About Great Western
Great Western is part of Central Victoria’s Grampians wine region, one of Australia’s most historic and highly regarded wine regions. Great Western is a registered subregion (GIC). Situated along the Western Highway, 218 kilometres or 2 1/2 hours west of Melbourne, Great Western lies between the townships of Stawell and Ararat and only a short drive to the picturesque Grampians National Park.
The first grapes were planted at Great Western during the 1850s as the gold mining boom receded and people looked for a more permanent means of livelihood. Best’s vineyards planted in 1868 include grape varieties so rare that several have defied attempts at identification and are, in all probability, the sole surviving examples in the world.
The Grampians has enjoyed a long history of viticulture dominated by production of red wines of longevity, elegance and power. Silky smooth Shiraz with flavours and aromas of red cherry, plum, spice and pepper is typical of the regional style.
At Best’s Great Western, we are recognised internationally for the outstanding quality of our Shiraz.
The soils in the Great Western vineyard range from hard setting silt over clay to friable clay loams. In general the soils and vineyards are low yielding and retain moisture very well, essential in a region with limited rainfall. The altitude of the Grampians region results in lower than average temperatures than that of the Central Victorian wine regions to the east.
Great Western has a cool/ temperate continental climate, which is unusual for Australia. Recognised as a cooler climate grape-growing region, the growing season in summer is characterised by warm to hot days, but with nights that are cool to cold. Autumn is mild and reliably produces the most pleasant weather, perfect for ripening grapes in benign conditions and the region is especially well suited to later ripening red varieties, particularly Shiraz. The vineyards have many rolling hillsides at the foothills of the Grampians and the Great Dividing range. Great Western is surrounded by different mountain ranges on three sides and this creates an amphitheatre effect- cold nights and warm afternoons. We are over 150km from the southern ocean as the crow flies, but most of our weather comes from the South West over the Great Australian Bight, which is 300km away, and is moderated by the Grampians before it reaches us.
Watch this short video of the Grampians Winemakers talk about Shiraz from the region.