Are you embarking on a wine pilgrimage to Dunkeld for your annual Royal Mail Club stay? We’ve mapped out the perfect road trip for a wine connoisseur, stopping at western Victoria’s best wineries.
It’s a history that dates back to the 1800’s when two Scottish-born brother’s – Joseph and Henry Best – decided to try their hands at viticulture. The Great Western wineries, Seppelts and Best’s were born, along with some world-class winemaking techniques.
The 1960’s saw the beginning of the next wave of viticulture enter the region, when Fallen Giants (formerly The Gap), Montara, Mount Langi Ghiran and Grampians Estate entered the fold.
Each rich with their own unique history, a drive through western Victoria tells the story of winemaking in Australia. Although the adventure below is not the most direct route to Dunkeld, it is a great way to make the most of your trip away.
Below is a list of wineries that are worth a stop, taste and a chance to soak in the views.
East to West
Whether you are driving to or from Melbourne, Ballarat or anywhere in between, there are plenty of wineries to choose from along the way.
Driving towards Ararat, tucked away behind Mount Langi Ghiran State Park is a winery donning the same name. It is bordered by Mount Langi Ghiran mountain range on one side and Mount Cole on the other. This unique and isolated placement of the vines produces cool climate wines with a distinct character. If you are after a very picturesque winery, with delicious wines and an awesome team – this is one stop that is worth your while.
Continue along the Western Highway and you’ll find Grampians Estate. Its vines were planted in 1989, making it one of the newer wineries in the region. However, this short history doesn’t attest to the wines that are produced on this property. Tom and Sarah Guthrie have earnt a 5 Red Star rating from James Halliday, placing them in the top 8% of winemakers in Australia. Stop past their cellar door, located on the Western highway, to learn more.
A short distance from this cellar door is the town of Great Western, home to Seppelts. It’s one of the most iconic wineries in Victoria, known for the famous underground cellars called The Drives. Built in 1868, goldminers were hired to excavate these cellars which are the longest running in the southern hemisphere. Tours run daily of these heritage listed landmark.
Also located in Great Western is Best’s. The first vines were planted in 1868 on this property and have been producing great wine ever since. In the entire winery’s history, only two families have owned it – the Best’s and the Thomson family. A stop at its cellar will have you trying limited release wines and rare, old vintages.
Jump back in the car and head towards the Grampians National Park and stop at Fallen Giants, just outside of Halls Gap. With vines planted on the eastern slopes of the Grampians mountain range, stellar views are a given. Wine tastings, produce platters and BBQ facilities make Fallen Giants a great stop before driving along the scenic Grampians Road to Dunkeld.
Arrive in Dunkeld and let your Royal Mail Club wine immersion begin. There’s no such thing as too much wine, is there?