Central Victoria is a wine “zone”, meaning that it consists of a number of sub-regions including Bendigo, Goulburn Valley, Heathcote, Strathbogie Ranges and Upper Goulburn. These regions are the inland foothills of the Great Dividing Range which snakes up Australia’s eastern coast as far as Queensland. Generally days are warm and nights are cool. Red wines dominate.
In the east, Bendigo was a gold mining hub during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. There were at least 40 vineyards there as early as 1864, though these vines don’t exist today. By contrast, in the Goulburn Valley – prime fruit growing country – some local vines in sandy soil are pre-phylloxera dating back to 1860. The Cambrian red soils of Heathcote yield mostly reds, dominated by Shiraz. The Strathbogie Ranges is typified by fewer, but larger vineyards, mainly growing atop a base of granite mixed with sandy loam. Finally, the higher altitude Upper Goulburn receives plentiful rainfall and the cooler climate lends itself well to brightly acidic Chardonnays and Rieslings.