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Phone - (02) 6033 6000
Mon - Sat: 10am to 5pm
Sun: 10am - 4pm

Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day
Private tasting & bus group by appointment.

Campbells Wines
4603 Murray Valley Highway, PO Box 44, Rutherglen, Victoria 3685, AUSTRALIA

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Campbells Winery

(02) 6033 6000

4603 Murray Valley Highway Rutherglen Victoria 3685

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Cellar Door

Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm

Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day. Private tasting & bus group by appointment.

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DURIF – Rutherglen’s pride and joy

What makes our Rutherglen Durif so unique?

It has very small berries for such a full flavoured wine which are slightly deceiving to the naked eye! Within these small berries we find tonnes of flavour – characters like cigar box, black cherry and dark chocolate. The skins give the wine the incredible colour that the Durif wine is known for. Inky red flowing to a deep purple – enough to stain any countertop or outfit!

Originating in the Rhone Valley of France, Durif was bred in the nursery of French botanist Dr Francois Durif and was first released around 1880. Durif is a cross between Shiraz and Peloursin. Durif was first introduced to Rutherglen in 1908 by French viticultural pioneer, Francois de Castella. This was for the replanting across the region after the devastation caused by phylloxera, a small pest insect that lives and feeds on the roots of grapevines.

In Rutherglen, this legendary red thrives because of the dry climate – producing long lived wines with fine tannins. However, Durif‘s fondness for late ripening can be marginal if the weather turns early.

Today, Rutherglen has one of the largest genuine plantings of Durif in the world.

Jules Campbell is committed to bringing out the best in this unusual grape variety.

“At Campbells, we want to ensure Durif remains as one of Australia’s finest red wines styles,” said Jules.

“Dad (Colin Campbell) was determined for Durif to be regarded as the most historic of Rutherglen reds, and to achieve this he set about, in his own words, ‘thorough breeding’ it.”

In the early 1990s, Colin started taming The Rutherglen Durif to produce a wine that was more of an elegant style in comparison to the big bold reds that were being produced in Rutherglen in years gone by.

“Barrel selection and extending the maturation period were key steps Dad took to curb the tannins and soften the presentation of the wine, resulting in The Barkly Durif,” said Jules.

“We only produce The Barkly Durif in exceptional years. Getting the balance right is crucial; we try to harness the power of Durif to allow the fruit to shine. Whereas with the Rutherglen Durif, being a punchier wine, it has more assertive tannins.”

In addition to the two styles of Durif, Campbells also has a blend, the very approachable and at times underrated Shiraz Durif.

“Our Shiraz Durif generally calls for a more juvenile fruit, and it comes from a combination of our parcels. We ferment all our plantings of Durif separately, allowing us to manage each batch to its strengths and in turn creating blending options to suit our styles,” said Jules.

“At Campbells, we currently have five mature plantings of Durif and a young block, which we plan to take our first fruit from in 2025″.

“We also have two clones, commonly planted in Australia. We find one of our clones to be more tannic and forward on the palate, requiring different management to the more elegant and fruit driven style we can achieve with our older plantings,” said Jules. “Oak is always secondary in Durif. We use it sparingly at Campbells and always tend towards French oak, rarely new oak, as the flavour impact is less. Our oak choice is more about providing structure and drive on the palate.”

Jules recommends full flavoured foods that stand up to this bold wine.

“Kangaroo is a great option, as well as truffle infused dishes.”

Our bold Durif Lovers for winter feasting is made up of 2 bottles each of Shiraz Durif, Rutherglen Durif and The Barkly Durif – $210