Discovering the wine region of Western Victoria
Western Australia/Victoria">Victoria is a viticultural zone located, rather obviously, in the western half of Victoria, in eastern Australia. To be more accurate, and to fit more completely with its Northern neighbor, North West Victoria, the zone is better described as South West Victoria. The zone's finer viticultural land is located away from the coastline on the northern edge of the zone, where the Henty, Grampians and Pyrenees wine regions are located.
The Western Victoria zone encompasses the historic cities of Ballarat and Ararat, with their traditional streets of Victorian buildings which tell of the region's gold-mining history.
To the west are the jagged peaks of the Grampians National Park, while to the north lie the gentler slopes of the misleadingly-named Pyrenees.
South and west of Ballarat are expansive coastal plains, which reach right to the Southern Ocean coastline. They culminate in the Great Otway National Park and the Otway Ranges, which lead up to the southern edge of Long">Geelong. This southern end of the zone experiences lower temperatures and higher rainfall than almost any Part of Victoria, and is not known for its wineries.
The northern part of the zone, however, has a warmer, drier Climate and has long proved itself as a wine-producing area with production dating back to the 1850s.
The long-established western Victorian vineyards of Seppelt and Best's have been joined in recent decades by a New raft of boutique wineries, nearly all producing cool climate styles as this is one of Australia's coldest viticultural zones. Sparkling wine has been a major specialty for the zone. It was in the Grampians' Great Western sub-region that the iconic sparkling Shiraz wine style was first developed back in the 1890s.