Wine Tours in Victoria by Mini Bus
Taking day trips to Victoria can be a fun thing to do for both social groups and corporate groups. There are so many wineries in and around Victoria near Bendigo that we had a hard time choosing. Then we found a map that showed the vineyards and their availability for being open to the public. For a wine tasting day trip to Victoria these six wineries are open on weekends and public holidays so even if you work too much you can make some time to tastes a little wine in some of Australia's best wine country.
The best way to see a winery in Australia is using a private minibus or mini coach with driver. This way you can park at the smaller boutique wineries that turn away big tour buses, and you have a designated driver so everyone in your party can participate. The best part has got to be the ride back in the minibus from Victoria. The ultimate Victoria Day Trip should end with uncorking your favorite bottle of vino from your favorite cellar door and sipping that wine all the way home while your minibus driver gets you where you need to be safe and sound.
If you like red wine you simply must taste the wine from Pondalowie Vineyard. This boutique vineyard was started by a young couple with a love and passion for wine, specifically red wine. They started the vineyard with 25 acres, a dream, and a lot of family support. Today there are two separate vineyards 40 km apart. The first behan with Shiraz, Malbec, and Cabernet, while the second one has varietals of Shiraz, Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Viognier. The blends that come from these grapes are dependent on the growing conditions each season.
The owners of Pondalowie both have extensive experience in the wine industry and a passion for wine. They have focused on a few very specific wines, and blends and have applied the co-fermentation technique whenever possible for their signature blended wines. To use this technique the grapes must ripen at the same time so it is not always possible.
Mandurang Valley Wines
Another Victoria winery started in the 90s by a couple with a passion for wine is Mandurang Valley, known for a crisp Shiraz, and a wonderful Riesling. Mandurang began as a wine making hobby and in 1992 the couple made a test batch for sale and when it all sold in a single day it was clear they were on to something. Since then it has become a family affair with the kids helping out and even the grandkids have been spotted helping out around the vineyard.
The Mandurang cellar door has a diverse selection of reds, whites, and rose wines. Choose from Rose, Riesling, Grenache Shiraz, Merlot, or Chardonnay. If you have the chance to visit Mandurang during one of their four seasonal dinners it is worth the trip. The dinners are prepared by the owners and and are paired around all the wines, and back vintages available, and if you are lucky there will be a mystery bottle or two floating around this ultimate dinner party.
Yet another fabulous boutique winery in central Victoria literally in the heart of Bendigo is the LynneVale Estate. This one has a special surprise for those that want to make the trip more than a day trip. Lynnevale Estate has a lovely restaurant overlooking their vineyard and farm, as well as a hosted bed & breakfast.
Once upon a time in 1999 a vineyard was planted on the floodplain of Sheepwash Creek. In the Gold Rush Days you would find a market on these very same grounds. In 2003 Lynnvale was awarded its first gold medal for LynneVale Estate Cabernet Shiraz. Many more awards have come there way since. Enjoy a good Rose, Shiraz, Verdelho, or a sparkling Shiraz from this phenomenal vineyard.
Although the first two barrels of wine were produced in 2005 Killiecrankie has a deep wine making history. Learn about the history of the wine being made on site since 1689 while battles between Scotland and England raged and one derelict clan decided it would be a much better use of their time to make wine. Killiecrankie makes a great Shiraz, and a new wine Lola Montez which is a young Tempranillo with lots of bursting berries in the flavor.
Blackjack Ranch and Winery
The Blackjack Ranch and Winery has a really fun story to go along with it. It began with a boy of 14 who found he enjoyed making wine and became passionate about it at a very young age. He studied winemaking of France and California and by 17 was fermenting grapes and collecting Bordeaux and Burgundy. In 1990 Roger invented the game called California Blackjack, a game that had been outlawed for over a century and by changing two small things created a legal game for California. Nearly a decade later when Roger opened his winery he named it none other than Blackjack Ranch.
If you are a fan of Bordeaux this winery is a must visit. None other than Robert Parker Jr. the most respected wine critic in the world awarded the Bordeaux from Blackjack Ranch a 5 star rating. High marks were also awarded to the Syrah and the Chardonnay produced at this little hillside vineyard.
There are a number of wonderful wineries in and around Bendigo. These are some of the best boutique wineries for a Victoria Day trip and the best part is they are open on weekends and public holidays. Each winery on this list is owned and operated by someone or in some cases and entire family who is passionate about wine, growing, farming, and fermenting. A day out in Victoria visiting wineries can be a wonderful day out indeed.