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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
 
7 October 2020 | Cath Williams

Our favourite Spring food and wine pairings

Here on Kangaroo Island, Spring is in full fling and as the days get longer and warmer, we start to think about wines to match the season.  Our team are sharing their favourite Islander Estate wines for Spring and the dishes they love to pair them with.


Tempranillo and Tapas

All About it:

Spain and Portugal are home to Tempranillo, the fourth-most planted variety in the world. It’s a very old variety thought to have been introduced to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) by the Phoenicians over 3,000 years ago – that’s 1100BC!

Tempranillo draws its name from the Spanish word temprano, which means early.  It’s usually one of the earliest ripening red varieties.  By avoiding the hottest ripening period the wine is balanced and lower in sugars and therefore alcohol.

Tempranillo is one of our team’s favourite drops for Spring, when you might want to stick with reds but move to lighter style.  We love it for its medium body, easy drinking style and great food matching potential.

Tasting Notes:
Our Tempranillo is made to honour the traditional lighter Spanish style - light, fresh and supple with easy drinkability the primary focus. Ideal as a summer wine, it tastes like a mouth full of fresh berries with hints of liquorice and tobacco leaf in the background.


We’ll be drinking it with:

As you’d expect with its Spanish origins, Tempranillo is a great picnic wine paired with tapas dishes like cured meats, grilled vegetables, and sheep’s cheese.  It’s also delicious with grilled meats when it’s time to break out the BBQ.  Or try a bottle of Tempranillo with your next Mexican feast.

 

Sangiovese and Napoli Pizza

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 it’s growing conditions, it’s a variety that truly expresses regionality.

Tasting Notes

“In so many ways, The Islander produces wines that are more European than Australian. Note the degree of savouriness in its wines & the use of fruit as a conduit for complexity & not necessarily an end in itself. Sangiovese is such a wine. Fragrant with black cherries, capers, anise, bitter chocolate. It runs smooth across the palate, supple oak playing its part & imparting sweet mocha. Cherry pip, chalky tanning still melding” Halliday Wine Companion 2021

We’ll be drinking it with:

With its Italian origins, Sangiovese is our go-to variety for antipasto platters & pizza nights. Not too heavy, just enough savouriness & tannins to pair with those Italian flavours and it even lends itself to some light chilling as the evenings heat up.  It’s also a perfect pair for vegetarian dishes, especially tomato, red peppers and grilled vegetables.

 

The White Chardonnay and BBQ Chicken

All about it:

The White 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, this is a modern Australian style with just a little nutty creaminess but fresh and clean on the finish.

Tasting Notes:

Our 2019 Chardonnay is a classic example of the variety when grown in South Australia: fresh, fruity, and delicious with beautiful notes of nectarine and white peach underscored by refreshing acidity. This is Chardonnay for Pinot Gris drinkers with the fruit doing all the talking in a wine made for simple enjoyment and all occasions. An ideal choice for that midweek “Hump Day” tipple, or the first bottle with friends on a weekend afternoon.

We’ll be drinking it with:

We love it paired with a roast or BBQ chicken, If you’re heading alfresco it will pair beautifully with a charcuterie platter or a soft cheese like a ripe brie and nuts would be hard to beat too.

 

SoFar So Good Sauvignon Blanc and Asian Salads

All about it:

The SoFar SoGood range is all about preservative-free wines produced with minimal processing.  The result is not your average Sav Blanc, our cellar door guests love it for its fresh take on the variety.  A little more texture, fresh citrus & tropical fruits notes and classic crisp acidity on the finish without being overwhelming

A popular wine with those who are looking for a something different to the usual Sav Blanc.

Tasting Notes:

Our no added preservative Sauvignon Blanc is complex, medium bodied and easy drinking.  The nose is intense and typical of the variety with herbaciousness, tropical fruit, citrus and grapefruit. This wine flows in the mouth with fresh, crisp acidity and a long finish. 

We’ll be drinking it with:

A delicious match for fresh herbaceous Asian salads, prawn & oyster dishes, BBQ spring vegetables & soft goats’ cheese.  Classic pairings like oysters, abalone, and fish but we especially love it with spicy Asian dishes with some herbaciousness and spice, think Bao buns or Vietnamese coleslaw.
 

Stock up on our Spring wine selections now

Time Posted: 07/10/2020 at 12:10 PM
Yale Norris
 
17 August 2020 | Yale Norris

Halliday 2021 Australian Wine Companion



Your guide to the 2021 Australian Wine Companion's
favourite Islander Estate Vineyards Wines

James Halliday is an unmatched authority in Australia on every aspect of the wine industry, a respected wine critic and vigneron with a career that spans almost 50 years.  The annual Halliday Wine Companion is a guide to where to visit, what to taste, buy and cellar for Australian wine lovers.

We're proud to submit our wines each year for tasting and rating, it gives us a great feel for how our wines sit amongst the best in the country. 

In the 2021 Haliday Wine Companion we were excited to receive the highest possible Red 5-star winery rating and a range of new wines rated Gold and Silver from our premium Estate and everyday drinking Varietal ranges.

See the Halliday Wine Companion team's tasting notes and ratings below.

2019 Wally White Semillon
95 GOLD

(Not yet released)

Semillon on Kangaroo Island clearly has a future. Wally White responds to the terroir with generosity, offering up an intriguing complexity that attacks all the senses. Eye-catching medium-deep yellow in hue. Aromas of honeysuckle, beeswax and baked pear. Waves of flavour ride the mouth, concentrated, intense with abiding texture and acidity. As a 2yo it comes across as developed, but the acidity ensures a long life. 

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to acces this pre-Christmas release

2019 Old Rowley Shiraz/Grenache: 95 GOLD

(Not yet released)

A brilliant purple sheen is an enticing introduction to this smart, young shiraz grenache. Softness is the key here together with a discreet, still emerging personality. It has a way to go. Pepper, spice, blackberries and red earth aromas. Deliciously ripe palate with dark cherry, black fruits and grenache violets and confection. Tannins are firm. Bottle age is a must. 

Current Vintage 2018 Old Rowely:  95 GOLD

2019 Viognier: 
95 GOLD

(Not yet released)

Archetypal viognier with the scent of honey-drizzled peaches and pears, orange blossom and fruit peel. Intoxicating stuff. Golden and creamy style with a slightly nutty demeanour that lasts to the finish, the apricot stone and dried fruit savouriness complete the textbook example. A wine of many parts and with many years ahead.

Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of this release

2019 Sangiovese:
95 GOLD

In so many ways, The Islander produces wines that are more European than Australian. Note the degree of savouriness in its wines, and the use of fruit as a conduit for complexity and not necessarily an end in itself. Sangiovese is such a wine. Fragrant with black cherries, capers, anise, bitter chocolate. It runs smooth across the palate, supple oak playing its part and imparting sweet mocha. Cherry pip, chalky tannins still melding. 

2019 Tempranillo:
94 Silver

From a winery founded by a Frenchman comes a wine made by an American and featuring a Spanish grape from an up-and-coming Aussie wine region, is it any wonder there is so much happening in this unusually savoury and complex tempranillo? Layer upon layer of black fruits, spice, vanilla oak with chocolate mocha overtones, saline brightness and sturdy tannin lines all adds up to an exciting wine. The charcuterie, smoked meat savouriness on the back palate adds a special touch.

2019 Bark Hut Rd Shiraz/Cab Franc: 93 Silver

(Not yet released)

Kangaroo Island's maritime climate is a dominating presence in the wines produced at The Islander. That, and the role of the native bush lands of old-growth eucalyptus and mallee. Both are evident here. Sea spray, red currant, raspberry and spice with an earthy savouriness, reveal a sense of place. A tad reductive on the palate, but it blows away with some swishing to reveal a savoury-infused palate, charcuterie and game with a rising pepper imprint. A complex lovely just starting out.

Current Vintage: 2017 Bark Hut Rd

Shop our current release Halliday favourites 

Time Posted: 17/08/2020 at 11:30 AM
Cath Williams
 
24 July 2020 | Cath Williams

The Islander Estate’s favourite things to see & do on Kangaroo Island in winter

It’s a secret mostly only known by 'Islanders'.
Kangaroo Island may receive most visitors in warmer months,
but it 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 the Island almost to yourself.

With so many South 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 so much quieter 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), Australia’s most awarded gin at Kangaroo Island Spirits and the cosy, rustic Frogs N Roses the perfect spot for a handmade pizza by the fire (and save room for their fantastic cheesecake).

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 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. 

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 and the fantastic new False Cape Wines cellar door, their platters are fantastic.

 

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.

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: 24/07/2020 at 9:00 AM
Yale Norris
 
19 July 2020 | Yale Norris

From the Ashes by James Halliday, Wine Companion Magazine

James Halliday Feature Aug Sept 2020

Thanks to James Halliday for his feature on our Kangaroo Island wine journey and our future beyond the 2019/2020 bushfires.

Jacques Lurton's relationship with James Halliday goes back to his first experiences in Australia as a young winemaker learning new world winemaking techniques in the freedom of the Aussie wine industry.

In this month's Wine Companion magazine, James reflects on the journey that led Jacques to select Kangaroo Island as the location for his only Australian wine business, with a vision to showcase the true potential that the region offers.  And how our vision remains just as strong after the devastating fires of 2020.

Click here to read James' feature "From the Ashes"

James Halliday's 3 Wines to Try

Three of James Halliday's favourite Islander Estate Vineyards wines have received scores of 95 points in his Wine Companion magazine feature.  All fantastic cool weather wines to feature in your wine cellar at this time of year.

James Halliday review of Wally White Semillon

2018 Wally White
"Semillon on Kangaroo Island clearly has a future.  Wally White responds to the terroir with generosity, offering up an intriguing complexity that attacks all the senses.  Eye-catching medium-deep yellow in hue. Aromas of honeysuckle, beeswax and baked pear.

Waves of flavour ride the mouth, concentrated, intense with abiding texture and acidity. As a 2yo it comes across as developed, but the acidity ensures a long life. Drink to 2027."

Shop 2018 Wally White

James Halliday review of Old Rowley Shiraz Grenache

2019 Old Rowley
"A brilliant purple sheen is an enticing introduction to this smart, young shiraz grenache. Softness is the key here together with a discreet, still-emerging personality. It has a way to go. Pepper, spice, blackberries & red earth aromas. Deliciously ripe palate with dark cherry, black fruits & grenache violets & confection. Tanins are firm. Bottle age is a must. Drink to 2032.


Shop current release 2018 Old Rowley 

James Halliday review of The Sangiovese

2019 The Sangiovese
"In so many ways, The Islander produces wines that are more European than Australian. Note the degree of savouriness in its wines & the use of fruit as a conduit for complexity & not necessarily an end in itself. Sangiovese is such a wine. Fragrant with black cherries, capers, anise, bitter chocolate. It runs smooth across the palate, supple oak playing its part & imparting sweet mocha. Cherry pip, chalky tanning still melding.  Drink to 2030."


Shop 2019 Sangiovese


 

Time Posted: 19/07/2020 at 2:00 PM
Cath Williams
 
21 May 2020 | Cath Williams

Close up on Chardonnay

May 21 is International Chardonnay Day.
It’s the most widely planted white grape variety in the world. 
And its time has come around again. 
So, let’s get reacquainted with Chardonnay.

Chardonnay’s Origins

Chardonnay’s birthplace is the Burgundy region of France, in a small village of the same name.  Chardon being the French name for a thistle, chardonnay’s name originates from “place of thistles”.  Believed to be from the Noirien family of grapes, chardonnay is descended from Pinot Noir and the ancient variety Gouais Blanc.

In Burgundy, where chardonnay is known simply as white Burgundy, it is the most prized white grape variety, seen as truly capturing the region’s incredible terroir. Although it originated in France, chardonnay is now grown in almost every wine region on Earth, mostly because of its ability to adapt to different environments and grow almost anywhere.

Chardonnay down under

Chardonnay was first bought to Australia by James Busby (widely known as the ‘father of Australian wine’) who planted the first cuttings to Australia in the 1830s.  Chardonnay didn’t become a core Australian variety for almost a hundred years, but by the 1980’s chardonnay became on of the most recognised Australian white wine varieties; flourishing in our climate and mainly produced in robust, rich, ripe and buttery styles.

Over the next several decades Australian wine consumers palates changed as they moved towards the zesty, higher acidity alternatives like Marlborough sauvignon blanc. Australian winemakers began to adapt, taking advantage of chardonnay's ability to take on many different characters guided by the winemaker’s technique. 

Today chardonnay accounts for more than half of Australia’s white wine production, having a renaissance in a more contemporary style closer to the Chablis style of France.  This contemporary style has inspired The Islander Estate Vineyard’s The White.

Chardonnay’s Characteristics

Chardonnay’s adaptability doesn’t stop in the vineyard. It is just as adaptable in the winery, making it a favourite with winemakers.  It is often said chardonnay is made in the cellar rather than the vineyard.  It can be found in a wide range of styles depending on the growing region, picking stage and the crafting techniques used by the winemaker.

Chardonnay’s Primary Flavours:  Cool climate versions tend to be lighter in body with higher acidity and more subtle flavours of citrus, apple, pear, and peach. Warm climate versions are generally more full-bodied with richer, riper fruit and bolder flavours often in the tropical fruit zone like pineapple, mango or passionfruit.  Chardonnay can also show some floral character like honeysuckle and jasmin.

Chardonnay’s Secondary Characters: Winemaking processes like oak fermentation or aging impart a range of secondary notes, like coconut, vanilla and baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The buttery characteristics of aged chardonnay come from malolactic fermentation, which winemakers use to reduce the perception of acidity and create rounder, creamier lactic acid, with buttery, vanilla, or pastry characters.

Are you a champagne lover? Then you like Chardonnay. 

Chardonnay is the main component of most champagne’s (blended with its mother variety, Pinot Noir as it is in our Petiyante sparkling).  And if you’re a fan of Blanc de Blancs you’re drinking a champagne made entirely of chardonnay.

Chardonnay’s food companions

Our The White Chardonnay is designed for everyday drinking, we think it makes a phenomenal sunset glass of wine with friends or with a simple soft cheese, but there are loads of cool weather matches with chardonnay.  Simply, chardonnay prefers subtle spices and creamy or buttery flavours with seafood, chicken or even port. Try it with a few of these classic Autumn dishes:

Vegetable Risotto
Classic Roast Chicken
Creamy Pasta Dishes
Garlic Prawns Vegetable Soups Grilled Fish

 

Drink now or wait?

Contemporary unoaked styles just like our The White Chardonnay is made in an everyday drink now style but can happily hang out in your wine rack for two years.  More heavily oaked examples offer more cellaring potential.

Get intimate with Islander Estate The White Chardonnay

Priced for everyday drinking, now is great time to get your hands on The White, while our free shipping offer for orders of 6 or more bottles ends 31st May.  Click on the image below to add some to your shopping cart now.

Time Posted: 21/05/2020 at 9:00 AM
Cath Williams
 
21 May 2020 | Cath Williams

What's (So Far) So Good about preservative free wines?

Every day in our Tasting Room we chat to guests interested in our preservative free wines.  These days we’re all a little more aware of ensuring we know what’s in our food and wine, so join us for a closer look at preservative free wine.

Why make a preservative free range?

Our owner Jacques Lurton introduced the SoFar SoGood range around 4 years ago.  After he found himself developing a reaction to the sulphites we find in many everyday foods and drinks.  Chatting to friends and customers, he identified a growing trend in seeking out products with less preservatives and decided that his vineyard on Kangaroo Island was the ideal place to trial a no-added preservative wine range.

What is preservative free wine?

A small amount sulphur dioxide is released naturally by the grapes during fermentation (nature’s own preservative) so all wine contains trace amounts of naturally produced preservative.

Wines labelled preservative free mean the winemaker has not added any preservatives during the winemaking process.

What preservatives are added to wine?

Wines generally contained sulphur dioxide (SO2), or you may see “sulphites added” on the label, this can mean S02 or HS03 (bisulphites) and H2SO3 (sulphurous acid).  In Australia strict restrictions on the amount of sulphites are in place and where they exist in the wine labelling laws require it to be declared.  This is not the case with wines from many countries outside Australia.

You will find these same preservatives in higher concentrations in many supermarket products including dried fruit, jams, candy, processed meats and many packaged foods.  So if you react to these foods it may be an indication of a sulphite sensitivity.

Why are they used?

Sulphites have been used in wine since the early 1900s to help preserve the wine and slow down the deterioration process.  It is used to get the wine into the bottle and to the drinker in the best condition.

Generally low or preservative free wines require pristine grapes in the best possible condition, handled carefully in the winery.  Less faults with the grapes mean less (or no) sulphites are required.

Do Sulphites give you a headache?

Lots of guests our feel they can drink more of our preservative free wines without getting a hangover. Science indicates this is not the case but people with asthma are thought to be more likely to have a sulphite sensitivity and if you feel you react to any of other foods listed above it may be worthwhile giving a preservative free wine a try.

What’s different about how we make preservative free wine?

The goal in producing preservative free wines is to use the utmost care and keep intervention to a minimum.  For our SoFar SoGood range, nature does much of the winemaking with the winemaker playing supervisor.

The first step is to start with pristine grapes free of disease or bird damage.  Then the grapes are handled carefully in the winery, kept cool and away from air as much as possible.

At The Islander Estate Vineyard, we pick by hand, destem and send the wine to tanks for ferment (by wild yeast for our Shiraz).  We use temperature control and soft extraction during ferment phase, pressing the skins off early.

As soon as fermentation is complete, the wine is clarified, filtered and into the bottle within around 8 weeks of picking (even earlier for our preservative free Sauvignon Blanc).

Our SoFar SoGood range is designed to be enjoyed young as are most preservative free wines. 

How are preservative free wines different to drink?

Because of the minimal intervention approach, we find our preservative free wines tend to tell a pure story of the fruit and vineyard.  They are easy drinking, vibrant and packed with fruit flavours.

As well as people with sulphite allergies, we find the SoFar SoGood range appeals to wine lovers who enjoy fruit forward and well balanced but less tannic or structured wines (think Pinot Noir or Merlot lovers). 

Why not try our 2019 SoFar SoGood preservative free range?

 

Time Posted: 21/05/2020 at 9:00 AM
Yale Norris
 
21 May 2020 | Yale Norris

Issue 3 of News from the fire ground: Regeneration flourishes

This week marked a milestone
for Kangaroo Island: 
100 days since the January’s Ravine complex
of fires were declared officially safe.

As Kangaroo Island moves towards winter, season breaking rains have arrived bringing new regeneration across our fire ravaged region.

Regeneration across the region

Seasons rains have broken across the region bringing green pasture grasses back into the parched and burned fields.  Areas of native bush devastated by the fires have spurred regeneration, bringing a ground level blanket of green amongst the burnt treetops.

While there are still years of recovery ahead, the Island is collectively taking a deep breath at these signs of recovery.

A video this week by our great mate Craig Wickham of Exceptional Kangaroo Island was filmed in the Parndana Conservation park who borders and blends into The Islander Estate Vineyard’s property.  Craig is an expert and offers a great update on the regeneration in the park.

 

Renewal of our Estate

The rebuild of the Islander Estate property continues and Winter offers no reprieve.  At this time, our Estate begins to come to life with winter rains.  Our fields are beginning to fill with pasture and our neighbours, both also impacted by the fires, have ewes beginning to drop lambs. So, rebuilding our boundary fencing has become the critical priority with over 1,000 fence posts to be individually replaced and rewired.

 

Yale has a reputation for being able to turn his hand to anything and working harder than anyone we know.  And he’s been proving this in spades, taking on the weeks (or months) long task of refencing one day at a time with our farmer neighbours Fox and Colin, regardless of the weather.  Luckily, our brand-new fence post digger is making the task a little easier.

We are liaising with the Glossy Black Recovery Project to begin replanting essential habitat on our property for these endangered birds.  Hopefully several thousand trees will be planted though winter.

 

Preparing the vineyard for winter dormancy 

While the remainder of our property springs to life in Winter, in the vineyard we prepare for winter dormancy.

With the help of amazing volunteers from many organisations, we have placed the vineyard in the best position possible to hand over to Mother Nature during winter.  We have seen reshooting across areas of the vineyard and vines producing tertiary fruit, however we will need to await Spring to gain a real indication of the vineyard recovery.  We wait and watch.

 

 

Wines flowing freely

Our 2019 vintage wines are now all in bottle and ready for release over the coming months.  In addition to new vintages of all our established wine we’re excited to be introducing two brand new white wines and two red wines to our every growing varietal range.

Our Discoverer’s Wine Club members have already had a pre-release sample of some of these wines and we’ll announce release dates via our social media channels.

Explore our wine range
Free delivery Australia wide for orders of 6+ bottles, for a limited time only

Time Posted: 21/05/2020 at 9:00 AM
Yale Norris
 
17 April 2020 | Yale Norris

Demystifying Malbec

Let's get intimate with stunning Malbec

Malbec's Provenance

Malbec originated in Jacques' native Bordeaux (and also Cahors) where it primarily played a bit-part in classic Bordeaux blends, never really getting the chance to shine in the spotlight in France.  In the late-19th century, phylloxera nearly destroyed the Malbec wine business. The vines eventually recovered, before being later hit by the deadly frosts in the mid-1950s. The variety struggled to return in France until the mid 1970's.

Luckily then, that a French agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget had introduced the variety South America in the mid-1800's, where the variety found its day in the sun in the hot high-altitude Argentinian climate around Mendoza.  Malbec finally found its place centre stage as a single varietal, becoming the shining star of Argentinian wine. 

In modern day wine, Malbec has travelled all over the world, but Argentina still produces 75% of the world's Malbec & Cahors in France’s south-west the second largest producer. 

It found its way to Australia in 1860 where is grows particularly well in South Australia, production is still selective, Malbec represents less than 0.5% of Aussie grape and wine production.  In Australia Malbec’s beginnings were as a blending grape, these days a small but growing number of producers are taking inspiration from South America and showing Malbec’s potential as a single varietal.

A Malbec love affair spanning 3 continents

Jacques Lurton’s relationship with Malbec began in his native France where the variety originated, the love affair really took off when he spent extensive time in South America establishing vineyards in partnership with his brother Francois in Argentina & Chile, experiencing Malbec as the powerhouse of the wine industry there.

As a flying winemaker, he had also spent time in Austalia, seeing how well the variety transferred from the hot high-latitude climate of Argentina to South Australia’s moderate Mediterranean climate.  When Jacques set up his own Australian business, The Islander Estate Vineyards on Kangaroo Island he had it planted to use as a blending wine with flagship varieties. 

Those plans changed from almost the first vintage, when the quality of his Malbec on Kangaroo Island impressed Jacques so much, he saw it deserved to shine on its own. The Majestic Plough was born as the region’s only single variety Malbec.

The quality continued increase vintage to vintage.  Jacques was determined to show the true potential of Malbec on Kangaroo Island, so in 2015 The Islander Estate's flagship wine range was joined by The Independence Malbec – rated as one of the country’s best single variety Malbecs (96 points James Halliday's 2020 Wine Companion). 

The Islander Estate Vineyards is the only winery commercially producing Malbec on Kangaroo Island.

So, what's so special about Malbec anyway?

Often considered as an alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, Malbec is a powerhouse wine in its own accord, the most structured and tannic wine we produce on Kangaroo Island.

Malbec is a thick-skinned, purple grape variety with an inky red hue.  On Kangaroo Island the vines are low yielding and always the first red variety to be picked at vintage.

In the glass, it has an intense deep red colour, magenta-tinged at the rim.  On the nose you’ll find savoury aromas of leather, tobacco, blackberry, dried herbs and spices with plenty of toasty oak.

In the mouth expect big, juicy and plush flavours of dark fruit with a robust structure and moderately firm tannins with natural acidity and a longer finish than you expect from overseas examples.

Malbec’s best food friends

Malbec loves a lean protein like a good quality steak barbecued over coals (even better with a herb or chimichurri sauce on the side), roast lamb with robust stuffing, roast game like duck or pheasant. 

It also loves hard or blue cheeses and sits beautifully alongside charcuterie.

Drink now or wait?

Malbec has great cellaring potential 15+ years if you have the patience!

 

Get up close The Islander Estate’s Malbec

Devastatingly, the January fire which impacted our Kangaroo Island vineyard has put a stop to our Malbec production for now.  Our Majestic Plough is always a small production which sells out before the next vintage is released and we’re down to the last small batch of 2016 Majestic Plough, so grab some now to lay down as we are down to the very last of our stocks.

The Independence Malbec from our Flagship range has just been rated as one of the best in the country by James Halliday with a 96pt rating in the 2020 Wine Companion.  Pop this one away and try not to think about it for a few years – it will pay off.

Click below to claim yours - our free shipping for 6+ bottles offer ends 31st May:

Time Posted: 17/04/2020 at 9:00 AM
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
Yale Norris
 
3 April 2020 | Yale Norris

Kangaroo Island's Best Tasting Experience - Cellar Door Awards by Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine

Best Tasting Experience. 
The one we want.

For wine lovers, there are many wonderful styles of cellar doors to experience.

When we took the leap to open our Tasting Room it was with a clear vision. We wanted it to be rustic, intimate, simple & most importantly, unassuming.  Just time spent chatting with our guests about wine. Sharing stories. Sharing passions. Letting the wine speak for itself.

We want our guests to leave feeling they’ve connected and perhaps learned something new in their personal wine journey.

We can’t wait to start welcoming you back. Many thanks to Gourmet Traveller WINE for the work they do recognising small wineries in these tough times. You've added a smile to our dial.

Click here to explore our Tasting Room experiences and plan your visit

Time Posted: 03/04/2020 at 10:00 AM