EXPLORE VICTORIA

Your guide to the best flavours from the winegrowing regions.

"Victoria's wine industry was originally built on fortified wines made in the style of ports and sherries."

Victoria's wine industry, like that of South Australia, was originally built on fortified wines made in the style of ports and sherries and was concentrated in the north-east of the state around Rutherglen and Milawa-Glenrowan, where pioneering names such as Campbells, Morris and Brown Brothers still thrive but now also make outstanding table wines. Warm-climate irrigated vineyards also still thrive along the Murray River while there are also outposts of vinous excellence at Great Western, the Pyrenees, near Macedon and around Bendigo and Ballarat. The vast majority of the premium focus today, however, is on cool-climate regions including the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula (both within an hour of Melbourne) and Bellarine Peninsula outside Geelong. Chardonnay and pinot noir flourish in the these regions with names like Chandon, Coldstream Hills and Yarra Yering starring in the Yarra and Kooyong, Yabby Lake and Stonier among the leaders on the Peninsula. Both regions also produce outstanding dairy products.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Matt Stone

The Oakridge Wines chef shares his insider's guide to the best of the Yarra Valley.

Read the Q&A with Matt Stone>

Yarra Valley

Some of the most innovative winemakers in Australia can be found in this pretty and diverse region just an hour from Melbourne. Known for its sparkling wines, stellar chardonnays and outstanding pinot noirs, the Yarra was first planted with grapes in 1838 – only three years after Melbourne was founded. Over the past 40 years it has become a drawcard for small producers attracted to its diverse influences, which include both Mediterranean and continental climates and a number of soil types.

"The Yarra offers a country experience with a dash of city sophistication."

Today, the Yarra offers a country experience with a dash of city sophistication with major producers including Coldstream HillsOakridge, Domaine Chandon, Giant StepsInnocent BystanderToolangi Vineyards and Yering Station. There has been a recent explosion of new cellar doors with two of the most spectacular at Coombe Farm (Dame Nelly Melba's former home) and Levantine Hill (home to the Ezard @ Levantine Hill restaurant). The gourmet hamlet of Healesville is well worth a visit.

MUST-VISIT CELLAR DOORS

Giant Steps

Giant Steps was established in 1997 and has won

many awards over the years. The cellar door is a

'must-visit' with its spectacular wines and its

unique glass wall that allows guests to witness

the winemaking process.

Four Pillars

Four Pillars Distillery is hard to miss with its

beautiful façade of greenery hanging over the

tasting room. You must sample their modern

crafted Australian style gin that captures the

flavors of both Asia and Mediterranean.

Coldstream Hills

The Coldstream Hills Cellar Door was established by

James and Suzanne Halliday in 1985 is a must-visit

for wine enthusiasts eager to taste their extensive

selection of award winning Yarra Valley wines.

Mornington Peninsula

In just two decades the dramatically beautiful Mornington Peninsula has undergone a remarkable transformation from sleepy summer weekend destination for Melbourne doctors and lawyers to one of Australia’s coolest wine and food destinations. Just over an hour's drive south-east of the Victorian capital, the peninsula has spectacular scenery, surf beaches, fine food, great wines and plenty of luxurious accommodation for gourmet travellers.

"The Peninsula has spectacular scenery, surf beaches, fine food, great wines and plenty of accommodation for gourmet travellers."

There are now more than 50 cellar doors and dozens of appealing restaurants, many of them overlooking vineyards, along with a dozen top-notch golf courses. The winery names are impressive: Stonier,Ten Minutes by Tractor, Port Phillip Estate/Kooyong, Yabby LakeParinga EstateCirce, Eldridge Estate, T’Gallant, Scorpo and Montalto among them. Chardonnay and pinot noir are the grape varieties that do best here, but pinot gris/grigio first emerged in Australia here, and there is a wide range of regional produce including cheeses, chocolates, chutney, jam and olive oils.

MUST-VISIT CELLAR DOORS

Yabby Lake

The tasting rooms at Yabby Lake, a premium producer

of pinot noir and chardonnay has stunning vineyard

views and lunches - reservation is a must.

T'Gallant

A relaxed cellar door ambiance with two restaurant

choices: La Baracca and the Spuntino Bar specialising

in pizzas and Italian-accented wines.

Circe

Circe was established in 1993 and has a variety

of chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz to sample

at the cellar door. By creating a small vineyard,

the team is able to focus on the detail and

quality of each vintage.

Geelong district

The working-class coastal town of Geelong, just over an hour east of Melbourne, is surrounded by vineyards on the Bellarine Peninsula, Moorabool Valley and the Surf Coast. The region was first planted with vines by Swiss immigrants in 1842 but the modern industry was only re-established in the 1970s. The Moorabool Valley to the north is home to Austins, Bannockburn, Clyde Park and Lethbridge. You'll find Scotchmans Hill, Bellarine Estate, Leura Park Estate, Jack Rabbit and Oakdene on the Bellarine Peninsula, while the Surf Coast has cellar doors at Bellbrae, Brown Magpie and St Regis, among others.

"The coolish temperatures have proved perfect for the great Burgundy varieties of chardonnay and pinot noir."

The coolish temperatures have proved perfect for the great Burgundy varieties of chardonnay and pinot noir, but shiraz, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris/grigio also do well. The Bellarine has a maritime climate, the Moorabool Valley has a warm, continental climate and the Surf Coast is known for long summer days and cool ocean breezes.

MUST-VISIT CELLAR DOORS

Bellarine Peninsula winery Terindah Estate was named by James Halliday as one of his “Dark Horse” wineries of the year for 2016. The striking modern venue's wine tastings include a sweet wine made from the rare Italian grape picolit, and The Shed restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, serves lunch daily.

Another Bellarine winery, relative newcomer Jack Rabbit Vineyard, has superb views across the bay to Geelong, the You Yangs and Melbourne, and is home to two eateries; fine-dining Jack Rabbit Restaurant and the more casual House of Jack Rabbit.

An old favourite at Bannockburn is Clyde Park Vineyard and bistro, which is well-known for its wood-fired pizzas.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT EACH STATE AND THEIR WINE REGIONS

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Licence Number: LIQP770016736

We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.