Spending time in Rutherglen, and you will immerse yourself in 150 years of winemaking history. Famous for its world-class fortified wines, the region boasts over 20 wineries and a plethora of award-winning wines to taste and savour, from muscats and topaques that have made the region famous to the rich reds – Shiraz, Durif, and Cabernet.
VISIT MORRIS OF RUTHERGLEN
A visit to Morris of Rutherglen is a must-do of any visit. Down a long driveway flanked by vineyards, located just off Mia Mia Road, you will find the family-owned and operated winery. Situated within the heart of the winery is the atrium-style Cellar Door, designed by legendary Australian architect Robyn Boyd and constructed in 1972.
Sixth-generation family winemaker, David Morris, is one of Australia's most highly regarded winemakers. David’s unique art of winemaking, drawing on family traditions and modern techniques, keeps Morris of Rutherglen wines on a continuing winning streak.
THE CELLAR DOOR & DISTILLERY
Offering views of the century-old storage casks and famous dirt floors, the Cellar Door offers an up-close experience to the making of our world-renowned wines.
The winery is now home to the MORRIS Whisky Distillery. In 2016, the distillery was built around the original copper still built in the 1930’s and installed at the Morris winery in 1941. This still was originally used to make fortified wines but laid dormant at the heart of the winery for many years.
In 2016, we decided to bring her back to life and started playing with spirit making, using local grain and water and aging the whisky in barrels sourced from the family winery. After a few years in a barrel, we experimented with finishing our whisky in some of the amazing Morris fortified casks that we are fortunate enough to have access to. We soon learned that these barrels would give us remarkable flavours to create a uniquely Australian Whisky experience. Learn more about MORRIS Whisky here.
The full range of Morris wines is available for tasting, including those exclusive to Cellar Door visitors. MORRIS Whisky is also available for tasting. Enquire now about a tasting at our Rutherglen cellar door.
ABOUT THE REGION
The Rutherglen region is located in the far north-east corner of Victoria near the Murray River border with New South Wales in Australia. Winemaking has been a family tradition in Rutherglen since the 1850s. Fourth, fifth and sixth-generation winemakers continue to produce outstanding and award-winning wines.
Rutherglen has cemented its reputation as Australia’s fortified wine capital, with many of its iconic wines awarded worldwide. North-Eastern Victoria is widely regarded as the unchallenged capital of fortified wines. Vines came to Rutherglen along with the Gold Rush of the 1850s, with the region steeped in the colonial history of the late Victorian era. The region’s lush rolling hills form the banks of what is known as Victoria’s Riverland, fed by Australia’s mighty Snowy Mountains and Murray River.
As well as holding the crown for fortifieds, the region is renowned for Durif; a rare red grape variety brought to Rutherglen from the south of France in 1908. In 1954, Mick Morris, 4th Generation winemaker at Morris, made the first Durif table wine he called Claret. Since then, Durif and Morris have become synonymous, and this rich, full-bodied wine has earned a cult following.
Did you know, Rutherglen was named after a town just outside Glasgow in Scotland, the home of whisky.
Protected by the Great Dividing Range, Rutherglen is blessed with cool nights, warm days, and gloriously long, dry autumns that provide the ideal conditions for growing varietals uniquely Australian in spirit and give the wines of Rutherglen a unique regional character.
The mild and sunny continental climate combined with the rich, loamy soils are the perfect ingredients for creating the fortified styles of wine for which the region is renowned. These wines are unique to the Rutherglen region and are so rich and opulent that they are often referred to as ‘liquid gold’.
The region’s climate also lends itself to whisky production due to the hot summer days and cool nights. These conditions are perfect for aging and help create the unique and distinctive MORRIS Whisky taste.