Goulburn Valley

The Goulburn Valley has a detailed history dating back to first vineyard plantings in 1860. The abundance of water, warm climate and sandy soils has enabled this region to consistently produce wine since the 1860s.

The history of the Goulburn Valley is closely linked to the historic Tahbilk winery. The "old cellars" at Tahbilk were completed at the end of the 1860s and the "new cellar", sitting underneath the immaculately preserved wooden winery buildings, commenced in 1875. Tahbilk still produces a few hundred cases of wine each year from vines planted in the 1860s.

Goulburn Valley also boasts the oldest and largest plantings of Marsanne in the world. Across the Goulburn River, Mitchelton is the another notable winery of the region characterized by its landmark tower and striking contemporary architecture. Although much younger than Tahbilk,  Mitchelton has established a formidable reputation for specialising in Rhone varieties and Riesling since its establishment in 1969. Both wineries are located in the Nagambie lakes sub-region.

36° 42'S
Latitude
130-350m
Altitude
250mm
Growing season rainfall

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon grew in importance to the region as the variety become more popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Today virtually all wineries, large and small, produce a style that has ripe, warm, earthy, chocolate-accented flavours.

Chardonnay

This is a wine of rapidly increasing importance which flourishes in the region. Chardonnay is capable of producing good yields at high sugar levels, with a peachy, buttery richness attesting to the climate. Instead of being a fast developing wine, in this region Chardonnay has the ability to develop complexity and richness with age.

Marsanne

The Goulburn Valley boasts the oldest and largest plantings of Marsanne in the world. Lemon-accented, the oaked styles gain intensity and richness with age. Unoaked, the wine is delicate in its youth and can be long-lived. As these wines age, they build the honeysuckle bouquet and taste that typifies the variety.

Riesling

Despite being a region with a warmer climate, the region can produce excellent Riesling. The wines have considerable weight, with lime and tropical fruit aromas and flavours. Despite their early appeal, the wines also have the capacity to age attractively over the medium term.

Shiraz

The principal grape grown in the Goulburn Valley for over a century, Shiraz remains capable of producing a red wine of great flavour and longevity. The wines present ripe, rich fruit overtones when young and age to reveal darker fruits, with hints of pepper, dark chocolate, soft supple leather and earth. 

Top varieties grown in Goulburn Valley
Climate
  • The region is distinctly warm, with a typical inland valley-floor climate and substantial diurnal temperature ranges.  
  • The heat is mitigated by the abundance of lakes, billabongs and creeks associated with the Goulburn River.  
  • Abundant water for irrigation and loose textured sandy, gravelly soils typically produce generous yields without compromising colour or flavour. 
Soil
  • The soils vary widely, falling into three principal groups. There are the usual red and brown sandy clay loams of south-eastern Australia, plus yellow-brown clay loams and gritty, gravelly quartzose sands laid down by the Goulburn River.