The Riverland is Australia’s largest wine producing region with an emerging craft spirit and beer scene. Discover the variety of unique beverages and creative cuisine the Riverland has to offer.
By Lauren Burdett (on behalf of The Frames)
The Riverland, located in South Australia, has long been known for producing bulk wine, however, new and alternative varietals are emerging from the region that complement the Mediterranean climate and the lifestyle of living along the Murray River. Brewers and distillers are also embracing the diversity of the region, utilising local flavours to create bespoke spirits, refreshing wine coolers and sangria. Here are a few of the best wineries, breweries and distilleries in the region.
The best place to escape the summer heat is to a cellar door situated directly on the banks of the Murray River. Caudo Vineyard is a must visit for riverside relaxation. Taste a selection of their lifestyle inspired wines while learning about the history of the single vineyard varieties. As the creators of the popular Caudo Sangria, they have sought out innovative ways to incorporate fruit from their orange orchard with their wines to bottle the Riverland summer.
Known for their commitment to the environment, Banrock Station Wetland & Wine Centre is an icon of the Riverland. Dine on a menu brimming with local produce and explore the internationally significant Ramsar-listed wetlands nearby, where you can spot several species of birds, kangaroos and emus enjoying the pure environment. With a cellar door overlooking the vineyards and wetlands, it’s the ideal place to relax and taste a diverse range of wines.
Whistling Kite Wines is another cellar door located not far from the banks of the Murray River, producing a range of award-winning biodynamic wines. This small, family owned and operated vineyard has demonstrated that, through careful variety selection and sustainable farming practices, the Riverland produces wines of exceptional quality. Hand-picked and basket pressed, all their wines have a comforting sense about them, with the care of production evident upon tasting. The cellar door is only open on select days, so check out their website for more information.
Tucked amongst rows of vines you'll find 919 Wines, an organic, award-winning winery that produces unique table wines with depth of flavour. It is here where you can meet the winemaker, Eric Semmler (winemaker of the year 2013), and chat about how he expresses varietal and regional characteristics across the range.
Breathing new life into the historic Renmano Winery, 23rd Street Distillery is a must-visit. Take a tour to learn about the distilling process and the rich history of the site. After a tour, taste the craft spirits that are contributing to South Australia’s craft spirits movement. Local ingredients are the inspiration behind the flavours of the gin and local grapes are used to create brandy which is coming back in vogue. Take the time to relax in the outstanding venue and talk to the staff to learn more about the 23rd Street story.
Angove Family Winemakers are one of Australia’s largest family owned wine and brandy companies. Not only are they the distillers of the famous St. Agnes Brandy, they also produce a wide range of premium and fortified wines. Experience the result of over a century of winemaking tradition with a tour of the Riverland’s oldest winery. And of course, taste the famous XO St Agnes Brandy.
North of the Renmark township you will find a brewery inside a century old shearing shed at Wilkadene Station. The Woolshed’s first brew day was in August 2009 and since then it has become one of the Riverland's top tourist destinations. Its rich history and stunning riverfront location creates a truly iconic Riverland venue. Guided tours are available by appointment or simply wander around while tasting the locally made beverages. There are onsite barbecue facilities, as well as picnic packs full of yummy Riverland produce available for purchase.