Places We Love
On the Grapevine
P :: 03 9699 8148
F :: 03 9690 2902
294 Montague Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
About The Pyrenees & GrampiansLocated to the north-west of Melbourne, the blue-hued Pyrenees Ranges were named by Major Mitchell in 1836 for what he felt was their resemblance to the ranges that divide France and Spain.
The Victorian Pyrenees, although quite modest with gentle slopes and discrete valleys, still affords picturesque vistas. The region was first developed as a pastoral area before being claimed by the gold rush of the 1850's. Gold is still mined today and together with cereal, hay crops, wool and forestry contributes to the local economy.
With its temperate climate and good soils, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sparkling wines are the standout varieties although Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are strong performers.
The vineyards of Great Western fall within the Grampians wine region. The dramatic backdrop of this imposing mountain range are as impressive as the wines produced here and with a rich history that dates back to the 1860's, it's a region that has an impact.
Pyrenees & Grampians overnight tourThere's plenty to reward the visitor to this charming region, 70 kilometres north of Ballarat. The wonderful climate of cool nights and warm days ensure wines of terrific structure and finesse are regularly produced. Additionally, there's the wonderful history of the two vineyards at Great Western that's intoxicating.
Travel from Melbourne to the west through the historical city of Ballarat and arrive at Blue Pyrenees Estate in Avoca late morning. Established in 1963 by the French Remy Martin group, they recognized the area's potential for Sparkling wine production. Their flagship Sparkling, Midnight Cuvee is so called because the fruit is picked at night when the temperature is cooler and acid levels are higher. In the early 1980's, they adopted the Bordeaux tradition of blending three varieties (Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot) which launched their Blue Pyrenees Estate range. The Estate is now 100% Australian owned.
Close by is the second oldest Pyrenees vineyard, Mount Avoca. Established in 1970, they are still in family hands and have a well deserved reputation for producing consistently fine wines at great value.
Mid-afternoon, travel through to Moonambel to Dalwhinnie Wines. Established in 1976, the property is a testament to the vision of Ballarat architect, Ewan Jones. Ewan and his son, winemaker David Jones have every reason to be proud of their wines. From low yielding vines, their Shiraz, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are exquisite examples of what this region is capable of producing. The vistas from the cellar door are spectacular too.
Taltarni is one of the original Pyrenees wineries and produced their first vintage in 1977. On a picturesque property of 1800 acres, approximately 330 have been planted with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the Sparkling varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
A visit to the region would be incomplete without experiencing the superb hospitality at the Warrenmang Vineyard & Resort. Whether it's just to taste their full bodied red wines, enjoy a terrific meal of regional cuisine in their award winning restaurant or spend the night in one of their cosy chalet style cottages, the property leaves an indelible impression.
In close proximity to the Pyrenees Ranges is the Great Western wine region. The vineyard at Best's Wines is one that reeks of history, dating back to 1866. The Thomson family have been involved in Victoria's wine industry for more than 100 years and currently, the fifth generation are working at Best's. Of interest are some of the old vines that cannot be identified and are thought to exist nowhere else in the world. A consistent producer who should be receiving greater recognition, their Shiraz is a stunning example of how good this variety can be.
The remarkable old cellars at Seppelt Great Western are breathtaking and an absolute joy to behold. Established in 1865, there are more than three kilometers of tunnels where thousands of bottles of sparkling wines are maturing in the dimly lit underground 'drives'. Well known for their Sparkling Shiraz, there's a wonderful selection of other wines to taste.
On the return to Melbourne, there'd be a final stop at the Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyards at Buangor. Established in 1970, their old Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines are producing benchmark wines that continue to be highly sought after. From the cellar door, there are commanding views across the vineyards to take in, nestled between two dramatically beautiful mountain ranges on the southern end of the Great Dividing Range.
Available on application.