Vintage roundup - Geelong to Gippsland, around Victoria 2010

The 2010 vintage is shaping up to be a bountiful, flavoursome one

By Sara Schwarz
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Tahbilk Underground Cellars

Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria [©Great Wine Capitals]

Shelmerdine Vineyards - the family's Merindoc property in southern Heathcote
Spray Farm Estate on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria
Windy Ridge Winery - South Gippsland's oldest vineyard
Mitchelton Wines, Nagambie, Victoria


Across Victoria, the 2010 vintage is shaping up to be a bountiful, flavoursome one. Freak storms aside, rainfall at the right times and a long, cool summer has resulted in some wonderfully flavoursome grapes, smiling viticulturalists and relieved winemakers.

Keep an eye out for 2010 shiraz in particular over the coming months and years.



The lowdown

The word on the street from Geelong is that the 2010 vintage is shaping up to cement the region’s status as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. With 50 to 75 wineries and approx 150 vineyards spread across three very distinct sub regions (the Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and the Surf Coast), you are sure to discover a range of styles and flavours.

Across the region, all have benefited from critically needed rainfall at vital periods and a long slow ripening period (with no extreme heat waves). This years’ wines look to be sensationally aromatic examples, in particular the pinot noirs, shiraz and cabernets.

What’s On

October 30 to 31 2010: The annual Toast to the Coast festival celebrates the region's premium wines and produce >>

Geelong Regional Overview >>



The lowdown 

Across at Heathcote, the renown ancient red Cambrian soils are famous for producing premium Shiraz for some of Australia’s most reputable wineries including Wild Duck Creek, Jasper Hill and Shelmerdine. In 2010 yields are slightly down on previous years while quality is up. Benefiting also from a long cooler summer, harvesting has been delayed slightly.

In particular look out for the shiraz and sangiovese from this vintage. Lesser known, the region also produces some excellently priced stunning cabernets, tempranillos, petit verdots and rieslings.

What’s On

October 2 and 3 2010: Join in the festivities at the annual Heathcote Wine and Food Festival each October >>

Heathcote Itinerary: Exploring Shiraz Country >>



The lowdown

50 milimetres of rain in early February brought welcome relief to grapegrowers across the Goulburn Valley region. As per the trend of the past four years, vintage began two weeks earlier than usual and already the majority of white grapes and some of the lower cropping Shirazes have been harvested. The remainder won't be far behind.

Keep an eye out for rieslings this year. The weather has been ideal for this varietal and it is showing some excellent flavour and acid. Worth putting a few aside for future consumption as they age beautifully.

For the reds, the shiraz is showing some vibrant colour intensity and intense, concentrated flavour.

What’s On

May 2 2010: Join Mitchelton, Tahbilk and Goulburn Terrace as they celebrate the Nagambie Lakes After Vintage Festival >>

Nagambie Wineries overview >>



The lowdown

Go north and you will find the boutique Upper Goulburn region. Here growers across the region are feeling very relieved as both the 2007 and 2009 vintages smoke taint from nearby bush fires made them unharvestable. The 2010 vintage however is looking very healthy indeed.

Keep an eye out for sparkling wines from Kinloch Wines, Ros Ritchie Wines, Buxton Ridge, and Delatite Winery in particular. This year the whites, especially the chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris are also well worth venturing to the region for.

What’s On

24 April 2010: Head to Main Street, Mansfield for the 2010 Upper Goulburn Vintage Celebrations >>

Upper Goulburn Winegrowers >>



The lowdown

Heading east, at Narkoojee Wines, plenty of sunshine and some good rainfall in 2009 along with some excellent vineyard management has resulted in a very healthy canopy and a great leaf / fruit balance this vintage. The pinot noir and chardonnay for sparkling wines have been picked for their very popular ‘Sparkling Harriet’ wines. Look out too for this years’ merlot, shiraz and cabernet.

It is with a sense of relief that Briagolong Estate harvest this year’s fruit. After being unable to make wine in 2007 or 2009 due to the bushfires, this year the pinot noir was safely harvested at the end of February – the earliest ever and the other grapes will be picked in the coming weeks.

At Avon Ridge, along the Maffra-Stratford road, they are enjoying a fantastic yield this year and are looking forward to bottling the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot noir and Cabernet in the coming months.

At Blue Gable Estate in Maffra, with the 2009 winning bronze at the Victorian Wine Show, they are looking forward to their 2010 sauvignon blanc. This year’s bumper crop of sauvignon blanc is looking truly exceptional.

Overall for the Gippsland region, the 2010 harvest is looking to be a bountiful one.

What’s On

March 28, 2010: Eight local wineries will each throw open their cellars for the Wineries of East Gippsland open day. In celebration of the 2010 open day, Blue Gable will release their 2009 sparkling chardonnay pinot gris.



The lowdown

Easter is a picturesque time to visit 'Prom Country' as the South Gippsland region surrounding Wilsons Promontory is known. Tucked into the hills and dales sit 10 wineries, who take full advantage of scenic landscape surrounding them, including the renowned pinot producer, Bass Phillip Wines.

Windy Ridge Vineyard and Winery is the regions' oldest producer and mainland Australia's southern-most winery, making wines from vineyards established in 1978. This year Graeme and Georgia Wilson happily report their pinot noir is back to pre drought levels of around three tonnes to the hectare. If you are planning a visit, make sure to ask for their sparkling malbec, a drier style sparkling with rich purple hue and full blackcurrent flavours which will be released over Easter. It just may become your favourite Autumn tipple.

What’s On

Easter 2010: Windy Ridge will release their new sparkling malbec at the cellar door >>

Gippsland Wine Region overview >>



  • Bellarine Peninsula (VIC)
  • Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula (VIC)
  • Great Ocean Road (VIC)
  • Melbourne and Melbourne West (VIC)

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March 23rd, 2010
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