The Grampians, western Victoria.

History

The Grampians region, Western Victoria. 

Located 260km west of Melbourne and 460km east of Adelaide.

Renowned for rugged mountain ranges, listed as a national park since 1984, the Grampians or Gariwerd - the indigenous name for the area is visited by over 1 million people every year. 

The Grampians (Gariwerd) Ranges rise majestically above the plains of western Victoria, forming jagged mountain chains up to 1100m above sea level. However, this has not always been the case. Aboriginal legend tells us that the Great Ancestor Spirit, Bunjil, created Gariwerd long ago. More recently, geologists have developed their own story for the formation of this region. Millions of years ago the region was not a mountain range, but was instead the ancient eastern shoreline of Australia. Massive forces, related to continental drift, uplifted, faulted and folded the sediment accumulated along this shoreline, and turned sand into stone.

Approximately 430 million years ago the coastline of Victoria ran north south through the Grampians region. To the west of the Grampians the ancient Australian continent was quite mountainous.  To the east, the region that is now the rest of Victoria was a deep ocean. Over quite a few million years several thousand metres of sand and mud were laid down along this shoreline as a layer cake of flat lying sheets that eventually became converted into the rocks we now call the Grampians Group.

Aboriginal occupation has been recorded back 22 000 years with rock art sites in the Grampians now forming 90% of all Victorian's known Aboriginal rock art drawing. The two Aboriginal language groups of this territory, Jardwadjali and Djab waurrung shared 90% of the same language allowing for a loose confederation for trading, and cultural and social activities. 

Explorer, Major Thomas Mitchell climbed to the summit of Mount William in the Grampians and names the mountain range after the Scottish mountains, Grampians. 

Where vineyards meet nature.

History

The Vineyards of the Grampians

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.

With the discovery of gold in Victoria, the Western Districts proved fruitful, and by the late 1850's the gold in and around Ararat, Stawell and surrounding areas had lured tens thousands of fortune hunters. 

Although vineyards in Western Victoria had already began, the most successful and well know would that be of the Best's Brothers. Joseph and Henry Best immigrated as children to Australia from Surrey, England in 1834. In 1865, Joseph Best noted the early success of the first wine growers in the western district and planted vines for himself with cuttings from the original St Peters Vineyard nearby. The following year, his brother Henry established his own vineyard to the west, named after the Concongella Creek. Henry planted 30 hectares of vines with about 3km of frontage along the creek. He named the property Concongella.

After Henry’s death, his son Charles sold the enterprise in 1920 to second-generation local vigneron Frederick P. Thomson. And so, it was at this time that the Thomson family’s career with this famed winery began.

Still today, you can step back in time by visiting Best's Wines in Great Western - take a self guided underground cellar tour (free) and walk in the same cellar built by Henry Bests.

Where old meets new.

Today

Today - the Grampians region is filled with old and new

 

Less than 5km from Halls Gap township you will find Fallen Giants Vineyards. Although some of their vines are over 50 years olds, this vineyard sitting right along the Grampians National Park has an old and new feel. With comments by James Halliday such as - "It sits easily alongside top rieslings from the Rheingau." I liked it from the first sip but every time I came back to it I liked it more and more, plus rating their 2017 Shiraz with 98 points. However, Fallen Giants - the name and label pays respect to the Gariwerd people of the region. You will find this beautiful cellar door suppling award winning wine right on the edge of the Grampians with the mountains, animals and views surrounding the site.

Just a little further down the road - you will find Pomonal Estate - the new vineyard to the block. Opening it's doors in December 2017, this cellar door has something for everyone. Not only does Pomonal Estate provide Grampians wine, but brews beer & cider onsite, alcoholic ginger beer, cafe, functions, accommodation and events all taking place throughout the year. Very popular with locals and visitors, Pomonal Estate was established by local Pomonal residents Pep and Adam - be sure to say hi when you visit.

Grampians Wine Tours - with tours departing from Halls Gap for more than 2 years bringing together these great locations in a fun and informative way. Not only will you visit the amazing vineyards of Best's Wines, Fallen Giants, Pomonal Estate and more but you will learn about the region as you travel along. With wine tours departing all year round, including two on every Saturday (morning & afternoon tour) plus silo art tours and more.

Grampians Helicopters -  have been flying in the Grampians for nearly 4 years by locally born and raised pilot, Justin. With more than 10 years of flying experience around Australia, Justin will ensure you have a fun, safe and memorable flight. Flights from Stawell airport - just 19 minutes drive from Halls Gap, running 7 days, 52 weeks a year. 

Take a 5 minute joy flight, a scenic over the Grampians, land at a vineyards, heli picnic, heli lunch and more available. 

Grampians, Victoria