With more wine producers than any other state in the country, Victoria is the heart of Australian viticulture. If you’re visiting Melbourne, you won’t have to travel far to find some fine bottles. Here are our picks for the best wine regions in Victoria.
One of the most famous Australian wine regions, the Yarra Valley, just east of Melbourne, is an expanse of rolling vineyards and rural villages. A popular choice for wine tours from the city with a wide range of boutique wineries and cellars to choose from, the area is most known for chardonnay and pinot noir.
South of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is renowned not only for its stunning scenery and rugged coastline, but also for its its artisanal foods and homegrown wines. The most common varietals here are chardonnay and pinot noir, but oenophiles will also find some excellent bottles of pinot gris and shiraz. For the full experience, opt for a full-day tasting tour from Melbourne, which will allow you to sample the region’s gastronomic delights and visit a few wineries.
The lesser-known Macedon Ranges region is home to some of Victoria’s best sparkling wines. It’s just an hour’s drive from Melbourne; wine-tasting tours also run from the city of Ballarat. Here, you’ll find small, family-run wineries known for their chardonnay and pinot noir.
Set in the lush valleys around the Nagambie Lakes, the Goulburn Valley harbors some of Victoria’s oldest wineries. Most notable is Tahbilk Winery, which dates back to the 19th century and produces the region’s acclaimed marsanne wines, as well as shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
The Heathcote wine region is internationally recognized for its shiraz. Unlike neighboring wine regions, wine production here is strictly limited, making each bottle something of an exclusive treat. In recent years, a handful of small wineries and boutique producers have sprung up in the area, making it a hot destination among industry insiders.
Australia’s largest wine region, Rutherglen specializes in fortified wine. The area has been producing wines since the 1870s, so many of its wineries have long, storied histories. Opt for a guided tour where you can meet the winemakers, learn more about the winemaking process, and sample the signature mucats, tokays, and rich reds.
Adjacent to Melbourne, Geelong, the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, is a popular detour for day-trippers tackling Australia’s most famous road trip. be sure to try the region’s pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, and viognier wines.
The mountainside vineyards of the Grampians wine region yield an impressive selection of red wines, most famously those from Mount Langi Ghiran Winery. Leave plenty of free time when planning your trip—the spectacular scenery will distract you along the way.