A quote from 1870 when Campbells of Rutherglen was founded starts “Dig, gentlemen, dig” but it was not gold, but wine in which the Campbell family saw their fortunes being made. 150 years later and you can appreciate the foresight.
A visit to Campbells cellar door is almost a must when visiting Rutherglen. Light lunch platters are available (you “build your own” from a selection of local produce, add a glass/bottle of your choice and sit outside – there are a few small inside tables for wet weather days) and almost the full range is on taste. The premium fortified tasting (known as a flight) attracts a small additional fee but is very much worth it when you consider that some of the wines being tasted in the flight retail for $100 plus per bottle.
Insider tip: There is a HUGE jump in complexity and quality from the Classic ($40) to the Grand ($70), arguably bigger than the jump from Rutherglen ($22) to Classic or from Grand to Rare ($140). If you are a fan of Rutherglen fortified wines, the Grand represents very good value in our opinion. If you do not like aged fortified wines, the Rutherglen level remains an excellent choice.
If you like big, juicy red wines: Try the Shiraz/Durif blend (mostly shiraz, but enough Durif to know it is there…) At $20 per bottle it is a very nice (if a bit gentle) introduction to Durif as a variety.
Signature Wine: Campbells is probably best known for the Bobby Burns Shiraz which can be found in most retail wine shops. It is a terrific example of warm climate shiraz. We scored it an average of 94 points for the current release.