While the farmers and dairy industry in Gippsland get so much glory, the winemakers of the region are just as heroic. The land that is so favourable to dairy farming (cold and wet) makes maintaining vineyards a real challenge — and yet, the wine produced is rich and complex.
Spread out over an area that claims 20 per cent of Victoria, Gippsland stretches from Melbourne’s eastern outskirts all the way to the New South Wales border in the state’s far east.
The wine region can be divided into three categories: south, east and west.
South Gippsland is the most chilly, most windy and wet and the pinot noir that makes it to the bottle is nothing short of laudable.
Things are a little more Mediterranean and moderate in the east, finding itself a home for oaky chardonnay, riesling, more pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.
West Gippsland is drier and warmer still with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and of course pinot noir playing starring roles in the cellar doors that also feature cheeses and other local delicacies.