The tradition of wine grape growing in the Bendigo region is nearly as old as Bendigo itself. Bendigo is situated in central Victoria and has a Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and wet winters.  The first grapes were planted in the Bendigo region in 1856, just after the start of the Gold Rush which brought tens of thousands of hopeful diggers from all over the world to seek their fortunes. 

Bendigo’s first vignerons were Jacques Bladier and a German named Delscher, both of whom planted vineyards at Epsom about 1855, and Jean-Baptiste Loridan.

The main red varieties, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, are both well suited to the region with winemakers producing long-lived wines from both styles. Bendigo is also one of Victoria's most elegant cities, with a vibrant mix of sidewalk cafes, art galleries, antique stores, stunning gold rush architecture and century-old gardens.   

36° 45'S
Latitude
240-390m
Altitude
267mm
Growing season rainfall

Cabernet Sauvignon

The wines have great depth of colour, a rich texture with abundant tannins, and fruit flavours ranging from faintly tobacco and herbaceous (in the coolest years) through to the far more common blackberry and black currant flavours. The intensity of the trademark regional eucalypt-peppermint character varies but it is seldom entirely absent. 

Chardonnay

Chardonnay dominates the white grape plantings, proving once again that it can be successfully grown and made in almost any combination of climate and soil. 

Shiraz

This is recognised as the great red wine of the region. The colour is deep and the wine has a voluptuous, mouth-filling flavour and texture. Red berries and cherries are supported by more exotic pepper and spice flavours. Like the Cabernet Sauvignon the wines are long-lived with excellent cellaring potential. 

Top varieties grown in Bendigo
Climate
  • Situated completely inland, the Bendigo region has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. 
  • There is some variation in mesoclimatic conditions due to elevation, slope and aspect, from the foothills of the central highlands to the warmer undulating plains west and north of Bendigo. 
  • Compared with its neighbouring regions, Bendigo has higher daily mean temperatures during the ripening period, a lower relative humidity and more sunshine hours. 
Soil
  • The majority of the soils fall in the very common south-east Australian group of brownish, loamy sand to clay loam soils over a stony clay base. 
  • Overall, the soils are acidic and fairly low in nutrients, needing the application of lime, gypsum and supplementary water if reasonable yields are to be obtained.