Discovering the wine region of Western Victoria
Victoria is a relatively small but important Australian wine state. Located in the southeastern corner of the continent, with a generally cool, ocean-influenced climate, Victorian wine is remarkably diverse, producing all sorts of wines and styles in different climates. In all, the state covers almost 250,000 square kilometres (over 90,000 square miles) of land (almost the same size as the US state of Texas), well under a quarter the size of its western neighbour, South Australia, and less than a third the size of New South Wales to the north. As such, Victoria's size - and to some extent, the state's viticultural history - can defy generalization.
Climate and soils vary enormously, from the cool, positive Macedon Ranges just north of the state capital, Melbourne, to the alpine valleys of the Australian Alps in the east, to the vast, flat, dry Murray Darling, shared with New South Wales in the North West Victoria Geographic Indicator (GI). Despite its vast size, North West Victoria has only the Murray Darling and Swan Hill as wine regions within its boundaries. The majority of regions are clustered in the south of the state, with most in an area radiating out from Melbourne for about 200km (130 miles), generally divided into five other GIs. Melbourne itself is located in the Port Phillip GI, based around the eponymous bay.