We had the chance to check out the local wineries when we were staying in the seaside village of Metung in the south eastern corner of Victoria, Australia. We concentrated on the smaller wineries, less than 2000 cases produced annually. With the large lakes and rivers in the area, and cooler climate due to close proximity to the sea it is probably the closest Australian wine region to BC
Tambo is a 13 acres estate winery situated on a North East facing slope in the foothills of the Victorian Alps. They produces only 1100 cases each year, 50% of the grapes are Chardonnay. Our favorite wine was the 2015 Savignon Blanc. Clean and fresh with expressive fruit character highlighted by natural acidity. A truly luscious wine. The Cabernet Savignon was also exceptional. A rich medium bodied wine with a layered array of dark summer fruits, dark chocolate and a lingering mocha finish.
Nicholson River Winery is set in one of the most beautiful location I have ever been lucky enough to visit. Located on a cliff, high above the Nicholson River valley, there is a expansive view across the Gippsland lakes, 90 mile ocean beach and onto Bass Strait. We had a chance to chat to one of the owners, Juliet Eckerley at the cellar door which is an 1880 farmhouse. There are 20 acres planted with Chrdonnay, Pinot Noir from 30 year old vines, and even some Sangiovese. It is a difficult area to grow grapes here with mildew damage often reducing the cropping rates to as low as 1.1 tons per acres. However this is a bonus for the wine consumer as it results in fabulous fruit flavoured wines. We particularly enjoyed the unoaked Chard.
Wyanga Park was a total trip! The original vines were planted in the 1970s for this 12 acre estate carved rom a gum tree forest. Annual production is around 1200 cases, The winery could also be reached from Lakes Entrance by boat. Our host should have been a stand up comedian and was supposedly a distant relative of former Canadian Governer General Adrieene Clarkson. We enjoyed his wine stories and the collection of nude paintings. All 10 wines we tasted for free were great but the iced Muscat let an indelible impression!
If you get a chance to visit Melbourne, please make sure you take a day trip to the Gippsland Lakes wine country.