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WINES BY REGION

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Victoria

yarra-yarra.jpgWith more wineries, more wine regions, and greater diversity in style than any other state, Victoria can lay claim to being Australia's most important state - at least in a vinous sense.

Viticulture has been important throughout most of Victoria's history, with the first vineyard (at Yering in the Yarra Valley) established in 1838 and by the middle of the 19th century there were were plantings thoughout the state.  Best's oldest vines, which make up it's 'Thomson Family' Shiraz are from the Concongella vineyard, planted in 1867, and cuttings from this vineyard have been propogated to establish many other famous vineyards.

Most wineries - there are now nearly 900 - are small in scale, with plantings typically under 10 hectares (and often much smaller), with much of their wines sold through cellar doors, mailing lists and local restaurants.

As with any wine region, quality varies enormously from one producer or wine to the next.  Yet it is indisputable that Victoria is making not only some of Australia's greatest wines, but some genuinely world-class wines of exceptional quality.  Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and even Cabernet Sauvignon (and blends thereof) all perform well and are capable - from the right sites and in the hands of those who have the ability - of greatness.

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