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FOOD & DRINK

Five Top-Notch Victorian Winemakers to Get Behind If You're Committed to Supporting and Drinking Local 

Sip and celebrate the state's best independent vinos.
By Sarah Ward
August 30, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
August 30, 2020
  shares

FIVE TOP-NOTCH VICTORIAN WINEMAKERS TO GET BEHIND IF YOU'RE COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING AND DRINKING LOCAL 

in partnership with

Sip and celebrate the state's best independent vinos.

When it comes to sun, surf and sand, Australia's prowess is widely recognised. But, as any wine lover is well aware, we have something else to be just as proud of. Made in sprawling vineyards around the country — including in Victoria — our local vinos are simply top-notch. And, they're worth championing and celebrating at every possible opportunity.

This isn't news to Victorians, of course. Mornington Peninsula, the Pyrenees and the Yarra Valley's wineries have strong reputations, as do others across the rest of the state. Indeed, we're betting their tipples already rank highly on your must-drink list. When such excellent wines are made so close to home, there's nothing better than to pair one with dinner, a cheese platter or a seafood lunch, obviously.

In case you need a few extra suggestions, are looking for a couple of other local drops to try, or you could just use a reminder about brands you adore, we've teamed up with our pals at BWS to highlight five Victorian-based winemakers that you should definitely know and support. You might already love their tipples. You may have heard of them, but never had the pleasure of trying their wares. Either way, these wines will help you drink local.

  • 5

    Think you jumped on the prosecco bandwagon early, back before it was popular? Sorry, but King Valley’s Dal Zotto Wines beat you to it. In fact, it was the region’s very first winery to even plant prosecco vines. That was in 1999, and many a bubbly vino fan has sipped its sparkling drops since. A family-run winery since its very beginnings, Dal Zotto has been making tipples since 1987, with a big focus on Italian grape varieties (as its pioneering prosecco move demonstrates). More than three decades later, its holdings span across almost 200 acres — and if you’re keen on something other than prosecco for some reason, you’ll find everything from pinot bianco to sangiovese among its range.

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  • 4
    Blue Pyrenees Estate

    Located in Avoca, Blue Pyrenees Estate boasts a hefty history, dating back to 1963. A pioneer in cool-climate viticulture since it first started out, it’s long been one of the area’s mainstays — with its 150-hectare property featuring plenty of vines, eye-catching gardens and a lake, and surrounded by a forest and mountains. Blue Pyrenees not only grows and picks its own grapes, but also makes its wine solely from said fruit, then packages it and sells it onsite. Taking a few cues from French-style vino, its range spans reds, whites, sparkling and rosé. Can’t choose? Blue Pyrenees Estate’s cabernet sauvignon was a double gold medal-winner at the 2020 China Wine and Spirits Awards, and features blackberry, leafy and oaky tastes.

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  • 3

    Three vineyards, four labels, one overarching Mornington Peninsula winery. That’s what falls under the Stumpy Gully name, and has done since 1989. Things could’ve been different, though, with the Zantvoort family originally planning to grow citrus when they moved over from Holland. Fans of a great locally made drop will be thankful that they decided to go with grapes instead, obviously. From that setup, Peninsula Panorama Wines is just one of Stumpy Gully’s labels, but it’s a good one — with a chardonnay, rosé, cabernet merlot, pinot noir and shiraz in its range. If that’s too many to pick from, the latter two are particularly top choices, especially if you like cherry and raspberry tastes, or a spice, berry and vanilla oak blend.

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  • 2

    At its Coldstream site, Rochford Wines combines a vineyard, restaurant, amphitheatre and lakeside deck. As a result, it not only makes vino, but also regularly hosts big gigs and events. That’s one of the reasons it has become one of the Yarra Valley’s best-known wineries — although, even without its impressive home base, Rochford would still earn ample attention. A family-owned and -operated outfit, it is particularly concerned with balance, sustainability and minimising grape-handling to extract the best personality from its drops. Don’t just take our word for it, though; sip its Latitude pinot noir, taste the ripe flavour, and you’ll completely understand what we’re talking about.

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  • 1

    Head south of Melbourne by approximately 90 kilometres and you’ll find yourself on the Bellarine Peninsula. You’ll also find yourself in Oakdene Vineyards’ backyard. This boutique outfit grows grapes in Mannerim and Wallington, operates a cellar door at the latter, and has been part of the local landscape since 2001. If you know anything about the area, you’ll know that the weather is cool. Oakdene makes the most of it, with its grapes the product of a long growing season. Yes, it focuses on wine varieties that suit the area and climate, too, such as handcrafted chardonnay, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc, as well as pinot noir and shiraz — although you’ll also find merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon on its lineup.

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To find these or other Victorian drinks as part of the BWS Local Luvva’s initiative, head to your nearest BWS store.

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