and friends

Is there anything better than the simple pleasures Kangaroo Island offers
like beach fishing while the sun sets? 

Finishing a day on KI with fresh fish you've caught yourself is unbeatable. We love doing it with the people we love & a great glass of wine by our side (we recommend our Pinot Gris with local fish). 

Our favourite spots for an evening fish?  We'll it's hard to beat Snellings Beach on our stunning north coast, Brown Beach on the Dudley Peninsula (if you're lucky for a few flathead) or Emu Bay for a family favourite (park the car up  on the beach, open the boot so you have somewhere to rest your wine & cheese platter).
 

3.  Campfire Catch-ups

If you live on Kangaroo Island, or you love visiting,
it's pretty much assured you love camping. 

With the cooler seasons coming on, we'll be packing up & heading out with friends with a bottle (or 10) of red and plenty of firewood to get us through the night - in our book the Majestic Plough Malbec is perfect for sharing with friends on cool nights. 
Our top Kangaroo Island camping spots?  Antechamber Bay campground where you can camp right next to the river & have a stunning beach just a few minutes away.  Stokes Bay Campground with the fantastic Rockpool Cafe right next door & one of the best beaches on the Island.  Vivonne Bay on the south coast to watch the surf roll in.

 

4.  Over a meal at our amazing local restaurants

Dinner with friends - oh how we can't wait

With a selection of Kangaroo Island restaurants each showcasing local cuisine in their own unique way & we can't wait to get out & enjoy it with friends again.
Whether its refined cuisine & spectacular views at Sunset Food & Wine, rustic seafood at Rockpool Cafe, high end pub food at the Ozone Hotel, Italian fare at the intimate Bella Cafe or contemporary cuisine in peaceful surrounds at Reflections Restaurant in American River, just to name of few options.

 

5.  Connecting to nature in our interior

Kangaroo Island has spectacular beaches & coastline,
but the interior comes to life in the cooler months. 

We love heading inland for a walk amongst nature - finished off with a picnic & wine of course!  There are so many spectacular inland hikes across the whole Island, many remain open after January's bushfires & the regeneration of bushland will be spectacular as winter progresses.
Or book a weekend away at one of the Island's many nature-based accommodation like our wonderful friends at Ecopia Retreat, where nature is right on your doorstep.

6.  Cool season weekends away with friends

If you're a Kangaroo Island local, then you know
the cooler seasons are the best time on Kangaroo Island.

Fires lit all season, stormy walks on the beach, flora & fauna at their peak (& the best season for fishing).  Plus, in these quieter seasons it feels almost like the Island is just yours.  We'll be inviting friends to reconnect with a weekend (or week) on the Island. 
If we're lucky we'll do it at spectacular accommodation like Hamilton & Dune - what a stunning place for long chats, board games & wine by the fire.  Pop some local lamb in the slow cooker to simmer all day & pair it with the Old Rowley for a simple but spectacular shared meal.

7.  Friday night sunset beach catchups

Friday night post-work wine on the beach - it's a Kangaroo Island ritual

Kids running wild in the surf, mates downloading news of the week.  For Islander's it beats rush hour traffic & crowded bars hands-down. 
Our absolute favourite for beach sundowners is The Rose but when even we can't get it, we turn to our other bestie SoFar SoGood Sauvignon Blanc all those tropical fruit notes suit the setting so well. Popular spots include Hog Bay Penneshaw, Island Beach and Emu Bay.

8.  Sharing home cooked feasts

Who else is brushing up on their cooking skills during home isolation? 
We can't wait to share all the new dishes we've learned with mates & family.

While we're all home cooking right now with our isolation-buddies, there's nothing like spending the whole day preparing a feast for extended family & friends. 
It's an act of love that deserves some cracking wines to while away the afternoon (Bark Hut Road hits the spot & pairs with so many dishes).  How spectacular is the spot at Lifetime Retreat's The Cliff House?  

9.  Family picnics

The simple act of sunshine, a picnic rug, friends or family & the shade of a tree

Don't we miss the simple things?  For us picnics need be no further than the lawns of our Tasting Room.
But we also love putting together a picnic of French charcuterie from Les Deux Coq, Alexandrina Fleurieu Peninsula cheeses, local produce & wine for guests (SoFar SoGood Shiraz is our favourite picnic red), then sending them to our team's favourite picnic spots.   Just a few minutes away from the Tasting Room in Cygnet River, Duck Lagoon is a great place to start. 

10. Getting the team back together

What are we most excited about?  Getting back to the business of wine.

Between January's bushfires & the current Coronavirus we're most excited about the prospect of having the full team back together at The Islander Estate Vineyards.
Later in the year we hope to begin welcoming guests back for private barrel room tastings & to see the vineyard rejuvenation.  It's a prospect that drives us forward in our mission to make the region's best wines.

We thank you for support during this difficult time,
we appreciate every order we receive online &
we can't wait to connect over a wine very soon.

Time Posted: 07/04/2020 at 11:30 AM Permalink to Our top 10 post-corona wine connections moments Permalink
Cath Williams
 
5 January 2019 | Cath Williams

15 Things to do on Kangaroo Island

Travel journalist Irene Issacon travelled to Kangaroo Island for Travel2Next and shares her 15 must-do things to include in your itinerary to Kangaroo Island.  Thanks for the recommendation Irene!

Read her article on Travel2Next here

Time Posted: 05/01/2019 at 4:31 PM Permalink to 15 Things to do on Kangaroo Island Permalink