Durif of Rutherglen

Durif is a rare red variety that hails from the South of France, but today most plantings are in Australia and California.

It has thrived in Rutherglen’s vineyards for over a century, where our winemakers hand-craft Durif wines of distinction.

Durif is known for its ability to express terroir more than most. It can be a challenging vine to grow and wine to make, but when handled with care and skill it can produce richly flavoured, vibrant, and age-worthy red wines.

Characteristics of Durif of Rutherglen

Colour

Deep, inky purple-red

Typical Aromas

Cherry, dark fruits, crushed violets

Typical Flavours

Red and black cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, leather, spice

Body

Full-bodied

Sweetness

Dry

Oak

Medium

Tannin

High

Acidity

Medium

Alcohol

13-16%

Cellaring

Up to 10 years

Harvest

Mid-February to the end of March

Best Enjoyed

Durif is best served at room temperature or slightly cooler – around 16 degrees Celsius. Pairs well with richer foods to create balance, such as grilled or roasted beef, lamb and game and aged cheeses.

Viticulture & Winemaking

Durif is a late-ripening variety and needs longer than many others to achieve full flavour ripeness.

Delicate and sometimes temperamental, it’s ideally suited to Rutherglen’s climate. Durif forms very tight bunches of thin-skinned grapes, and rain during harvest can cause the grapes to swell and split. The region’s long, mild and generally dry autumn gives Durif extra time on the vine to develop its dark red and black fruit characters.

Durif is known for its firm tannins, and in the winery, winemakers need to get the balance right between fruit flavour and tannin. Rutherglen’s winemakers produce various styles using different approaches.

Common winemaking techniques include cool fermentation to help preserve fruit characters; extended skin contact, which provides a smoother texture, more subtle tannins, less astringency and more savoury characters; and maturation in oak barrels (either French or American or a combination of both) for up to 18 months, which impart toasty notes.