Get to Know the Australian Wine Regions of Victoria

I have had the privilege to travel to Australia twice, but neither trip was to explore the wine regions. And, both times I traveled around the country, one region I did not go to was Victoria, where Melbourne is the capital. I recently enjoyed a virtual tasting with four producers from Victoria and wrote about it in Men’s Journal, which I share here. And now I am itching to travel back to Australia where I can explore the region of Victoria.

Australia is a big country. In fact, it is almost as big as the United States. Australia is broken into six states—New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania—and two internal territories—the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

The largest, and most famous, wine production state in Australia is South Australia, home to the renowned wine region Barossa Valley, as well as other recognized regions such as Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, and others. But Australia, like the United States, produces wine in every state and another of the states worth exploring is the state of Victoria.

Victoria—whose capital is Melbourne—is in the southeast of Australia, south of the state of New South Wales. This underrepresented region is home to more regions, unique climates, and innovative wineries than any other state in Australia. There are 60 designated wine regions in Australia and 21 of them are in Victoria. The 21 wine regions include the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, Sunbury, Macedon Ranges, Pyrenees, Grampians, Henty, Murray Darling/Mildura, Swan Hill, Bendigo, Heathcote, Goulburn Valley, Upper Goulburn, Strathbogie Ranges, Rutherglen, Beechworth, Alpine Valleys, King Valley, Glenrowan, and Gippsland. From coastal plains to mountain ranges and fertile agricultural land to rugged coastline, Victoria is home to the most diverse climates, terroirs, and varieties of wines in Australia.

There are more than 800 wineries in Victoria. Here are four producers (and five wines) from Victoria to peak your interest.

Chalmers is located in Heathcote, north of Melbourne. The Chalmers family has been in the Australian wine scene for almost 30 years. Winemaker Kim Chalmers’ parents started with a grapevine nursery and imported many varieties. They have 50 different varieties and 100 clones which they have planted.

Their Heathcote Vineyard is an east-facing site comprised of the famous red Cambrian soils of the area. The Chalmers saw the potential of Italian varieties in this region and started producing Vermentino in 2004. Today any Italian varieties found in Australia have come from the Chalmers family.

Chalmers 2022 Vermentino (SRP: $30) offers aromas of white stone fruits, lemon, and floral notes and is crisp and refreshing on the palate with textured acidity.

Fowles is located in the Strathbogie Ranges north of Melbourne and is owned by Matt and Kuise Fowles. The Strathbogie Ranges sit almost 600 meters above sea level. A rugged region and untouched region, the soils consist of big boulders and little topsoil. The Fowles own and manage 360 acres of vines across two vineyards and produce wines meant to be paired with food.

Fowles 2021 Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Wild Ferment Pinot Noir (SRP: $34.99) offers fresh strawberry and cherry aromas, as well as earthy mushroom and spice notes. The wine is juicy with a silky texture, velvety tannins, and fresh acidity.

Fowles 2019 Farm to Table Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP: $17.99) has cherry, cassis, licorice, and herbal notes and is medium-bodied with good tannins.

Yering Station
Yering Station is in the Yarra Valley, north-east of Melbourne. Yarra Yarra, a cool-climate hilly region, is Victoria’s oldest wine region and Yering Station is where the first vineyard in Victoria was planted in 1838. The Rathbone family purchased the property in 1996 and they own 250 acres across five sites.

Yering Station 2021 Shiraz Viognier (SRP: $34.99) co-ferments 2% of Viognier with the Shiraz which is then aged in French oak for 18 months. The wine has concentrated fruit notes with layers of spice. The wine is bold with gravelly tannins and a floral lift on the finish.

Chambers Rosewood Vineyards
Chambers Rosewood Vineyards is located in Rutherglen, north-east of Melbourne. A remote region, it is one of the oldest regions with a 160-year history. A hotter and drier region with cool nights, Rutherglen is known for its fortified wines. Rosewood Vineyard was established in 1858 and is currently run by Stephen Chambers, the 6th generation in his family to make wine.

Chambers Rosewood Vineyards NV Muscadelle (SRP: $18) is made from late-harvest Muscadelle grapes that are crushed, destemmed, pressed, fermented, and fortified with neutral grape spirits. The wine is intense and fresh with fresh and fruity aromatics and notes of honey, apricot, dried oranges, caramel, and green tea.

With so much diversity and quality, there is so much more to discover about Victoria, Australia. These wines above are just the start. Visit to learn more.

Read the original story in Men’s Journal.