Located one and a half hours drive away from Melbourne, Heathcote wine region lies in the heart of Central Victoria. It is bordered by Bendigo in the west and Goulburn Valley in the east, encapsulating a pure rustic experience. Known for its local arts, gold rush relics and spectacular landscapes, the region is also gaining reputation for its amazing food, wines and friendly cellar doors.
Every year, in the month of October it holds the famous ‘Heathcote Food and Wine Festival’ that showcases more than 40 wineries. A 16-year-old tradition, the festival continues to attract wine enthusiasts from around Australia. You might also witness a number of other wine shows and festivals that keep taking place round the year.
Heathcote wine region that has now established a place in the wine industry was once known for its gold mines. This attracted people from across nations who brought along there cultural baggages. As a result, cropping, grazing and viticulture started developing here. The earliest vineyards were planted by Henning Rathjen, a German settler who came here in the 1850s. These vines were destroyed by phylloxera (vine louse), however in the 1960s, viticulture saw a resurgence as the Italian immigrants started planting more vineyards.
At present, the small town houses around 40 wineries and 70 vineyards that produce outstanding red wines.
Situated on an alleviation, the climate and soil of Heathcote wine region are greatly affected by Mount Camel hills. These ranges comprise of the unique Cambrian Greenstones soil that is rich in calcium and shows amazing water retention capabilities. The region also experiences even rainfall throughout the year and thus, irrigation is rarely required.
Famed for it red wines, the region is especially known for producing exemplary Shiraz, that have received appreciation from wine critics like James Halliday and are exported worldwide. Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most-produced wine in the region that is often blended with Merlot as well. Its wine-profile also includes some famous Italian varietals like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and the Spanish Tempranillo that reflect its rich heritage.