Cart 0 items: $0.00

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
 
14 February 2022 | Cath Williams

A year in our Kangaroo Island vineyard - Summer

A year in our Kangaroo Island Vineyard

Our annual vintage may last just a few weeks, but it takes an entire year of hard work to ensure we are harvesting the best possible grapes.
Come with us for a guide to a year in our vineyard – one season at a time.

 

The Summer wine growing season on Kangaroo Island

Spring may be when the vineyard bursts from dormancy back to life, but Summer is when things begin to get exciting, giving us a glimpse towards the potential of the next vintage.

Summer is the season that can make or break vintage.  The climate on Kangaroo Island in early summer can still be variable.  Optimum conditions for a good vintage are warm, dry days with mild winds.  Excessive rain, wine or humidity can all spell disaster.

Fruit set at the Islander Estate VineyardFruit Set (Dec)

As flowering begins to end, the fertilised flowers start to develop a seed and grape berry to protect the seed.  This stage is critical as it determines the potential crop yield. 

Now is the time we begin to get a good idea of bunch development and quality on the vine with an insight into how vintage may shape up if the weather remains at optimum conditions. 

At this stage of the growing season when we pray for warm sunny days, moderate frost-free nights, gentle breezes and little or no rain.
 

Veraison at The Islander Estate VineyardsVéraison (January)

During January, the tiny bunches of grapes go through a rapid period of growth.  Once they reach around half their final size, they enter the stage of véraison, usually around 40 – 50 days after fruit set.  However, the grapes remain hard, have very little sugar &  are high in organic acids.

Throughout véraison the berries begin to ripen, turning from green and begin to turn purple, red and golden.  This tipping point is when the vine begins to turn its energy away from vine growth concentrating on developing sweetness in the grapes.If necessary, leaf thinning is undertaken to allow the grapes more access to light & increase airflow to minimise disease risk.


Berry Ripening (February)

Netting at The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo Island

After véraison the grapes swell & fill with water.  During this ripening period, sugar levels rise & acid levels drop.  Colour pigments, flavour compounds & tannins develop.  Watering stops to induce mild water stress, inhibit shoot growth & encourage concentrated character in the ripening grapes.

A close eye is kept on the vineyard & when flocks of marauding birds arrive, nets are installed across the vineyard to protect the crop.  Once nets are on, vintage is only a matter of weeks away.

Many regions begin vintage in February, however in the cooler conditions on Kangaroo Island, wine vintage traditionally begins a few weeks after other South Australian regions, often in March.

 

We look forward to continuing to share the journey towards Vintage 2022
Follow our social media channels: 
Facebook

Instagram 
Subscribe to receive our news & wine offers

Time Posted: 14/02/2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to A year in our Kangaroo Island vineyard - Summer Permalink
Yale Norris
 
9 January 2022 | Yale Norris

Life Springs: 2 years on from the Kangaroo Island bushfires

Two years ago this week, the unimaginable happened to a community already reeling from the worst bushfire disaster Kangaroo Island had ever known.

A lot has happened in the world since January 2020. But for many on Kangaroo Island, recovery is still very real & will be for a long time to come.

Today, we take a look back at how far we've come with some images from immediately after the fire & today. It's only with the benefit of hindsight that we can see what an incredible journey it has been. What Mother Nature takes away, she gives back.

Huge credit to Yale Norris who has lived this disaster every single day, who believed we could recover & put in the immense work to help it happen. And to Jacques Lurton who is so committed to his business here.

Our vineyard is recovering in stages, full production is still a year or two away but come March we will be picking fruit - a major milestone.

Our gratitude to our many customers who have kept us in business & recovering with their support. You each have a hand in our recovery.

If you have a moment this week, jump online & purchase from a small business impacted by fire in your area. The world may have moved on, but they are still dealing with the impact & your support means the world.

Bring on Vintage 2022!

Images of The Islander Estate Vineyards after bushfire and two years later
Aerial view of our Estate immediately after January 2020 fires & today.

Images of Islander Estate Cabernet Franc regrowthCabernet Franc vines January 2020 & January 2022

Images of bushvine Grenache regrowth at The Islander Estate VineyardsBush vine Grenache January 2020 & January 2022 at The Islander Estate vineyards

Regrowth of native bushland on the estate of The Islander Estate vineyards

Regrowth of the remnant native bush which overs almost 30 percent of our estate

Explore Our Wines Now

Time Posted: 09/01/2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Life Springs:  2 years on from the Kangaroo Island bushfires Permalink
Cath Williams
 
22 December 2021 | Cath Williams

What's new on Kangaroo Island this Summer?

Heading back to Kangaroo Island for the Summer holidays? There are some fantastic new experiences to be had.  We're sharing our favourite new things to see, do, taste & sip.  

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

 
Guess Who’s Back for the Summer Season?

The Enchanted Fig Tree: Gastronomo is relaunching The Enchanted Fig Tree experience at stunning Snellings Beach on Kangaroo Island’s North Coast. One of South Australia’s most memorable dining experiences from the moment you arrive. You will be invited to venture through the leafy entrance of a majestic old fig tree before it opens up into a collection of natural ‘living’ rooms. Each space is decked out with stunning table settings ready for you to experience a magical feast of the senses. The season runs from 16 December 2021 until 4 April 2022. Bookings:  www.gastronomodining.com.au

Sunset Food & Wine: Kangaroo Island foodies are doing a happy dance that Jack Ingram & Vanessa Chu are reopening the east end’s icon restaurant for the summer season. A modern bistro focusing on local produce, Sunset Food & Wine combines stunning views overlooking American Beach, a killer wine list & elegant dishes that are a work of art. The season runs from 14 December until early April.  Bookings: www.sunsetfoodandwine.com


New in Town

Home Grown Pantry on the Cygnet River Gourmet Trail: Our neighbourhood in Cygnet River just got a little more delicious with Home Grown Pantry at Frogs & Roses garden centre. Whether you want a lunch stop between wine & spirit tastings, a picnic lunch to take to nearby Duck Lagoon or to stock up on holiday provisions, it’s all delicious & homemade. Opening days & hours do vary, so check out their Facebook page before your stop in: www.homegrownpantryki.com.au.

The Shy Wren, Penneshaw: The team at The Shy Wren are kicking off 2022 in style with their NYE opening. This wine bar /kitchen /providore will be a great addition to the east end. Keep an eye on their socials for more info on opening days & offerings: www.facebook.com/theshywren.

The Odd Plate, Kingscote: Quickly becoming the favourite dinner haunt in Kingscote. Located in a charming heritage guesthouse built-in 1927, overlooking the beautiful Napean Bay in Kingscote, offering a shared plate concept with a menu receiving rave reviews.  Bookings:  www.theoddplate.com.au


New Ways to Experience Kangaroo Island

Cellar Door Touring: Let a local do the driving; there’s a range of local guides now offering unique cellar door trail experiences. One of our favourites is hosted by our team’s own Luca Lovison at Kangaroo Island Hire A Guide: https://kiguide.rezdy.com/415123/gourmet-food-wine-tour

Gin, Wine & Wildlife E-Bike Tour: Exceptional Kangaroo Island are constantly innovating new ways to connect visitors with Kangaroo Island. Their Gin, Wine & Wildlife E-Bike tour is a one-of-a-kind & a new discovery for even regular visitors: www. kangarooislandebikes.com

Walk this way: Also from the team Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Walk Kangaroo Island consists of 11 diverse independent walks, exploring a range of island landscapes and habitats, each with its own unique story. If slowing down & reconnecting with nature is your aim, this is the experience for you: www.walkkangarooisland.com
 

Coming Soon:

Kangaroo Island Wool at Cygnet River: We are so excited to be welcoming Kangaroo Island Wool to the Cygnet River trail in early 2022. They have been championing local wool for many years. Their new venture will bring visitors to KI in touch with our agricultural heritage with wool garments handcrafted on-island from the sheep to the lucky wearer. Keep an eye out for announcements on their opening date: www.facebook.com/KangarooIslandWool

 

Time Posted: 22/12/2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to What's new on Kangaroo Island this Summer? Permalink
Cath Williams
 
23 November 2021 | 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 our festive food & wine pairings - if there’s ever been a year to indulge it’s 2021!


Pétiyante & Gin Cured Salmon

Gin Cured Salmon with Islander Estate Vineyards Sparkling

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

Stock up on Sparkling for Party Season

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, no matter how it's prepared.  This Christmas Roast Chicken with Macadamia Herb Seasoning from Better Homes & Gardens is on our Christmas day menu.

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 mean 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 2021 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.

Treat yourself to The Investigator for Christmas Lunch

The Cygnet Shiraz & Glazed HamThe Cygnet Shiraz and Glazed Ham

The Food:  What’s Christmas without a Ham as the centrepiece 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 it's all about the glaze which most often has a sweet element to counteract the saltiness of the ham.  Glazes tend to work well with medium-weight wines with plenty of acidity and bold fruit.  The Cygnet Shiraz from our Flagship range is often referred to as Christmas in a glass – steeped red and blackberries and baking spices complement the spice of the glaze.  This highly rated shiraz shows just how elegant the variety can be.

Indulge in The Cygnet Shiraz this year

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 2021 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 winemaking craftsmanship to create a wine that is power and finesse in equal balance.

Bring in 2022 with The Independence

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 varietal range 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. 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 Sauv & Australia Day Lamb Roast lamb on Australia Day

The Food:  Australia Day wraps up the holiday period and 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 in 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 winemaking brings these two together with elegance and restraint.

Explore our newest Estate range release
Time Posted: 23/11/2021 at 6:00 PM Permalink to Festive food and wine pairings for every celebration Permalink
Cath Williams
 
25 October 2021 | Cath Williams

A Year in Our Kangaroo Island Vineyard

A Year in our Kangaroo Island Vineyard - Spring
 

Our annual vintage may last just a few weeks, but it takes an entire year of hard work to ensure we are harvesting the best possible grapes.
Come with us for a guide to a year in our vineyard – one season at a time.

The growing season on Kangaroo Island

Thanks to the influence of the Southern Ocean & its prevailing south-easterly breezes, Kangaroo Island has a maritime environment significantly different to the rest of Australia, even to nearby McLaren Vale. These ocean breezes mean an even climate without extremes. They cool the vineyards in summer and keep it a few degrees warmer and wetter during winter, offering some protection from disease and frosts caused by extreme cold.

The annual cycle of a grapevine

The reliable annual growth rhythm of a vineyard is a reminder that nature will continue, no matter what variation or disasters might occur in a single year.

Kangaroo Island’s native vegetation is perennially green. Its grasslands & crops thrive in winter, becoming a dry Mediterranean landscape in summer.   Conversely, our vineyard works on an opposite calendar, becoming dormant in winter & bursting to life in Spring as much of the Island begins to dry and turn brown and is at its most productive at the end of a long dry summer.

Spring in our Vineyard

Budburst (late Aug/early Sept) 

Budburst is the first sign of life in the dormant vines. The roots and wood of the vine release a surge of energy, the sap rises, and the buds begin to break through.

The woolly buds are extremely delicate during this time, so viticulturalist's prey for Spring frost to stay away. Luckily, our vineyard favours elevation & ocean breezes which largely protect cold air from settling & becoming frost.

Three factors impact the arrival of budburst. Firstly, the air temperature dictates the timing and pace of bud formation.  Secondly, the variety, with each variety classified as early, mid, or late budding. Early budding varieties like Chardonnay tend to be more frost tolerant and often early ripening. Finally, the temperature of the soil plays a role in bud development.

Early Shoot & Leaf Growth (October/Nov)

Early shoots on Grenache grapevines at The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo IslandOnce budburst is underway, growth starts to speed up, with shoots growing and leaves forming almost before our eyes. 

Shoots are initially fuelled by the carbohydrate reserves fed up from the roots, but as leaves start to unfurl and mature, photosynthesis kicks into gear.

At this early stage of the growing season, it's important to ensure the vines have a good supply of water and nutrients, employing organic principles. 

Our vineyard team gets busy thinning shoots, to ensure we have optimal selections and training the shoots where needed.  Shoot thinning ensures the vine is concentrating its energy into the shoots selected for fruit production in line with our high-density, low-yield growing principles.

 

Flowering & Fruit Set (Nov/Dec)

Flowering at The Islander Estate VineyardsNext, flower buds will begin to form on the new growth in tiny clusters also known as inflorescence. Also known as ‘perfect flowers’, the grapevine flowers self-pollinate, bees are not required!

This is the time of the growing season when we pray for warm sunny days, moderate frost-free nights, gentle breezes and little or no rain.

These are the conditions for maximum self-pollination and pave the way for fruit set, the formation of tiny bunches of fledgeling grapes.

Once fruit-set is complete, grapes begin to form and this provides us with the first indication of the vintage to come.

Fruit-set provides us with the vintage potential but there are challenges to come as Summer approaches!

 

We look forward to continuing to share the journey to vintage as our growing season progresses.

Follow our social media channels to share our story as we head towards Vintage 2022.
Facebook  Instagram or subscribe to receive our news & wine offers

 

Time Posted: 25/10/2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to A Year in Our Kangaroo Island Vineyard Permalink
Yale Norris
 
29 September 2021 | Yale Norris

Vintage 2021: Beyond the Bushfires

As we launch our first Vintage 2021 wines, we're taking the opportunity to update our many loyal customers on how we've adapted our winemaking processes to ensure we can continue to supply you with the wines you love. 

We also share an update on the outlook for The Islander Estate Vineyards as we continue on our road to recovery from the 2020 bushfires.

Order 2021 Wine Releases Now

Time Posted: 29/09/2021 at 8:36 AM Permalink to Vintage 2021:  Beyond the Bushfires Permalink
Cath Williams
 
24 September 2021 | Cath Williams

Kangaroo Island Cellar Door trails with something for everyone

Kangaroo Island Cellar Door Trails

Kangaroo Island is a destination for families, couples & friends.  For wine lovers, the Kangaroo Island wine region is a new discovery that is worth setting aside some time to explore.  But it’s not always easy to keep the whole crew happy on a cellar door tour.  We’ve put together two one-day itineraries that blend cellar door experiences with loads of other attractions to keep your entire crew happy.

Itinerary 1: Cruise the Cygnet River and surrounds

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

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

Emu Bay Beach Kangaroo Island
Stroll along Emu Bay beach 

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

Take the road less travelled 

From Emu Bay, head off the bitumen along Boxer Road for a shortcut to your first wine tasting at The Islander Estate Vineyards, stop to check out the White Lagoon salt lake.  This road will take you past traditional farming properties and at the right time of year, you’ll pass stunning fields of bright yellow canola.
 

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

Start your tasting day with an introduction to our world of wine at The Islander Estate Vineyards. Our team will welcome you for a hosted tasting of our French-influenced cool climate wines crafted by our owner, Jacques Lurton.

After a career spanning several decades making wine in his native Bordeaux and around the world, Jacques fell in love with Kangaroo Island in 2000, purchased a property and established a vineyard with a vision to showcase the true potential of our Island region on the world stage of wine.  On Kangaroo Island Jacques combines his expertise and traditional French winemaking techniques with the freedom of winemaking offered in Australia.  The result is a range of wines that blend old and new world wine styles. 

Trear yourself to one of our premium food and wine experiences.  Or after your tasting, choose your favourite wine and let our team help you create a picnic hamper of French charcuterie, regional cheeses and local produce to match. 
 

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

Just a few minute's drive from The Islander Estate’s cellar door, you'll discover Duck Lagoon, a stunning natural lagoon.  It's home to a huge array of birds, echidnas and resident koalas.  With picnic facilities, BBQs, toilets and a bird hide it's a fantastic spot to relax with a picnic while the kids explore and count how many different animal species they can spot.
 

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

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

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

Frogs and Roses Cafe Cygnet River Kangaroo Island
Homegrown Pantry at  Frogs N Roses Garden Centre

If you’re visiting on the weekend, refuel at Frogs and Roses, this gorgeous green oasis is primarily a nursery but they also make delicious homemade salads, toasties sandwiches and the best cheesecake on Kangaroo Island. Opening days & hours do vary, so check out their Facebook page before your stop in:  www.facebook.com/frogsandrosesgardencenter

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

Our neighbours and great friends, Joch and Louise Bosworth have a fantastic reputation for their organic wines in McLaren Vale under the labels Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed Wine Co.  We were excited when they also fell in love with Kangaroo Island and purchased an established vineyard in Cygnet River in 2016.  Joch and Louise bring a new dimension to the Kangaroo Island wine industry and their intimate tasting room set overlooking the vineyard is a must-visit for any lover.  www.springsroad.com.au

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

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

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

Our wine pick:  We love Bay of Shoals' alternative varietal white wines like their Savagnin &  Arinto.

Wind up the day

Finish your day with dinner in Kingscote. We recommend The Ozone Hotel for great quality pub fare (www.ozonehotelki.com.au/restaurant-bar), Café Bella for Italian cuisine (www.bellacafekangarooisland.com.au). Or for something special, The Odd Plate has been causing ripples of excitement with the locals wanting something a little more upmarket.  Located in a charming 1927 heritage guesthouse, overlooking the beautiful Nepean Bay in Kingscote, offering a shared plate concept with a menu receiving rave reviews. Bookings:  www.theoddplate.com.au

Stay

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

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

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

 


Itinerary 2:  Explore the East End
 

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

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

 

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

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

Look for surprises on the Wallaby Track 

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


Land at Dudley Wines for lunch with a view

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

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

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

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

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


Step back in time at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse  

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

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

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

Head back along Cape Willoughby Road, turn left onto Willson River Road until you come to East-West Road.  From here, within 10 minutes you’ll roll down the hill towards the coastline, landing at Brown Beach campground. A stunning place to pop open a bottle of wine you’ve collected during the day for a sundowner while the kids play or swim in the safe waters.  Explore more:  

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

Other dinner options nearby:

Sunset Food & Wine: Kangaroo Island foodies are doing a happy dance that Jack Ingram & Vanessa Chu are reopening the east end’s icon restaurant for the summer season. A modern bistro focusing on local produce, Sunset Food & Wine combines stunning views overlooking American Beach, a killer wine list & elegant dishes that are a work of art. Opening season - October to April (closed May to September).  Bookings: www.sunsetfoodandwine.com

The Shy Wren, Penneshaw: The team at The Shy Wren offer a wine bar/kitchen/providore concert, a great place to enjoy a glass of local wine, a cocktail and some snack style plates : www.facebook.com/theshywren

Stay

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

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

Don’t want to drive?

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

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

Spring Events not to be missed on Kangaroo Island

Spring is shaping up to be events season on Kangaroo Island

Check out this handy guide to all the events coming up for Spring 2021.  Make sure to get your tickets & be a part of our authentically Kangaroo Island community events.

Spring Events on Kangaroo Island

Spring events on Kangaroo Island

Download the Spring Events Calendar Here

or click straight through to these fantastic events:

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Carnival:  3 October

Humans of Kangaroo Island Festival:  8-10 October

Tunes in the Dunes:  23 October

New Shoots Music Festival: 20 November

Gastonomo Dining:  October/November

See you there!

 

Time Posted: 17/09/2021 at 2:53 PM Permalink to Spring Events not to be missed on Kangaroo Island Permalink
Cath Williams
 
14 August 2021 | Cath Williams

To stay healthy in old age, pour a glass of red & cut a piece of brie

The Islander Estate Cheese Platter and wine for mental health

A recent study suggests ‘responsible’ consumption of wine and cheese could help to protect brain function as you age.

The study’s authors, led by a team at Iowa State University in the UK, examined data from more than 1,500 UK adults to explore links between diet and age-related cognitive decline.

"I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggest that responsibly eating cheese and drinking red wine daily are not just good for helping us cope with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to slow down," says lead researcher Auriel Willette, an assistant professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition. 

The study, the first large-scale analysis of its kind that connects specific foods to later-in-life cognitive acuity – has found that particular foods and drinks, such as wine and cheese, are protective against age-related cognitive problems.

The four of the most significant findings from the study:

1) Cheese, by far, was shown to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems, even late into life;

2) The daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was related to improvements in cognitive function;

3) Weekly consumption of lamb, but not other red meats, was shown to improve long-term cognitive prowess; and

4) Excessive consumption of salt is bad, but only individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease may need to watch their intake to avoid cognitive problems over time.

In the study, 1787 people aged 46 to 77 completed a Fluid Intelligence Test (FIT) between 2006 and 2010, to get a baseline marker of their ability to “think on the fly”. They then completed two follow-up assessments in 2012-13 and 2015-16. The participants also answered questions about their food and alcohol consumption throughout the testing periods.

Find out more about the study here

Make a start on your health,
order red wine here

Time Posted: 14/08/2021 at 8:45 AM Permalink to To stay healthy in old age, pour a glass of red & cut a piece of brie Permalink
Cath Williams
 
1 May 2021 | Cath Williams

The Islander Estate Vineyards Awarded Star Cellar Door, Best Large Cellar Door & Best Tasting Experience

Being recognising in one category of Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine's annual Australia's Best Cellar Door Awards is compliment enough, but we're positively blushing at the recognition in the 20201 awards.  

Kangaroo Island has a great range of Cellar Doors, each offering a different experience, a different approach & a range of cool-climate wines to explore. Everything that helps promote our island wine region is a positive and of course we don't mind when we share in the recognition.

Jump over to GT Wine Magazine to read their fantastic write up on our region & our other great winemakers to visit. Thanks so much for showcasing Kangaroo Island wine. Read Here

Time Posted: 01/05/2021 at 5:46 PM Permalink to The Islander Estate Vineyards Awarded Star Cellar Door, Best Large Cellar Door & Best Tasting Experience Permalink