Victorian Wine Regions
With more than 800 wineries and over 600 cellar doors, Victoria is a wine lover’s playground. From household-name wineries to boutique producers that fly under the radar, Victoria’s diverse wine scene offers incredible experiences and countless quality bottles to discover.
Pinot noir and chardonnay are true heroes for the state, with some of Australia’s finest examples hailing from the cool-climate reaches of the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Macedon Ranges, Geelong and Gippsland. A little further from Melbourne, expect bold reds, such as shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and others including durif and nebbiolo.
Italian wine varieties have made a home for themselves around the state, but they have a particularly proud and successful past in Victoria’s High Country – the spiritual home of prosecco. Pristine riesling dominates in key regions (Macedon and Great Western are just two to explore), while the state’s warmer climates help to produce vibrant red wines and richer white wines, such as fiano and vermentino.
Delve into Victoria’s 20-plus wine regions for some of Australia’s most consistent top-quality wines.
Discover the the wine regions of Victoria with James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia
The viticultural map of Victoria is more densely populated than that of any other state: it has more regions and it has more wineries than South Australia, its western neighbour, and – in production terms – its big brother. Moreover, the percentage of its total surface area covered by wine regions is far greater than that of any other state. Small wonder that Hubert de Castella called his 1886 book about the wines of Victoria John Bull’s Vineyard. He was convinced all the wine needs of England could be supplied by Victoria.
To a far greater degree than in any other part of Australia, wine and gold formed a potent blend here throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. The Victorian goldfields are now largely a memory – however glorious in places such as Ballarat – but wine has prospered to the present, notwithstanding the impact of phylloxera which arrived in Geelong in 1875 or 1876, and worked its destructive path north to Rutherglen by the end of that century.
Other than Tasmania, Victoria is the smallest state in the Commonwealth, yet it has the greatest diversity of regional and site climates, from the very cool Macedon Ranges to the very warm regions stretching along the Murray River, from the north-east to the north-west of the state.
As with all the other states, however, there are anomalies of various kinds. Gippsland is a zone – and a very large one at that – without regions, notwithstanding that climate and commonsense would suggest at least three regions. The problem is it simply doesn’t grow enough grapes for regions to be registered.
At the other end of the spectrum, some significant small wineries within the Port Phillip, Central Victoria, Western Victoria and North East Victoria Zones find themselves outside the regions falling with those zones. These wineries are covered in the zonal introductions.
Finally, for the sake of convenience and logic, I cover the North West Victoria Zone and its two regions, Murray Darling and Swan Hill, in this section of the book, rather than in the Big Rivers Zone of New South Wales. Both of these regions fall partly in Victoria and partly in New South Wales, but most, if not all, of the wineries are in Victoria.
TOP WINERIES FROM VictoriaMORE FROM Victoria
Regions in Victoria
- Alpine Valleys
- Central Victoria Zone
- Goulburn Valley
- Great Western
- High Country
- King Valley
- Macedon Ranges
- Mornington Peninsula
- Nagambie Lakes
- North East Victoria Zone
- Port Phillip Zone
- Strathbogie Ranges
- Swan Hill
- Upper Goulburn
- Western Victoria Zone