Victoria is situated in the southwest of Australia and is the country’s smallest mainland state. Despite its small size, Victoria boasts great diversity with a large range of attractions, hundreds of wineries, and various activities to explore. Exquisitely beautiful coastlines, forests, wineries, lakes, and mountains invite you to discover this little corner of Australia. The climate varies across the state of Victoria with the north experiencing warmer and drier weather whereas the south is greatly affected by cool oceanic breezes that blow in from Antarctica. Some of the most popular sites and attractions in Victoria are the city of Melbourne, the coastline with its hundreds of beaches, the Goldfields region, The Dandenong Ranges, Healesville Sanctuary, Geelong, The Bellarine Peninsula, the Mornington Peninsula, and the Yarra Valley.
The wine region of Victoria is considered holy ground to Australian and international wine lovers. The region is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine sub-regions, serving and producing wines to satisfy the tastes of all wine drinkers. Viticulture in Victoria can be traced back to the 19th century when the first grapes were planted by Swiss settlers and have since grown into one of the world’s most significant wine regions.
Where Everything Started
Close to Melbourne, Sunbury is Victoria’s oldest wine-producing area producing wines since 1960. Sunbury is home to historic wineries, a flourishing gastronomic scene, and premium quality wines. The area is characterized by its dry climate and volcanic soil, the combination of which produces excellent Shiraz and other lush grape varietals. At a higher altitude of 700 meters above sea level, one can find the Macedon Ranges, which is the coolest grape growing area of the region, meaning that grapes from this area are higher in their acid content and produce a different bouquet of aromas. These conditions make the area perfect for the growing of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.
One of the greatest highlights of the Victoria wine region is the Yarra Valley, where wine production dates back to 1838. The Yarra Valley is now home to 300 vineyards and 160 wineries growing Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. Due to the area’s moderate climate and ideal granite and limestone soils, the Yarra Valley is home to some exceptional wines. Because of its close proximity to Melbourne, Yarra Valley is the perfect weekend getaway offering famous cellar doors, fresh local products, and gourmet experiences.
At Geelong and the Bellarine, the ocean climate and the range of soil types make the region perfect for viticulture, particularly for the growth of Chardonnay and Shiraz, and the area is home to more than 60 vineyards including the famous Jack Rabbit Vineyard.
Finally, moving towards the coast is the extraordinary wine-growing region of the Mornington Peninsula filled with more than 50 wine cellars, famous for the production of Pinot Noir and other cool-climate Pinot varieties such as Pinot Gris.
Red Varieties: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir
White Varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viogner, Pinot Gris
Taste Elegant Wines of Victoria
In the northeast of Victoria, Glenrowan and Rutherglen are known for their full-bodied red wines, which are mostly made from the Shiraz and Petite Sirah varietals. This region is also well known for their sweet fortified wines.
Moving to the very famous Yarra Valley, the climate is also far cooler than other zones in Victoria which means that winemakers have been able to craft award-winning Chardonnays, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Another wine-growing area in Victoria is Heathcote, where the climate is temperate, making it ideal for producing deep and rich Shiraz wines higher in alcohol and packed with flavor.
One of the most unique wines from the Victoria region is Sauvignon Blanc from the Pyrenees in Western Victoria. These wines are distinctly dry yet possess excellent fruit aromas and flavors. The wine grown in the King Valley area has been greatly influenced by Italian immigrants living in the area resulting in the production of superb sparkling wine. For tourists visiting the area, there is a fabulous ‘Prosecco Road’ where one can experience excellent food and wine pairings celebrating the best combination of Australia and Italy.
The Heathcote Wine producing area, located between the Goulburn Valley and Bendigo regions, is famous for the production of good structured Shiraz with exceptional fruit aromas and depth that rivals wines of a similar nature in Southern Australia.
Open Cellar Doors in Victoria
M. Chapoutier Winery
The M. Chapoutier Winery is located situated in the region of Pyrenees and Heathcote in the Victoria wine region. The philosophy of the estate to produce high-quality wines is in soil climate and human talent.
The estate hosts visitors in an original 1860s building. After the estate tour, you will be able to select your favorite wines for the tasting.
Shadowfax Winery is located just 30 kilometers from Melbourne at Werribee Park in Victoria. Contemporary in design and function, The winery has a modern architecture that reflects a harmony between the natural surroundings and the winery.
The winery has a strong focus on the sense of place and locality and they produce only 10,000 bottles of premium, high-quality wines each year.
Discover the Culture of Victoria through its Cities
Melbourne – Visit the Capital of Victoria
Melbourne is the capital of the state and is perfectly located on the banks of the Yarra River, hugging the shore of the Port Phillip Bay. Melbourne has something to offer every visitor thanks to its extensive program of festivals and events throughout the entire year. Such events include the Spring. Racing Carnival, the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open Tennis, and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The heritage of Melbourne is clearly visible to all visitors, particularly in the 19th-century architecture and the beautiful city gardens. Much of these beautiful attractions were built after the economic boom following the discovery of gold in Victoria. Melbourne demonstrates the cultural heritage of the Indigenous Australians from South East Australia dating back more than 60000 years.
Visit Bob Dolan Winery located 30 minutes drive from the center of Melbourne. Bob Dolan offers locally grown products together with its selection of excellent wines.
Melbourne is one of the most popuar cities in the world for mural art, which is widely accepted by the authorities. Street art covers almost every corner of the city. Organize the art journey accorss the city and discover the most famous murals.
Geelong – Victoria’s Must-Visit Port City
Geelong is situated on Coria Bay and the Barwon River and is famous for its rejuvenated urban areas and its relaxed and laid back beaches. Many visitors perceive Geelong simply as a waterfront but there is so much more to the town than this. The area is scattered with intriguing public works of art paying tribute to the historical events and the people who made the city what it is today. The easiest and best way to access Geelong is by ferry using the Port Phillip Ferry service, which runs between Geelong and Melbourne. Geelong is one of Australia’s most dynamic cities with industrial spaces constantly being changed and adapted into creative spots, urban precincts, and lively destinations buzzing with restaurants and bars. The city has a packed events calendar to satisfy the demands and requests of a wide range of visitors.
Where Heritage, Art, Culture Meet Flourishing Gastronomy
Bendigo is perhaps most famous for its grand architecture which was built during the 1800s when the gold rush hit the Victoria region. Beautiful and majestic old buildings can be seen along wide tree-lined streets where one can also pop into theatres and boutique shops. The grandest building in the town is the Bendigo Town Hall, which from inside looks like a fairy-tale of hand-painted frescos and adorned with flowers.
Another must-see when visiting Bendigo is the Gothic Sacred Heart Cathedral, which cannot be missed thanks to its life-size gargoyles and imposing 87-meter high spire. The easiest way to get around the town is by using the vintage tram, which is a hop-on and hop-off service with recorded commentary. The tram tour route allows visitors to stop at all of the town’s must-see tourist attractions.
Explore Iconic Nature and Wildlife
A visit to Victoria would be incomplete without experiencing its diverse natural landscapes and iconic wildlife. The nature of the area ranges from expanses of sand dunes to long, white, and unspoiled beaches, lush rainforests, and arid desert regions.
Pulpit Rock Cape Schank – An Iconic Geological Formation
The Pulpit Rock can be found at Cape Schanck inside the Mornington Peninsula National Park. The rock was formed by the constant erosion of the existing rock mass by large waves and heavy winds over millions of years. To get to the rock, there are stairs and steps from Cape Schanck to Pulpit Rock and its surrounding pebble beaches. This is an easy walk from the car park but is extremely rewarding thanks to the breathtaking views and the incredible photo opportunities. The area around the rock is also very popular for fishermen wanting to spend the day fishing from the surrounding waters.
Buchan Caves – Fun For the Entire Family
The Buchan Caves Reserve is land representative of the Aboriginal people of Australia and their cultural heritage. The caves are made up of limestone formations, which have been formed over the last 400 million years and are the largest cave system in Victoria. Visitors to the caves can enjoy a picnic and even spend a night camping under the stars. The two most popular caves to visit are the Fairy Cave and the Royal Cave which both have incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, rock pools, and flowing streams. Visitors should keep an eye out and might also be lucky enough to spot some wildlife such as kangaroos and owls who perch in the trees at night.
Tower Hill Reserve – Experience Australian Wildlife
The Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a thrilling attraction for visitors with the chance to meet koalas, kangaroos, emus, and various other species that roam around freely inside the reserve. Tower Hill is located inside an extinct volcano which was formed around 30 000 years ago and was declared a national park in 1892. It is the perfect place for visitors to experience the true Australian bush and to see animals at close range in their natural habitat. There are guided tours, which take place every day with incredibly knowledgeable guides.
Rich Cuisine of Victoria
Victoria is home to a rich and diverse range of cuisines and a booming wine scene. It is also home to some of Australia’s most famous chefs and culinary creatives. When visiting Victoria, one can find dishes ranging from fine dining to casual eating in locations in the city and along the bustling coast. The urban areas of Victoria have become world-renowned for the growing coffee culture and for the hosting of various food festivals throughout the year.
Dim Sum – The Taste of Asia in Australia
A Dim Sum is a form of Chinese cuisine that has become extremely popular throughout Australia and is prepared as small, bite-sized foods prepared and served in steamer baskets. Dim Sum restaurants in Victoria traditionally serve a wide variety of dishes, but some true Dim Sum classics include shrimp dumplings, chive dumplings, dumplings filled with meat or seafood with a rich broth inside (xiao long bao), spring rolls, tofu rolls, barbecued pork buns, and sesame balls.
Chicken Parma – An Italian Name for an Australian Classic
Chicken parma or Chicken Parmigiana takes its roots from the Southern Italian dish Parmigiana, which originally is an eggplant dish cooked with tomato sauce, basil, and melting cheeses of Mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano. In Australia, this has evolved to a dish consisting of a chicken schnitzel served with Italian inspired tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese. In some restaurants, the dish is also topped with ham or prosciutto and is usually served with a beer down at the local pub.
Donug – A Tribute to the Chicken Nugget
The Donug was created by a husband and wife pair who had a deep love and passion for chicken nuggets. After a few experiments, the couple invented the Donug, an extra-large chicken nugget in the shape of a donut. In 2018, the Donug was launched in Melbourne and was an enormous success. The Donug is coated in crispy panko bread crumbs and served with a choice of delicious toppings.
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Map of Wineries in Victoria wine region
Discover the long wine tradition of Victoria and discover some of the best wineries in this region
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