The Best Wineries in Western Victoria
Beyond the highly popular Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula, there are plenty of tasting treasures to be unearthed in the wider wine regions of Western Victoria.
From the emerging powerhouse of the cool climate Pyrenees region to the long-established excellence of Great Western and the Grampians, Western Victoria has long played a vital role in the Australian wine story.
Vineyards are vast and isolated here, attached by dirt roads to country towns and sometimes just the smallest of hamlets. Wines are made by men and women of the land, people like John Thomson at Crawford River in the Henty region, who talks of his “peasant genes,” and who has four generations behind him who have farmed sheep and cattle on the land. He and his wife Catherine branched into wine in 1975.“I didn’t set out to grow grapes,” he says. “I set out to make wine.”
Join us as we go west and explore the frontiers of Victorian wine with a look at some of the best Western Victoria wineries and cellar doors!
Best Pyrenees Wineries and Cellar Doors
Just under two hours’ drive from Melbourne, the Pyrenees is a spectacular region of untamed, mountainous beauty. Sharing its name with the ruggedly beautiful area between France and Spain – with a climate to match – it’s a sublime place to get away from it all to take in the stunning views and, naturally, the sensational wines.
Recognised as Australia’s most highly-awarded organic winery, Mount Avoca was first founded in 1970 by John and Arda Barry. Certified organic since 2016, everything at Mount Avoca is grown, made and bottled on site, and their sandstone cellar door offers a tranquil retreat where you can enjoy their award-winning wines over a round of pétanque in the shade of the property’s majestic old gum trees. For an especially rejuvenating retreat, stay a couple of nights at Mount Avoca’s Eco-Luxe lodges, set between the vineyard and the olive grove of the estate. Learn more about Mount Avoca from the winemaker himself, Matthew Barry, in this winery spotlight and Q&A.
Mount Avoca, Moates Lane, Avoca, Victoria
Open 7 days a week, 11am to 4pm
For more information, visit the Mount Avoca website
Blue Pyrenees Estate
One of Western Victoria’s iconic wineries, Blue Pyrenees Estate offers an excellent mix of wine and food amongst natural surrounds. Wine lovers can take a short stroll uphill from the winery to find the cellar door which provides a superb vantage point from which to taste the wines, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy a glass or two matched with fresh local produce. Or, savour the entire experience at Café Blue, where you can dine alfresco or catch up with family in the extensive picnic and BBQ areas. You can even book to stay at the Estate’s Lakehouse, or enjoy a tiny house experience to relax, unwind and escape.
656 Vinoca Rd, Avoca, Victoria
Open 7 days a week, 11am to 5pm
For more information, visit the Blue Pyrenees Estate website
Established in 1969, Taltarni is one of the pioneering wineries of the Pyrenees region. Their picturesque vineyards cover 250 acres of the western reach of the Great Dividing Range, from which they produce some of Australia’s most popular Sparkling wines. Visit them at their cellar door and relax amongst the rolling, rugged hills, taking in the sweeping vistas as you enjoy their award-winning wines with personalised wine tastings on the cellar door veranda, or in the T-Bar cave. Bookings are essential, so make sure to call ahead before your visit.
339 Taltarni Road, Moonambel, Victoria
Open Friday to Sunday plus public holidays, 11am to 5pm
For more information, visit the Taltarni website
Best Grampians and Great Western Wineries and Cellar Coors
A little over 3 hours by car from Melbourne lie the Grampians, an ancient mountain range whose forested foothills emanate a natural magic that draws people from far and wide. Wine has been made here since the 1860s, with Shiraz, Riesling and Sparkling styles from the region attracting considerable praise, many of which are produced from some of the world’s oldest vines.
Seppelt Wines Great Western
A visit to the Grampians isn’t complete without stopping by the iconic Seppelt Great Western, founded in 1865. Seppelt’s heritage-listed, labyrinthine cellars, The Drives, were originally excavated in 1868 by out-of-work gold miners, and provide a fascinating glimpse into Australia’s early winemaking history. A maze of tunnels which stretch beneath the Seppelt property for 3km, it is estimated The Drives can hold up to 3 million bottles of wine, making a tour of Seppelt a must for any wine lover passing through Victoria’s western reaches.
36 Cemetery Road Great Western, Victoria
Open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm
For more information, visit the Seppelt Wines Great Western website
Planted on the eastern slopes of the Grampians in 1969 and renamed Fallen Giants in 2013 by its present owners, this winery lies just outside the town of Hall’s Gap and is home to some of the oldest vines in the region. The Shiraz, Riesling and Cabernet grown here is absolutely first-rate, and visitors can experience these wines for themselves at Fallen Giants’ cellar door, which offers amazing views over the Grampian’s and the winery vineyards.
4113 Ararat-Halls Gap Road, Halls Gap VIC
Open Wednesday to Friday 12pm to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm
For more information, visit the Fallen Giants website
Best’s Great Western
No Western Victorian wine tour would be complete without a visit to historic Best’s Wines. Deep-dive into a wealth of wines housed within the rustic tasting room inside the original stables building erected in 1866, and experience a bit of history with the Best family artefacts (including winery founder Henry Best’s diary from the mid-to-late 1800s). Following a taste test of this iconic winery’s much-loved wines, visitors are encouraged to venture underground through the hand-dug tunnels into the original cellars to uncover ‘Best’s kept secrets.’ Then, grab a cheese plate, a glass of wine and unwind at the cellar door…
111 Bests Rd, Great Western, VIC
Open daily 10am to 5pm
For more information, visit the Best’s Great Western website
Established in 1994 following its first plantings in 1989, the Grampians Estate vineyard was founded to further the development of the wine production in the region. Purchased in 2004 by Tom and Sarah Guthrie, the Estate continues to go from strength to strength – particularly when it comes to first-rate Shiraz and Chardonnay. Located on the north side of the Muirhead Range of the Grampians, it’s also home to a rustic cellar door offering visitors the chance to sample the boutique wines of the Grampians Estate, or enjoy some of the local produce before picking up a gift box to take home with them from their travels.
1477 Western Highway, Great Western VIC
Open 7 days a week from 10am to 4pm
For more information, visit the Grampians Estate website
Best Henty Wineries and Cellar Doors
Approximately 300km west of Melbourne and 500km south east of Adelaide, the Henty wine region is endowed with great natural beauty, from the rolling redgum-dotted pastures of the north, to the dramatic coastline of the south. With over 15 vineyards active in Henty, it may be an outlier in terms of production, but there’s no mistaking the quality of its aromatic white wines and its intense, finely structured reds.
Crawford River Wines
Family owned and operated since 1975, Crawford River Wines rests on gently undulating grazing lands with sprawling forests in the distance, on land first settled by owner John Thomson’s great-grandfather in 1884. Their cellar door, added in 2000 and designed by noted architect Graeme Gunn AM, lets visitors drink in the glorious views that sweep down over the farm towards the Crawford River, while enjoying the vineyard’s handcrafted, estate-grown wines. Given how busy the family is working the farm, cellar door visits are by appointment only!
741 Upper Hotspur Road, Condah VIC
By appointment only
For more information, visit the Crawford River Wines website
Located 10km west of the town of Hamilton in the Henty wine region, the Bochara vineyard was established in 1998 and is best known for their Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Gewürztraminer. It takes its name from 10,000-acre pastoral run that in 1901 was divided into a number of smaller family farms, and is home to a charming cellar door that is the former home of a returned WW1 Light Horseman. The weatherboard cottage, first built in the 19th century and transported to its current location in the 1920s, was restore in 2002 and provided visitors with a comfortable and historic venue for wine tasting, with calming views over the vineyard.
1099 Glenelg Highway, Bochara VIC
Open 7 days a week, by appointment only
For more information, visit the Bochara Wines website
Located at the foothills of Mount Pierrepoint between Hamilton and Tarrington in the beautiful Western District of Victoria, this family owned and operated vineyard, cellar door and Bed and Breakfast has been a Tarrington tourist stopover since 2000. The vineyard is managed with traditional care, and without the use of chemicals – you’ll see geese, ducks and chickens roaming free, controlling pests naturally. Their cellar door, surrounded by beautiful lawns overlooking the lake, is the perfect venue to enjoy their wines with a plate of top-notch food, or over a game of Giant Jenga or Totem Tennis (among others)!
271 Pierrepoint Road, Tarrington VIC
Open 7 days a week, by appointment only
For more information, visit the Pierrepoint Wines website
Best Ballarat Wineries and Cellar Doors
The regional Victorian city and former gold town of Ballarat is at the heart of an exciting – and flourishing – wine region, with mist-shrouded vineyards turning out exciting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling wines. With a growing number of boutique wineries now operating here, the future of the Ballarat wine region is bright, offering wine lovers another destination to explore on their journey through Australian wine.
Captains Creek Organic Wines
Captains Creek rises on a mixed organic farm at Blampied, near Daylesford, at the foot of Kangaroo Hills – about 40 minutes outside Ballarat. Four generations of the May family have run the 80-hectare farm for more than 100 years since 1909. Their inviting cellar door offers delicious lunches such as woodfired pizza and platters of local produce to enjoy with your wine, with the veranda providing the perfect aspect to take in the views of the vines.
Kangaroo Hills Road, Blampied VIC
Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm – bookings essential
For more information, visit the Captains Creek Organic Wines website
Sinclair of Scotsburn
The Sinclair of Scotsburn Estate is nestled on the slopes of Mt Buninyong, with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, vineyard and lake. Its Buninyong Springs vineyard was established in 1997 and came under the ownership of David and Barbara Sinclair in 2001, and has seen a number of award-winning wines emerge from its soils. Roughly 20 minutes outside of Ballarat, the Sinclair of Scotsburn cellar door is the ideal spot to sample their wines and take some well-deserved time out!
256 Wiggins Rd, Scotsburn VIC
Weekends only by appointment
For more information, visit the Sinclair of Scotsburn website
First planted in 1983, Eastern Peake Vineyards are set on a small plateau at Coghills Creek in the Ballarat Highlands some 25 km from Ballarat. A dramatic backdrop of a rugged granite outcrop of Mt Bolton, namely ‘Eastern Peake’ is to the west of the vineyard, creating the stunning view seen from the property. To the east, the vineyard overlooks the Mammaloid Hills of the Creswick Plains, named by Major Mitchell during his epic trail. Their cellar door was recognised by Gourmet Traveller as one of the best small cellar doors around, but make sure to call ahead and make an appointment first!
67 Pickfords Road, Coghills Creek VIC
Open daily from 11am to 5pm
For more information, visit the Eastern Peake website
As you can see, the western reaches of Victoria are an absolute hive of winemaking activity. For those wine lovers looking to strike out and explore new frontiers in wine, set your course for Western Victoria and drink in its splendour.
Want to know about more great wine regions to explore? Check out our guide to the Best Australian Wineries and Cellar Doors, giving you an eagle’s eye overview of our picks for some of the must-see wineries to visit on your next wine adventure!