The Yarra Valley is Victoria's oldest wine region with a history stretching back 170 years, and also one of Victoria's most visited wine areas, located less than an hour's drive east of Melbourne. The Yarra Valley is now recognised as one of Australia's foremost cool climate regions, capable of making classic styles from a wide range of varieties. It is impossible to favour a single variety as the star performer because the Yarra Valley offers sparkling wine (including those made in partnership with French Champagne houses), fine Chardonnay, complex Pinot Noir, silky Shiraz and world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
But Victorian winemaking is much more than the Yarra Valley, demonstrated by the quality of wine coming out of smaller niche regions like the Strathbogie Ranges and Swan Hill. The Strathbogie Ranges with its high altitude, diversity of landscapes, majestic vistas, spectacular rocky outcrops, waterfalls and ferny glades does not present the easiest of wine growing surroundings, but with cautious growth the region has established a reputation of delivering wine of superior quality. Further west, the Swan Hill region has utilized irrigation and the hot Victorian sun to consistently make internationally acclaimed table wines across several grape varieties.