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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
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