Our Regions

Located in the heart of Victoria, Australia’s most compact mainland state, the start of the Shiraz Central wine trail is just a short drive from Melbourne.

Bendigo, Ballarat & Heathcote

Goulburn Valley

Grampians & Pyrenees

Macedon Ranges

How to Get There

Located in the heart of Victoria, Australia’s most compact mainland state, the start of the Shiraz Central wine trail is just a short drive from Melbourne.

The Macedon Ranges (one of four distinctive regions within Shiraz Central) is an hour’s drive north-west of the state capital.

The three other regions (the Grampians [Gariwerd] and Pyrenees; Bendigo, Ballarat and Heathcote; and the Goulburn Valley) are all situated within a two-hour driving radius of the Macedon Ranges.

An alternative regional gateway is the Victorian Goldfields city of Bendigo, which can be reached by a 90-minute flight from Sydney. And those travelling on the famed Great Southern Touring Route, which sweeps west of Melbourne and encompasses the Great Ocean Road, will explore the Grampians (Gariwerd) and Ballarat regions on their loop back to Melbourne.


The Terroir and Landscape

Victoria’s wild and mountainous Central Highlands are home to a vast array of microclimates, terrains and soils, all of which contribute to the region’s rich wine diversity and its cachet as Australia’s largely undiscovered shiraz-growing region.

Much of this striking landscape has been shaped by volcanic activity, resulting in incredibly fertile soils. And thanks to the sunny days and cool nights of the Shiraz Central wine route, locally grown grapes ripen slowly, offering a new style of cool-spiced Australian shiraz.

Each of the regions within the Shiraz Central wine route has its own unique quirks. Due to its high elevation (some vineyards are located approximately 800 metres above sea level) the Macedon Ranges is the coolest mainland wine region in Australia.

The Mediterranean climate of the Bendigo region typically results in low yields for local winemakers, thus producing shiraz wines of great depth and strength. The deep, well-drained and calcium-rich Cambrian soils of Heathcote are highly prized for producing rich and velvety shiraz.

The Goulburn Valley is the only Australian wine region (and one of only six worldwide), where the climate is influenced by inland water, which tempers the otherwise hot and dry summers to produce ripe and fruity shiraz. And the decomposed granite and quartz present in the soil of the Grampians (Gariwerd) make it ideal for growing elegant examples of shiraz.

Where to Taste Shiraz

Boutique, family-owned and run outfits are prevalent in the Shiraz Central wine trail, with many wineries operating on a scale so small that bottles are sold only through the cellar door, to select domestic restaurants and to niche retailers.

Offering a personalised and intimate cellar door experience and a taste of warm country hospitality, at the region’s tasting benches you’ll often get to meet the maker.

What to expect from a tasting

Shiraz is arguably Australia’s flagship varietal, the nation’s greatest wine export and most widely planted grape. In the Shiraz Central wine trail of Victoria the variety has reached the heights of refinement, at once silky and approachable yet complex.

Typically medium to full bodied, due to the long ripening season, Shiraz Central expressions of this red varietal wear a dark purple cloak with unmatched aromatics of berries and fruit introducing a mouth-watering palate of poise and beauty.

Expect to taste a range of forest and orchard fruits (think berries, cherries and plums) brought to life by a tantalising array of cool-spice notes.