Vineyards filled with heart and soul
Victoria is home to some of the country's best vineyards, producing everything from world-class cool climate wines to fortified varieties and bold reds. While luxury cellar doors and contemporary winery restaurants tend to claim the lion's share of the state's tasting experiences, smaller more rustic venues are often the best places to hear a story from friendly owners, taste mouthwatering drops and dine on fine cuisine.
From boutique to rustic, check out these 11 charming vineyards in regional Victoria.
1. Eastern Peake Vineyard
Perfectly placed in the tiny township of Coghills Creek near Ballarat, Eastern Peake Vineyard is an award-winning boutique winery specialising in cool climate wines. If you're heading to the Goldfields region, be sure to pop into the cellar door at Eastern Peake to sample exceptional wines and charcuterie boards made with a range of regional produce.
Eastern Peake Vineyard, Coghills Creek, Goldfields
2. Wombat Forest Vineyard
Just 15 minutes from Daylesford, discover Wombat Forest Vineyard, where you can sip cool climate wines while enjoying views of the surrounding native forest. Immerse yourself in the local area, which is rich with flora and fauna, and taste and savour a flavourful, fruity drop from the award-winning vineyard.
3. Dal Zotto Wines
Embrace 'la dolce vita' lifestyle and experience warm Italian hospitality at Dal Zotto Wines in the heart of the King Valley. This charming cellar door is the place to be if you're keen to sample some of the state's finest Prosecco, along with other Italian style wines like Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio. Top off the tasting with a hearty Italian-inspired feast at Dal Zotto's cosy Trattoria.
Dal Zotto Wines, King Valley, High Country
4. Quealy Winemakers
Surround yourself with the comfort of the country, with metal and timber accents creating a cosy cellar door vibe at Quealy Winemakers in Balnarring. The organic certified winery grows one of the region's oldest single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, as well as esoteric skin contact varietals, Ribolla, Gialla, Moscato and Malvasia, to name a few. Nibble on a carefully curated cheese plate and sip wines with the distinct flavour palate of wines grown on the Mornington Peninsula.
5. Provenance Wines
Head to Geelong and the Bellarine to see the beautifully restored heritage-listed bluestone building in the historic Fyansford Paper Mill, which is home to Provenance Wines. Raise a glass with one of the winery's experts and enjoy six or eight wines as part of their 30-minute wine tasting, or let Head Chef, Nathan McIver take you on a culinary journey with a lovingly prepared meal made from fresh, local ingredients.
Provenance Wines, Fyansford, Geelong
6. Squitchy Lane Vineyard
Squitchy Lane Vineyard priorities viticulture and the handling of their grapes, so they can produce wines with less chemical input. The result is a group of harmonious, balanced and graceful wines with a full flavour and lower alcohol content, so the wines can refresh as well as sustain the soul. Participate in a tasting to try their Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
7. Soumah of the Yarra Valley
Experience the charm of northern Italy and the provenance of the Yarra Valley as you savour the taste of Soumah of the Yarra Valley's Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Sit back in the light-filled Italian-style trattoria and enjoy a leisurely lunch paired with the vineyard's finest drops.
Soumah of the Yarra Valley
8. Tallarida Winery and Vineyard
Tucked away amongst the lush soil of the Mornington Peninsula's Boneo plains is the charming Tallarida Winery and Vineyard. With a rich history of producing award-winning Chardonnay and a cosy cellar door that feels warm and welcoming, this family-owned boutique winery is a must-visit if you're heading down the Peninsula. Enjoy grazing platters and a glass of wine on the deck or bring your own picnic rug and get comfy on the sprawling lawn area.
9. Carrajung Estate
Savour seasonal fare and sip premium wines while soaking up picturesque Gippsland scenery at Carrajung Estate in Willung South. The carefully curated restaurant menu focuses heavily on seasonality and sustainability, with fresh ingredients sourced locally from nearby producers.
Carrajung Estate, Willung South, Gippsland. Photo by Everyday Nicky
10. Harman Wines
Head to Harman Wines on the Bass Coast for warm hospitality, delicious food and handcrafted cool climate wines. Their spacious cellar door in Wattle Bank is the perfect spot to meet, eat and drink, with a relaxed atmosphere, open fire and live music on the weekends. To complement your wine tasting, pick from delicious sharing platters, wood-fired pizzas and tapas plates.
11. Ringer Reef Winery
Soak up views of Mount Buffalo in Victoria's High Country at Ringer Reef Winery. Enjoy the tranquility of the sprawling property from the outdoor deck with a glass of handmade wine in hand and graze on a plate of locally-sourced cheese and produce. The venue often hosts independent artists from near and far and is a great place to enjoy a set of live music.
Ringer Reef Winery, Porepunkah, High Country