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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
 
4 December 2020 | Cath Williams

Festive food and wine pairings for every celebration

Festive food and wine pairings

We’re officially on the countdown to Christmas and menu planning has begun in earnest. 
Whether your style is traditional or contemporary, indoor or outdoor, there are so many delicious menu options and the wine can make the meal.

We’re sharing a few of our favourite dishes to pair with our wine range, because if there’s ever been a year to indulge it’s 2020!


Pétiyante & Gin Cured Salmon

The Food:  Oh, so elegant, delicate flavours.  The acidity in the Pétiyante pairs perfectly with the creaminess of salmon in a fantastic dish for an entrée or light lunch.  Of course, we recommend your cure it with the fabulous Kangaroo Island Spirits gin.  Try this recipe for Gin Cured Salmon with cucumber and lime.

The wine:  Who doesn’t love sparkling through the whole festive season?  Our first sparkling, Pétiyante is beautifully balanced with fine, elegant acidity and creamy texture balancing the fruit flavours. Classic Champagne-like brioche notes on the nose and on the palate a super fine bead with hints of nashi pear and white peach leading to a long, crisp, elegant finish.

Stock up through the New Year with our Festive Sparkling 6 pack

The White Chardonnay & Chicken
Chardonnay with Chicken Caesar Salad

The Food:   Whether you’re off on a picnic with friends, hanging by the BBQ or having a classic family roast, The White pairs beautifully with chicken however it’s prepared.  For a relaxed meal with friends we fancy this classic Chicken Caesar from Donna Hay.

The Wine:  The White Chardonnay is a contemporary unoaked style, but it has plenty of structure & sophistication to lend itself to special occasion drinking, made to demonstrate the elegant varietal character. Slightly toasty with flavours of peach, nectarine, melon and toasted nuts. The fruit sweetness is offset by steely, refreshing acidity and a long finish. 

Try The White Chardonnay now


The Rose with CharcuteriePair Rose with Charcuterie

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

The Wine:  One of our fastest selling wines, made in the classic Provence style of southern France, The Rose 2020 is light in colour with a focus on elegance, but full of flavour and texture. It’s dry, fresh and dangerously easy to drink. Flavours of strawberries and cream, even some peach notes with a light leesy grip adding complexity to the delicious freshness.

Get some Rose on ice in time for Christmas Eve


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

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

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

Pop some Bark Hut Road in your basket

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

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

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


The Cygnet Shiraz & Glazed HamThe Cygnet Shiraz and Glazed Ham

The Food:  What’s Christmas without a Ham as the centrepiece of the table (and what’s better we can eat it all month long).  After hours of tender-loving-basting, this showstopper should be served with a wine to match.  If you’re looking for new ham glazing ideas to spice it up this year, Australian Gourmet Traveller has collected glazing secrets of from Australia's best Chefs.

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


The Independence Malbec & New Year’s Eve Rib Eye

Rib Eye Steak and Independence Malbec

The Food:  Picture this, it’s New Year’s Eve, we’re finally seeing out 2020 and you’re celebrating with a delicious Rib Eye grilled over coals with an anchovy butter – a flavour bomb.  You might even be sharing it with a few of your best mates.  This New Year’s eve we might be checking out this delicious recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller.

The Wine:  There’s nothing that suits a flame grilled protein like Malbec.  Best known these days from Argentina, it originated in Jacques’ native Bordeaux and he is the only winemaker to have introduced it to Kangaroo Island.  The Independence 2015 is the first vintage in our Flagship range and it’s become one of our favourites.  On the palate, it demonstrates the plush fruit, full-bodied structure and firm tannins that Malbec is known for, balanced by Jacques wine making craftsmanship to create a wine that is power and finesse in equal balance.

Indulge in our ultimate Flagship 3-pack to explore the whole range

Sangiovese & AntipastoAntipasto and Sangiovese

The Food: The festive season can be non-stop catch ups and grazing makes it east, no cooking, just delicious easy food that can be laid out or taken to friends.  An antipasto platter can cover all the bases from a pre-dinner snack to dinner itself.  Salami, hard cheeses, grilled peppers, tomatoes, olives & dips.  Italian flavours are often salty or acidic and these cry out for a wine that is not too heavy but with a little extra tannin for balance (salty food makes a wine seem less tannic).

The Wine:  The Sangiovese has all the hallmarks of a true Tuscan style.   Inviting vanilla oak notes supported by subtle red fruit and hints of leather. A medium weight on the palate but full of flavour and texture with spicy notes of cherries and fine tannins on the finish.  A great wine for summer, we’ve been known to serve it lightly chilled on a warm day.

Add a little italian style to your Christmas wine selection

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

The food:  The day after Christmas is time to cog back and relax.  Backyard BBQ, thongs and sandy feet.  No need for a recipe here, whatever you’re having on the BBQ from steak to burgers to sausages, our Cab Sauv is a great all-rounder.

The wine:  Our brand-new release 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, the first release from our estate for many years (and sadly our last after the Jan 2020 fires) is the ideal wine for BBQ meats.  With high acidity and firm tannins, Cab Sauv is a great match for dishes with savoury flavours and a dose of fat.  Our 2019 vintage is rich and plush but still elegant and delicate, the fruit fills the mouth early and soft tannins draw the finish out smooth and long.

Be the first to try our new release Cabernet Sauvignon

Semillon Sauvignon Blanc & Australian Seafood
Seafood and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

The Food:  If your Christmas tastes lend more towards seafood then our brand-new release Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is going to be a winner at the table.  Pair it with a rich fish like grilled atlantic salmon, shellfish like BBQ scallops or crustaceans like prawns or if you’re lucky lobster with a rich homemade aioli.

The Wine: We're renowned for our Semillon from Kangaroo Island and as Semillon Sauvignon Blanc has been a classic blend in Australia for decades, we wanted to give it a try. Never ones to stick with the mainstream, we decided to barrel ferment ours and age it for 12 months in seasoned 600L French oak demis. The wine has a delightful nose, with hints of citrus and tropical fruit. The mouth is soft and round from the barrel aging and the acidity draws the finish out long and smooth.

Discover the perfect Christmas seafood companion

Boxing Bay Shiraz/Cab Sav & Australia Day Lamb Roast lamb on Australia Day

The Food:  Australia Day wraps up the holiday period amd marks the return to reality for many people.  So, it’s worth celebrating with something truly Aussie and there is nothing more so than a leg of lamb slowly cooking while you enjoy a game of cricket and a few glasses of wine.  Whether you fancy it butterflied or on the bone, marinated, stuffed or plain.  Our new limited release Boxing Bay blend of Shiraz/Cab Sauv is a classic Aussie blend expressed on a whole new way.

The Wine: 2018 Boxing Bay brings a new dimension to our Estate premium range.  Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Aussie blend, but like all the wines from our Estate range this takes its inspiration firmly from Europe.  While power and structure abound in the Cab Sauv, the Shiraz adds softness and elegance.  A European approach in the winemaking brings these two together with elegance and restraint.

Explore our newest Estate range release
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

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 

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


 

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?

 

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

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.

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

Yale Norris
 
23 March 2020 | Yale Norris

Issue 2 of News from the fire ground: The journey towards recovery

Almost 12 weeks since January's bushfires we have made huge strides in recovery & our commitment to Kangaroo Island wine is stronger than ever.

Jacques Lurton's passion & committment to showcasing Kangaroo Island's wine potential is stronger than ever. 

Having spent the last month on Kangaroo Island assisting the vineyard recovery and crafting wines for bottling, Jacques shares this message of thanks and committment to the region.

 

Moving towards recovery in the vineyard

The initial 6 weeks following the fire focussed on clean-up of the Estate and ensuring all areas are safe. It has lifted the spirits of our team to have the ruins of the vineyard manager's house and equipment sheds removed, all unsafe trees removed and the cleanup complete.

In more recent weeks we have shifted our focus to preparing the vineyard for potential regeneration. As a first step, amazing local volunteers spent countless hours manually removing the vineyard wiring and irrigation to prepare for the next phase.

They were followed by the incredible organisation that is Team Rubicon Australia, an international disaster response nonprofit that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans and first responders to provide relief to communities in need such as ours.

Working together in military unit style organisation, the team undertook the back-breaking task of cutting the vines thoughout the vineyard to just a few inches above the ground.  By removing the burnt cordon and trunks, we allow the roots to focus all its energy on producing shoots for regrowth.

We have such gratitude for the many volunteers whose passion for our business continues to drive us towards recovery.

It will be Spring before we have a firm understanding of the areas of the vineyard that have produced shoots and survived the cold of winter, so we are largely in Mother Natures hands until September.  However we see new promise in the vineyard each day.

Getting back into wine production

Jacques has been back on the Kangaroo Island Estate he loves for the past month.  In addition to assisting with the work in the vineyard Jacques has been tending to our wines in barrel and tank. 

We are pleased to advise that our total wine stock loss was restricted to only 3 barrels (now part of a secret new product development).

All other wines were protected via the action of our team prior to the fires.  With blending and bottling of a number of our 2019 vintage releases complete, we are excited to advise a number new wines are in pipeline and we look forward to releasing these over coming months. 

Our Discoverer's Wine Club members will have exclusive access to new releases in the April wine club packs and there's still time to join.

Become a Discoverer's Wine Club member now

 

Yale Norris
 
23 March 2020 | Yale Norris

Update 23 March: Covid-19 - Tasting Room & Online sales

Send Wine!

An update on how we will continue to ensure you have enough great wine on-hand to get you through the coming weeks.

On Kangaroo Island:  Tasting Room pick up & local delivery service

For the safety of our staff, families, community & visitors our Tasting Room has closed as of 23rd March.  However we welcome pickup orders & we are offering a local delivery service to your doorstep in many areas of Kangaroo Island.

To arrange a pickup order: Simply order online & select the PickUp tab in the checkout screen.  We will contact you to arrange a collection time for your order & pop your wine in your boot.  You can also order via phone at our Tasting Room (08) 8553 9008.  

Local Delivery:  For orders of 12 bottles or more we offer a complimentary delivery service to the following locations:  Cygnet River, Emu Bay, Kingscote, American River, Island Beach, Penneshaw & other Dudley Peninsula locations.  Place your order online or via phone at the Tasting Room.

Order Now

 

Australia Wide:  Online orders

Our online orders are flowing freely with delivery Australia wide via Australia Post.  Please note that new conditions mean that Australia Post will only leave orders on your doorstep, no signatures will be collected for proof of delivery.  When ordering, please add a note letting us know a safe place where Australia Post can leave your wine.

Order Now

 

Discoverer's Wine Club:  April Wine Packs

We are currently preparing some extra special packs for our most valued customers, our Discoverer's Wine Club members.  Our April wine packs are expected to be despatched early next week & will be delivered by Australia Post as usual.  There is still time to join the club, sign up online by Friday 27th March. 

Join Now