Join the dark side at this inaugural Rutherglen wine festival

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Join the dark side at this inaugural Rutherglen wine festival

Words by Staff Writer

The Dark Side of Wine is a festival ready to shine the spotlight on the muscat country of Rutherglen

The Dark Side of Wine celebrates and reveals the dark arts of Rutherglen in North East Victoria, with a series of immersive experiences taking place throughout the world-famous wine region.

Held across 10 days from 2 August – 11 August, this new festival is one for the curious and bold, with sensuous wines, crackling fires, stirring music and incredible wines to discover.

The Dark Side of Wine Details

  • When: Friday 2 August to Sunday 11 August, 2024
  • Where: Various locations, Rutherglen, Northeast Victoria.
  • Tickets: Book via

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

The Dark Side of Wine showcases the heavier end of wine production. With Muscat and Durif the beating heart of the festival program, a new wave of winemakers will share some of the secrets of these deliciously dark wines that have been passed down through the generations.

With degustations, bonfires and rare-release tastings among more than 30 events on the festival program, there’s a world of wine to discover this winter in Rutherglen. The country home houses 18 wineries and has one of the richest and most authentic winemaking histories at 160 years strong.

From a clandestine Speakeasy hidden within a cellar to a rand masquerade ball at the historic convent; a Paint and Sip with a dark side difference to a Muscat Murder Mystery, the Winemakers of Rutherglen invite one and all to stray into the Dark Side of Wine.

Dark Side of Wine program highlights include a range of event pairings.

Uncasked at the Convent

Marking the festival grand opening is this Masquerade Ball at Rutherglen Convent on 2 August.

Legend & Lore

Indulge in a five-course dinner and celebration of Durif and Muscat at Lake Moodemere on 3 August.

Museum Muscats

Join a masterclass tasting of rare and aged muscats at All Saints Estate on 3 August.


Enjoy a Durif-infused menu at De Bortoli Rutherglen Estate on 11 August.

Paint and Sip

Be immersed in this glow-in-the-dark edition of the unique painting experience  at Pfeiffer Wines on 11 August.


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Burning of the Canes

Be part of reviving an ancient tradition at St Leonards Vineyard on 10 August with Burning of the Canes.

Muscats of Rutherglen

Undertake this comparative tasting of 27+ Rutherglen Muscats on 9 August.

Muscat Murder Mystery

Be transported to Rutherglen in 1925 and solve the mystery held deep in the Stanton & Killeen cellars on 9 August.

Secret Discovery Masterclass

Get your apron on for this sourdough bread-baking and wine-making class at Olive Hills Estate on 10 August.

Winemakers of Rutherglen Executive Officer Annalee Nolan says the new festival is set to become a much-loved fixture on the winter wine calendar.

“We are excited to welcome wine explorers to our wonderful region and invite them to venture to the dark side,” she says.

“Our winemakers will be on hand to help unlock the secrets and mystery of Rutherglen and its wines with a packed program of events that are sure to warm and delight equally this winter.”.

For full festival program and to book tickets: