While driving to Canberra from Melbourne, we happen to stop at Rutherglen and strike gold again at Campbell’s Wines. It is a winery with 145 years of history, five generations of knowledge and their dedication to innovation.
Rutherglen dates back to the Gold Rush when during the mid 19th century Australia, people from all over rushed to the north east of Victoria in search of Gold.
Some struck it rich, some didn’t. Some of those who didn’t started to look at their options in tilling the land and making their living in agriculture. They found that the soil was good for crops, livestock and vines.
According to a legend, John Campbell, a Scottish immigrant was told by the first person who grew grapes in the region, to dig deeper but not more than six inches as there is more gold in the first six inches than it is below it.
John started growing grapes and called his selection “Bobbie Burns” after the nearby goldmine he had worked for. In 1870 he established Campbell Rutherglen Wines. The later generations of the Campbells added parts to the original structure, the Cellar, which still stands today.
Immediately after the winery was built, disaster struck and the entire plants were destroyed. David Campbell, son of John was first to start the replanting by grafting European wine grapes which were resistant to the disease which wiped out the first crops.
Like the say rest is history. Today David’s grandchildren produce one of the finest wines of Rutherglen.