Australia’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island, is an island of immense natural beauty with a great array of wildlife including the native kangaroo, wallabies, penguins, mighty wedge-tailed eagles, platypus and koalas.
The 300 hectare Islander Estate, which was established by Bordeaux winemaker Jacques Lurton in 2000, sits near Parndana in the Heartland district and was selected by the Frenchman when visiting in 1997 due to its desirable combination of heritage agricultural and vineyard potential and north facing slopes. Three years later his dream was realised with the planting of an 11 hectare vineyard with varieties Jacques had enjoyed working with around the world — Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sangiovese, Shiraz, Grenache, Viognier and Semillon.
Rated as a 5-star “outstanding” winery by Australia’s pre-eminent wine critic James Halliday, the estate boasts state of the art winemaking equipment, most of which was shipped from France including a modern 70 tonne winery with a winning combination of large wooden vats and smaller French barriques for ageing. Whilst he considers the soils to be quite similar to those of Fitou in Languedoc-Roussillon, Southern France, Jacques found an immense amount of variation in terroir with respect to soils, rainfall, aspect and winemaking style, all of which influenced the resulting wine.