What a legacy! Best's Great Western – Celebrating 150 Years by Nicolas Brasch »

History, stories and recipes from one of Australia's oldest vineyards

By Laura McKinnon
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Best's Great Western commemorative book - celebrating 150 years

Best's Great Western commemorative book - celebrating 150 years


While Australia may still be considered a young wine country when compared to our European counterparts, there are some wineries and wine families with a long and interesting history. One of those is Best’s Great Western.

With its beginnings in 1866, Best’s Great Western is home to some of Australia’s oldest and most significant vineyards.

As one of Australia’s oldest and continuously family-owned and operated wineries, Best's also has a history of crafting extraordinary and iconic wines of elegance and longevity. Their flagship wine, the Thomson Family Shiraz, has an 'Outstanding' designation from the revered Langton’s Auction house and Bin O Shiraz is rated as 'Distinguished'.

Since 1866, it has been owned by just two families – the Best family who founded the winery and the Thomsons who purchased the property after Henry Best’s death in 1920 and today carry on the Best's vision.

In 2016 Best’s Great Western celebrated its 150 year history by releasing a book full of stories, pictures and some recipes.  Readers of the commemorative book will be transported to the cellar door, the vineyards and winery to experience, or remember, what it’s like to be there.

Through factual history, fictional conversations and stories about the Best and Thomson families, the book portrays the life of the business and its people for 150 years.

Starting with a fold-out page containing two images, one of the Best’s team in the late 1800’s and the other of the Best’s team today, it is very clear this story is all about the people who made the wine. This is reinforced in the introduction which talks about the many members of the Best and Thompson families as well as friends, acquaintances and industry experts, who have sat around the homestead table.

The book is broken up into 11 chapters:

  1. Planting the Vines
  2. The Bests
  3. Changing Hands
  4. The Quiet Consolidator
  5. Changing Tastes
  6. The Winemakers
  7. Taking Best’s to the World
  8. Best’s Wines
  9. Rebranding and Refocusing
  10. Coping with the Environment
  11. Epilogue.

Each chapter walks you through the facts and the fiction of that time, finishing with a recipe that perfectly matches to a wine from Best’s.

Recipes include Jellied Smoked Trout with Fennel Salad; Lamb with Salsa Verde; Roasted Fennel, Beef and Walnut Tangine; Sun-Dried Glace Figs, and Crème a la Coeur.

Reading through through the chapters you're sure to be inspired, not just to try the wines described but to visit the place where so much of this history took place. The Great Western region of Victoria is a part of Central Victoria’s Grampians wine region, one of Australia’s most historic and highly regarded wine regions, located  along the Western Highway, 218 kilometres west of Melbourne between the township of Stawell and Ararat.

The Grampians National Park, two hours' drive west of Melbourne, is a picturesque natural wonder dotted with hidden jewels for the wine buff and after reading this book, Best's Great Western is one you can visit with a greater insight to the history of the land and people.

Best’s Great Western Celebrating 150 Years is available to purchase from the Best’s Great Western website »


  • Grampians (Wine) (VIC)

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September 07th, 2017
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