Rutherglen is a fantastic wine region to visit with kids. I think most (well, a lot) wineries are getting on board these days and making themselves family friendly. They really have no choice! Some families might think that kids won’t enjoy visiting wineries or that wineries are not set up for families. But, this is just not true.
Our kids might roll their eyes at the prospect of another winery visit but there are many family friendly Rutherglen Wineries, which are well set up for visiting families. You’ll find treasure hunts, delicious food, cordial tasting, turtle feeding and more for the kids!
Rutherglen is a small wine making region in North Eastern Victoria. The Rutherglen wineries are world famous for deliciously sweet ‘stickies’ including Tokay, Muscat and Port – Mmmm delicious!!! ‘Stickies’ are typically thick and sweet.
As well as these ‘sticky wines’, a number of other varieties of grapes grow really well in the sunny and dry climate. As you spend time visiting the many Rutherglen wineries, you will be sampling Chardonnay, Cab Sauv, Shiraz and some lesser known varieties including Durif, Tempranillo and Marsanne at the various Rutherglen cellar doors. You’ll have a wonderful wine experience.
Rutherglen is much smaller than the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula, with approximately 20 fabulous wineries. We didn’t come across any bus tour groups on our visit and so many of the wineries are well set up for families. Here are some of the best Rutherglen Wineries for kids which we have visited a couple of times (because we can’t help ourselves and keep heading back there!).
Ross is a sweet (anything!) fan so it’s his favourite wine region; but he didn’t get to sample much; as he was definitely king of the kids (and a designated driver) – it’s a definite bonus if you have someone in your group who is happy to be king of the kids!
What you can find in this post
- 1 Rutherglen Wineries
- 2 Campbells Wines
- 3 Pfeiffer Wines
- 4 Lake Moodemere Estate
- 5 Rutherglen Estates
- 6 Cofield Wines
- 7 James and Co
- 8 All Saints
- 9 Chambers Rosewood Winery
- 10 Olive Hills
- 11 Buller Wines
- 12 St Leonards Winery
- 13 Rutherglen Produce
- 14 Other wineries around Rutherglen
- 15 Other things to do in Rutherglen with kids
- 16 Rutherglen Accommodation
One of the great things about this region is the proximity of all the wineries to town.
The wineries around Rutherglen are all an easy drive from town. We were even able to walk to two cellar door’s from our accommodation – Tuileries of Rutherglen (Rutherglen Estate) and a relatively new opening, James and Co.
We have visited Campbells Wines a number of times now. It is a terrific winery and kids are most welcome. There are lots of activities on offer to keep the kids busy. Inside the cellar door there is a little children’s table with some basic toys and books. The kids were so excited with the seek and find hunt around the cellar door and grounds, with a chocolate frog as a reward when they had finished.
Of course, there is a cellar door cat, putting up with the kids following him everywhere.
Out the front of the cellar door there is a large grassy area to run around on with some lovely large trees providing shade. There are even some wooden horses to have a ride on!
Campbells offer vineyard platters. You can order individual bits and pieces that take your fancy from the menu. We ordered some amazing meats, cheeses and bickies and enjoyed them under the large trees.
For more information click here.
Pfeiffer Winery is situated on the banks of Sunday Creek, which is a branch of the Murray River. Pfeiffer is another winery that really caters well to families and does an excellent job of making the kids feel included. The kids were able to have their own tasting – 3 different cordials lined up on the cellar door bench for them to sample.
Inside there is also a little table set up with various toys for the kids to play with, and on all our visits there has been an art exhibition.
Outside, there is a small children’s play area with empty wine boxes to stack up high, plus a little cubby house. Best of all you are able to go down onto Sunday Creek Bridge to watch and feed the turtles! There are 100’s of them – so cool!
Cheese platters are available to enjoy on the bridge or under the shade of the trees. One of our favourite Rutherglen wineries to visit with kids, for more information on Pfeiffer click here.
Lake Moodemere Estate
We had a fantastic local platter at Lake Moodemere Wines outside under the shade of their lovely big trees. All menu items are either grown on site or sourced from local producers. It was delicious!
Lake Moodemere Wines has a small cellar door and when we arrived little Miss Olive was freaked out by the puppy so the lovely owner offered her an ice cream (Gundowring no less!) . The others magically appeared from thin air at the smell of ice cream so all the kids enjoyed an ice cream – so thoughtful and well loved!
Lake Moodemere has the most beautiful looking luxury accommodation, lovely gardens and there is the chance to win some fantastic wine by giving the golf hole in one activity a go – try your luck at hitting a golf ball onto the green floating lake!
Rutherglen Estates is only a few minutes walk from town.
We had a lovely tasting in the cellar door. The cellar door is part of the ‘Tuileries Rutherglen’ complex which houses a restaurant which is open for dinner, a café for breakfast and lunch, luxury accommodation and a conference facility. There is also an art gallery within the cellar door.
The accommodation includes both ‘vineyard’ rooms for couples and 2 bedroom apartments for families. For more information on the cellar door, restaurant, cafe and accommodation please see here.
Cofield Wines was one of our favourite places to spend the afternoon. We were planning on having lunch at The Picked Sisters café (which has great platters on the menu), on site at Cofield but it was fully booked when we arrived (we didn’t think to pre-book). The lovely ladies in the cellar door suggested getting fish and chips from the best in town and enjoying them on the lawns. So, this is exactly what we did (we have done this twice now it was so fantastic!).
Set up on the lawn under the big umbrella’s were over sized games including Finska, Jenga blocks (Ross has since made us a set for home) and chess.
A fantastic place to spend a couple of hours. This was such a good experience that we re-created the afternoon exactly the same on our next visit to Cofield. We can highly recommend this for a fantastic relaxing afternoon.
Check out the Grapevine Glamping option – oh my goodness, this would be absolutely fantastic – for an adults getaway!
Well done Cofield on creating a wonderful cellar door experience. See here for more information.
James and Co
A small cellar door situated on the main street of Rutherglen which only opened in 2017! Expect a warm welcome with some delicious wines to try at James and Co. We didn’t have time to take the ‘choose your own cheese adventure’ platter’ but will definitely do so on our next visit.
All Saints is one of the more recognisable wineries in Rutherglen. What makes All Saints a kid friendly winery in Rutherglen would have to be the huge grounds and Castle which means there are plenty of places to explore!
The cellar door is set inside the Castle where there is a small table set up with colouring books which leads into the ‘fine dining’ restaurant. We haven’t eaten here; the degustation menu does sound impressive but it is not our typical style when visiting wineries with the kids. Give us space to run and play, delicious wines to taste and a great antipasto platter and we are sorted for a few hours.
Luckily, All Saints does tick these boxes as Indigo Cheese offers platters to enjoy outside on the lawn next to the duck pond. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around and spread out and ball games are encouraged on the lawn.
Chambers Rosewood Winery
Chambers was our first winery visit at 9.30am – boy there were a lot of wines to get through.
Chambers has a completely different cellar door experience to anywhere else I have encountered so far. All the wines are on tasting and on tap for you to help yourself! How bizarre! I am sure tour groups must take advantage of this? There was a brief explanation of the best tasting order and then we were handed glasses and off we went – tasting, tasting and more tasting.
Again, they are set up for kids with a play area inside and small swing outside under the big trees. There is no food menu but you must visit Chambers just for the whole unique tasting experience.
How could the Hill family with a daughter named Olive not visit the Olive Hill’s winery? Well we did and it was great. A real rustic farm style winery with hay bales, tractors, winery dogs and a couple of kittens which kept the kids amused while we tasted.
It’s really interesting visiting these smaller wineries and I really enjoy talking to the owners. The owner, Ross, was working in one of the paddocks and ran over to the cellar door when he saw us arriving. He was most knowledgeable and keen to talk about his wine.
The winery cellar door is set up in a large shed which can be transformed for celebrations including weddings and parties.
Well worth a visit. Even if your name is not Olive Hill!! For more information please click here.
We had a relatively quick stop at Buller Wines and it was stinking hot to be honest. There was a large grassy area and they had sprinklers on which all the kids had fun running under.
Buller Wines has a new restaurant open and we would love to be able to check this out on our next visit. On our visit there wasn’t any dedicated children’s activities as such. I think we were probably all a bit hot and over it by this stage. Next time we will plan Buller Wines for earlier in the day!!
We of course couldn’t visit all the wineries in the area during our short stay, so here is another winery recommended by another family travel blogger (which we did not have time to visit):
St Leonards Winery
We didn’t make it to St Leonards but the menu looks delicious and on the first Saturday of each month there is live music at the cellar door. Best we time it right for our next visit!!
Not only are there many kid friendly Rutherglen wineries, there are also delicious produce farms to visit.
We had a quick stop at Gooramadda Olives, as one of Olive’s favourite foods is olives!!
It is stated on the website that as you sample wine at a winery, you’ll sample olives at the Olivery! There is a range of olives to sample and I am not sure they had seen a 2 year old eat so many olives. There are also other things to try including olive oil and dukkah. The Olivery is licensed and you are able to enjoy a selection of wines, beer and cider while appreciating a selection of olives, dukkah and olive oil.
There is also cordial tasting which was a nice change to wine.
A very worthwhile stop if you have olive fans. We have now visited twice and bought huge buckets of Olives to enjoy at home.
Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory
We had a quick stop into NSW to visit the Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory on our first Rutherglen visit. Here the kids were able to make their own giant freckle chocolates which was an absolutely highlight.
Corowa is only a 12 minute drive from Rutherglen. The Whisky wasn’t ready for tasting on our visit and there is a café on site where we enjoyed some ice cold milk shakes. I also purchased some healthy spelt liquorice.
We will return for more chocolate making and hopefully some whiskey tasting – The Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory is well worth a visit. See here for more information.
Other wineries around Rutherglen
Baileys of Glenrowan
Baileys of Glenrowan is approx. 45 min’s from Rutherglen.
This is another winery that is well set up for families with toys in the cellar door and a small play ground in the gardens. It was a tad hot for us to sit outside for lunch so we enjoyed our pizza’s inside the cellar door.
It was very hot on our visit so we didn’t get to explore the historic grounds which includes the original winery, stables and native gardens.
You could easily make a day of this region with other wineries in the area Morrison’s, Taminick Wines and Blackdog Brewery and Auldstone Wines.
On the way home back to Melbourne on our first visit we stopped in at Mitchelton Wines for lunch. There are a couple of options for lunch – the restaurant called Muse and The Ministry of Chocolate café. We sat outside at the café and enjoyed pizza’s. There were a couple of small jumping castles for the kids, a lovely lawn area to run, great views of the river and of course the tower to ascend!
Mitchelton Winery is under 2 hours from Rutherglen and then it was another 1.5 hours for us to get home from there. A girls trip to stay on the property in the amazing accommodation is on the cards!!
Tahbilk Winery is only 10 minutes further on from Mitchelton if you felt like another winery visit before returning home.
Returning home to Melbourne on our next visit to Rutherglen we decided to book lunch at Fowles Winery (you definitely need to book, such a popular stop along the Hume Hwy).
This is an absolutely bone dry, rocky and red dirt outlook. So bizarre! There is a great outdoor area with a little playground for the kids but it was a bit hot when we visited.
Inside, the cellar door and restaurant are adjacent to each other and we had a great table for our group which was just inside the cellar door.
The menu is varied and designed for sharing. There was a children’s menu (but Ned and Olive always just eat whatever is on our platters!).
There was a huge selection of wines to try with ace labels – I am sure I am not the only one who purchased wine based on the labels!
Other things to do in Rutherglen with kids
The kids (and some adults) are probably going to wonder what else to do in Rutherglen with kids other than just visiting wineries. Luckily, for them, there are plenty of other things to do in Rutherglen.
The Apex Park in Rutherglen although small, has a good selection of playground equipment, a skate park and a small bike circuit.
Rutherglen Swimming Pool
The pool at Rutherglen is totally old school!! There is a shaded, shallow kids pool and a larger pool with a diving board. We have spent many afternoon’s here! It’s the best way to freshen up after multiple winery visits!
Swimming at Lake Moodemere
Lake Moodemere is apparently calm and offers some good swimming spots. We considered swimming here one afternoon but the pool won the vote. Let me know if you have been and if it’s worth visiting for a swim. It is small and water skiing is allowed (one boat at a time due to the size).
River play around Rutherglen
The best options for river play are The Willows in Wahgunyah and Rowers Park in Corowa. Again, we didn’t stop at either of these (it was too hot to get everyone out of the car).
Unfortunately, there is limited accommodation available for groups in Rutherglen. We stayed in a house on the main Street and we could walk to the butcher, supermarket, swimming pool and the playground. It was great for 2 or 3 families. The holiday house is called The Glen Bakery and is available through Air B&B or directly.
I’d recommend looking into either Air B&B or Booking.com for your accommodation if you are looking for something smaller. There seems to be plenty of options for accommodation Rutherglen if there isn’t 12 of you!!! From Rutherglen Motels, Rutherglen Hotels, cute country cottages and Tuileries Rutherglen and Rutherglen Winery Accommodation. The Rutherglen Caravan Park is a short stroll from the main street and has cabins and camping site available.
Rutherglen is a fantastic family friendly wine region and we can highly recommend spending time here with your family.
We hoped you have liked reading about the the best Rutherglen Wineries to visit with kids. Let me know in the comments if you have visited any other wineries with kids in Rutherglen that we need to add to our itinerary for next time.
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