• King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate
  • King River Estate


King Valley aims for higher ground

At King River Estate, self-taught winemaker and former coach driver Trevor Knaggs is doing some very exciting things with less-familiar southern Italian varieties: his white 2011 vermentino is gorgeously crisp and lively, and his red 2009 sagrantino displays that grape's dusty herbal aromas and seriously mouth-gripping savoury tannins very well. Trevor's 2012 sagrantino, tasted from barrel, is even better - more dense, more layers of flavour                                    

Max Allen February 16 2013


King River Estate King Valley 2011 Saperavi


Saperavi is one of the oldest varieties from the Caucasus, where the Georgians have been making wine in pretty much the same manner for 7000 years. The word saperavi means paint. Which is fitting as this is one of the blackest berries in the business.  It’s a rare thing in the sense that it’s one of the very few red grapes with red juice.  When you prune it, even the sap’s the colour of beetroot juice.  Australia’s first plantings were in the King Valley, where, phylloxera notwithstanding, it thrives in the high humid cool of that northern side of the Australian Alps.  This model’s a cracker.  It smells like beetroot and gun blue.  Sure, there may be faint hints of blackberry and mulberry and whatever, but they’re meek and mild compared to the tight dense darkness of this aroma.  It’ll suck all the water out of your eyes, suck all the light from the room and then start sucking the volts outa your wires.  The flavour is as intense and absorbing as that black hole colour.  I know of no other wine flavour like it.  Or fruit, for that matter.  Because the juice is black, the sensitive winemaker can get all the flavour and colour required without hard pressing or extended skin contact, so we end up with this impenetrable black drink which is still fluid and slender and juicy, even tender, with hardly any tannin.  It has a little spice in the mace direction, the slightly bitter flavour of juniper without its tannin, and some leaf after the nightshade style, but mainly it’s just clean slippery silky delicious blackness that goes on and on and on.  This is the best one I’ve ever had from anywhere.  Only Satan knows how long it will live.  

$35; 14.4 % alcohol ; Diam cork; 95+++ points            By Philip White



King River Estate 2009 Chardonnay Cuv'ee Sauvage

This wine is indeed pretty wild -and wildly pretty. Biodynamically grown, unirrigated vines, low crop, wild yeast ferment, lees stired: the result is a rich nutty chardonnay. Drink with lobster.   King Valley Vic $35                                   

Top Drop Gourmet Traveller   Max Allen



King River Estate 2009 Sangiovese

All three wines from the ripping 2009 vintage in Victoria's King Valley were made biodynamically. The sangiovese is one of Australia's best: abundant cherry and tobacco and a soft, brooding, textural palate of chocolate and black pepper. 

93 points David Prestipino Perth Sunday Times


King River Estate 2009 Merlot

Textural palate with mouth-filling plum the standout. Earthy, savoury, juicy and dense - a merlot with the lot.                   

92 points David Prestipino Perth Sunday Times


King River Estate 2009 Shiraz

The cooler climate has produced a softer shiraz that is still rich in flavour, with white pepper and deep forest nuances. Fermented with wild yeast, basket-pressed, with extended time on lees.   

91 points David Prestipino Perth Sunday Times


King River Estate Merlot 2008

The nose is spicy and savory with fleshy plum on the palate. A wine with complexity good texture and refreshing acidity. Ideal with a range of meats.

90 points James Halliday


 King River Estate Sangiovese 2006


91 points Philip White


King River Estate Sangiovese 2006

Has more colour, flavour, weight and structure than many, with a mix of sweet and sour cherries and ripe tannins.               

90 points James Halliday


 King River Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008

It has a pleasing firm edge, and sure there IS a little vegetal green in there,but it's more like a cream cheesy salad with fennel, shredded daikon and parsnip,and italian parsley. The palate's austere, and stony, and so long it's like a memorial, which is not to say it has no sense of humour.It's the cheapest trip I know to Sancerre or Pouilly. It'll be stunning in three years.  

93+++ Philip White Novenber 2008


 King River Estate Vermentino 2008 

Carambola (the starfruit), fresh bitter melons, rambutan, the jungle, mace - even a little hot tropicle bitumen. Sweet and acid, all at once. The palate's heavily intense without being too syrupy, and is so drily severe it makes the memory of the bouquet look a little fickle.It's big, long, tight, hungry wine that rasps you dry with tiger tongue tannins.Only after the second large gurgle do you begin to see the stream of tropical fruits flowing all the way throughthat amazing tannin and acidity, and the wine's cellaring potential begins to dawn.                                

93++ points  Philip White  November 2008


 King River Estate Verdello 2006

It's like custard apples in sabayon with white pepper.It's slender yet lush, stirring and appetising, and reluctant to leave the palate.It just moves in and slides around there like it owns the joint.It leaves a powerding of dusty tannin, but the aftertaste is more sinuous, slighty slimy fruit, and a powerful acidity.The little blast of tell-tale alcoholic heat in the exhalation is almost hidden by the rest of this amazing serpentine slurp. Glorious, glorias.                                                     

94+++ points Philip White  November 2008


 King River Estate Barbera 2005

The plate's nicely furry with tannin, sprung with persistent acidity.There's enough fluffy, syrupy fruit to give the whole thing a rather mischievous, if not completely barbaric,glint of lively naughtiness.This wine is at it's peak,and should be nudged within a year or two. It's a bit like a rather vegetal pinot noir,with twists of caramelised parsnip tail.                                             

92 points Philip White  November 2008


 King River Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 

The confectioner has collided with the greengrocery. Mustard cabbage, turnip greens, beetroot leaves and chicory are squashed into the starched white coat of the lolly man,who is redolent with icing sugar, musk dust, crystallised violetsand raspberry gels. Adalaide Independant weekly

93+++ points Philip White   November 2008


King River Estate Reserve Merlot 2005

This stunning example has a whole chocolate creme caramel quivering within its encircling earthy greens. It's elegant, but has great authority and weight; it's complex, but is already harmonising, if a tad reluctantly. Given a decade of dungeon, it'll be a truly incredible,opulent, tantalising King among wines.             

94+++ points Philip White  November 2008


King River Estate Merlot 2005

Merlot is a speciality at King River Estate in the peaceful King Valley.This example shows exemplary varietal personality with juicy plum, raspberry, dry herb and black olive aromas.Good oak is there, but in the back seat. It tastes smooth and lush with savoury flavours,good depth and slightly astringent tannins on a long finish.

The Age,Epicure  4.5 starsRalph Kyte Powell  August 2008


King River Estate Merlot 2005

This is exactly what Merlot's supposed to be like; bright, wholesome, cheeky and lively, with a beautiful perfume of borscht, fig, date, prune and milk chocolate. The palate's tightly-packed but harmonious, with brilliant lemony acidity. It's more Pomerol than any SA Merlot, but one tenth of the Bordeaux price. Juicy lamb cutlets now or cellar.      Adelaide Independent Weekly              

93+++ points Philip White  April 2008


King River Estate Merlot 2005

KingValley is emerging as one of Victoria's prime cool climate regions. This Merlot is brimming with mulberry and bramble notes, and its fresh and full of fruit in the mouth . Serve with quail.

The Sunday Age / Sydney morning Herald

By Sally Gudgeon  May 2008


2004 King River Estate Barbera

Barbera from the KingValley has a fine reputation and this delicious example was perfumed with violets and spice with secondary characters of chocolate and a smoke-like complexity.  While it took time to open up, it is very tight and balanced with lots of flavour, good firmness and an excellent acid balance.

Selector Life.Food.Wine

Autumn 2008

Tasting Panel - Karl Stockhausen, Marc Scalzo,

Robert Fairall, Keith Tullock, Trent Mannell, Sally Fisk,

Paul Diamond and Patrick Haddock


2004 King River Estate Barbera

The KingValley in Victoria is proving to be a great region for Italian varietals. Sour cherry and violet notes lead onto a well-balanced palate with crisp acidity.

Match it with roast pork.

Sunday Age / Sydney Morning Herald

By Sally Gudgeon  September 2007


2002 King River Estate Shiraz Viognier   

2005 Australian Wine Selector - Shiraz Viognier Exposed!

Chris Barnes reviews the top 18 wines from the 32 sampled in our tasting.

2002 King River Estate Shiraz Viognier (3%), KingValley, Vic $ 25

"The wine is purple red with a ripe, plummy nose and a hint of white pepper. Tim saw some Gamay and spice characters coming through. Christian found the palate sweet and powerful..."

Australian Wine Selector

Tasting Panel - Karl Stockhausen, Tim Kirk,

Chris Barnes, Keith Tulloch,Christian Gaffey,

Sally Fisk, Michael Hatcher & Trent Mannell



2002 King River Estate Barbera

This was another clean, bright, well made wine with some Italianate style because of its slight bitter-cherry aftertaste. it had excellent colour, aromas of plum, dark fruits, mint and a hint of jam. It reminded Forrestal of morello cherry and he liked its lively, juicy taste. i found it soft and easygoing while Bulleid found the tannins slightly dry for what is normally a low-tannin variety. It had lots of drinking appeal.

Australian Gourmet Traveller - Wine

Tasting Panel - Nick Bulleid MW; Huon Hooke;

Tim Stock; Peter Bourne; and Peter Forrestal

February/March 2004


2001 King River Estate Merlot

"Carefully managed vineyards and an eye for detail in the winery have contributed to the growing reputation of Trevor Knaggs's Merlot. His 2001 is a beauty, its lush aromatics of ripe fruit overlaid with hints of aniseed and sweet spices. The palate shows both richness and intensity. A bargain..."

The Sydney Morning Herald

by Peter Bourne August 2003


Valley of the Wine Kings

"... A recent discovery was the wines made by Trevor Knaggs, a local boy who grew up in Edi, before departing for a stint driving tourist coaches in Australia and Europe. He returned to the region in 1990 to establish the King River Estate vineyards. Using wild yeast ferments and hands-off wine-making techniques, Knaggs has produced a sumptuous 1999 King River Estate Merlot with lots of sweet, spicy, plum and blueberry fruit flavours and a fine soft tannin finish. It's an elegant wine and would partner guinea fowl perfectly."

Australian Gourmet Traveler

by Peter Bourne

July 2001


2001 King River Estate Merlot

...Rod and I moved on to a spicy crumbed quail, and agreed it went down a treat with the Merlot. There was something about the brash, young berry fruit and keen acidity of the wine that stood up well to the warmth of the quail.

We then headed for tender lamb over spiced noodles and prawns. Again the Merlot looked ideally suited... .


by Paddy Kendler and Rod Barbey

Herald Sun 31/7/2001

The Beginning

The Knaggs family connection to the King Valley is a long standing one. Three generations ago in the 1930s, Trevor’s grandfather came to the King Valley and began farming sheep. Trevor's father followed in his footsteps but later moved to cattle farming.

Today however, it’s grapes that keeps the connection alive!

A relatively recent addition to the King Valley wine region, King River Estate was born in 1990 after owner and winemaker Trevor Knaggs, with the assistance of his father Colin, planted the first vines – five acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, shortly followed by Merlot.

The first vintage to be sold was 1994 Vintage, which set the ball rolling for King River Estate and since then the vineyard has built a solid reputation for producing elegant, high quality wines which are great with food.

The Beginnings

The Canvas

Nestled in the heart of the striking King Valley, at the foothills of the Victorian Alps, King River Estate is blessed with fertile country that is capable of producing good quality grapes across the full spectrum. The vineyards unique micro-climate produces fruit driven wines with excellent varietal character & length. Drainage is good, fertility high, and a continental climate and host of passionate winemakers in the area, means premium grapes result.

The Winemaker

The WinemakerTrevor Knaggs grew up in the region, buying his first block of land in the valley that has always been his home. Trevor, in his role of owner and operator of King River Estate, is able to explore his traditional yet innovative approach to wine making that is proving to bring more and more to the table every day.

The Philosophy

Keeping with Trevor’s traditional yet innovative approach to wine making, the King River Estate’s philosophy is built of the ‘old world’ ways. Wines are made naturally; it is Trevor’s belief that grapes should be left to their own accord, and that wild yeasts and natural fermentation make for far more complex, soft & textural wines.

In the last few years Trevor has implemented the use of Biodynamic practises. 

Life at King River Estate is based on several simple guiding principles:

  • To use Biodynamic practises for sustainable farming
  • To give a good balance of filtered light
  • The use of wild (natural) yeast
  • To use a basket press for softer extraction of juice from skins
  • To use high quality French oak 

It is this unique philosophy and Trevor’s passion and commitment to his winemaking that allows elegant wines of outstanding flavour and quality to materialise.

The Future

The future is to become a leading producer of sustainably grown wine in Australia.

To strive to make great wines from new and interesting varieties.