The mofo guide to | The Victorian Pyrenees

Pete Sherwood
By Pete Sherwood
about 18 hours ago
4 min read

Whenever I visit winemakers in the Victorian Pyrenees, they all say some variation of the same thing, “What are you doing out here?” 

It’s true, the Pyrenees sits a little off the beaten path in Victoria’s outer-west (not the south of France – but you can be forgiven for making that mistake, many do). But the fact that it’s on the road to nowhere is much of a muchness, as it’s a world class wine destination worth making the trip for. 

For me the Pyrenees occupies the ground between ‘uncovered-gem’ and ‘region-of-the-moment’ – while home to winemaking giants and by no means nouveau, it rarely features amongst Australia’s foremost regions. That’s a huge oversight; the wines are undeniably elite. 


undefined

The grapes

The clue is in the name, French varieties reign supreme. Cab sauv, shiraz, and pinot noir make up the majority of reds, while chardonnay and sauv blanc dominate the white wine plantings.

In step with the rest of Australia’s wine zeitgeist there is an emergence of Italian varietals, too;  we’re particularly excited about nebbiolo coming out of the region. 


undefined

The wines

For the Australian drinking population, the relative obscurity of the Pyrenees region means that there is enormous value to be found here – in my opinion more so than anywhere else in the country (with the exception of Western Australia’s southern regions, perhaps).

The wines are terroir driven in all aspects; cool nights into warm days make for brilliantly balanced wines. Rich and ripe fruited but with cool climate precision and focus; the fruit is compact and dense but the low temperatures make for nervy, penetrating acidity that gives the wines beautiful concentration.

If you’re chomping at the bit to get your hands on some Pyrenees gems, then I 100% recommend checking these out:

Taltarni Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2023

Expertly crafted pinot noir. Elegance in the extreme - a beautifully produced wine from a producer we have come to expect nothing less from. Check it out.

Taltarni Estate Chardonnay 2023

Oaky and round Pyrenees chardy. Creamy, textured, shapely on the palate - that's the quality of the oak. The main act, though, is the excellent fruit quality on show. Check it out.

Shiraz 2019 – Black Market Deal #44796

Big and bold - shiraz that tends to amble around the glass. Plummy and plush, this is really packing something special. Check it out.

Pyren Vineyards Tanwood Chardonnay 2023

Victorian chardy with oomph - Chardonnay at this price point rarely, if ever, hits this level of palate weight and fruit richness. Check it out.


Best wine spots in the Victorian Pyrenees

undefined

@dalwhinniewines

Dalwhinnie

Perhaps the premier winery of the region, and for good reason too. Set atop the natural amphitheater of the estate vineyards, the cellar door looks out over both well established and newer vineyards. Sleek and stylish, the building nestles into hillside - enjoy a tasting on the expansive wrap around balcony or in the uber-contemporary tasting room itself. They’ll generally have the full gamut of their wines on show - blue fruited, complex shiraz and nutty, rich chardonnay the standouts. If you get a chance, sample some of their aged wares – the wines of Dalwhinnie are famously long lived. 

undefined

@taltarni

Taltarni Vineyards

Not far from the drama of the Dalwhinnie vineyards and cellar door is Taltarni Vineyards (just down Taltarni Road, which is apt) – a producer with a well earned penchant for premium booze. Drop into the cellar door to sample some of the regions best iterations of shiraz cabernet, pinot, and chardonnay (and a cheeseboard, too, while you’re at it). Local boy-come-Chief-Winemaker Rob Heywood knows the region and what it can produce. Everything this winery touches turns to gold. If I had to play favourites, though, it’s the vintage sparkling for me. The 2016 Taltarni Taché, in all it’s blushing brilliance, is my far and away my most returned to bottle of fizz. 

undefined

The Avoca Hotel

Not just a country pub, The Avoca Hotel (in – you guessed it – nearby Avoca) is a certified institution, offering the best of the region's wares. Food is hearty and authentic yet stylish, going above and beyond what you may expect. The wine list does discriminate; it offers exclusively pyrenees wines, so if you’ve got a hankering for more of the region's best, then settle in. 


Keen to start discovering what the Victorian Pyrenees has to offer? Shop our latest & greatest Pyrenees wine arrivals here.

Hey Kids!

Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence:

  • to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (penalty exceeds $17,000).
  • for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (penalty exceeds $700)

Liquor Licence No. 36300937

Seriously

At Vinomofo, we love our wine, but we like to also lead long and happy lives, and be good to the world and the people in it. We all try to drink responsibly, in moderation, and we really hope you do too.

Don’t be that person…

Acknowledgement of Country

Vinomofo acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued connection to the land and waters of this country.

We acknowledge this place always was, and always will be Aboriginal land.