Bordering New South Wales, the North West Victoria Wineries area combines inland agriculture with the relaxed pace of a lifestyle centred around the Murray River. Spanning from Robinvale to Wentworth, the Murray Darling offers an array of activities and landscapes to visit, including the Lock 11 boat cruise along the Murray River, the Robinvale Rural Life Museum, and Red Cliffs Scenic Reserve and its historical steam railway. Winemakers in the Murray Darling region are producing strong-flavoured, warm-climate wines, as well as some alternative varieties that are gaining popularity. The large-scale productions in the area are undertaken by about 1000 grape growers, who produce more than 300,000 tonnes annually. A visit to Victoria’s north-west will not only lead to tasting great wines, but also to discovering the pioneer history and many attractions of the great Murray River.
With more than 500 growers and 15,000 hectares, the Murray Darling is one of the largest wine regions in Australia and produces approximately 300,000 tonnes annually for some of the world’s best-known brands. Depending on seasonal conditions, the Murray Darling contributes up to 20 per cent of the national crush. Chardonnay is the dominant variety, followed by shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Upcoming varieties include pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, tempranillo, viognier and vermentino. The region boasts more than 20 wineries and wine producers, ranging from boutique to large-scale facilities that crush anywhere from five to 120,000 tonnes annually. More than half of the region’s wineries are exporting, and many are in the process of developing export markets. The region contributes significantly to the national wine industry, and some of Australia’s most recognised and successful brands source their wines from the Murray Darling region. – Anthony Murphy, Mildura Murray Darling Wine Industry Association