The Yarra Valley, like many regions in Victoria, had its early viticultural history halted in the late 1880s due to the gold rush and in some cases, phylloxera. The resurgence of interest began again in the 1970s and the Yarra Valley is considered to be one of the pioneer areas for the development of modern Pinot Noir in Australia. 

The Yarra Valley is now recognised as one of Australia’s foremost cool climate regions, capable of making classic styles from a wide range of varieties. In addition to these second-wave pioneers, Yarra is also home to a bold and exciting new breed of revolutionary winemakers who are pushing the boundaries of grape growing and winemaking

Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley
This map is not an accurate representation of the regional GI boundaries. Please click here to view an accurate map of the regional boundary.

Yarra Valley snapshot

Altitude and aspect in this hilly region create differences in climates and exposure which allow several varieties to excel.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the modern stars of the region while Cabernet Sauvignon has a long history and Shiraz is remerging with fantastic potential.

2,150ha
Total vineyard area
50-350m
Altitude
37° 49'S
Latitude
400-550mm
Growing season rainfall
18.7°c
Mean temperature (Jan)
1352
Heat degree days
White
33%
Red
66%
Type

Cabernet Sauvignon

Often blended with small proportions of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the style of Yarra Cabernet ranges from medium to full-bodied with silky tannins, to aromatic and floral with herbal characters.

Chardonnay

Grows successfully in the Yarra Valley’s cool climate. Typical flavours of white peach, melon and fig. Fruit sourced from the coolest sites is also used for top quality sparkling wine production.

Pinot Noir

One of the premier red varieties of the region. Ranging from light to medium-bodied with typical flavours of plum, strawberry and cherry. Some of the fruit from the coolest sites is used for high quality sparkling wine production.

Shiraz

A rising star in the region, site selection is important. Often co-fermented with small percent of Viognier for aroma and texture. Some of the top small-production wineries are now choosing to label the wines Syrah.

Top varieties grown in Yarra Valley
Climate
  • Difference in altitude and aspect leads to substantial variation in mesoclimate
  • Even warmest sites are relatively cool
  • Mean January temperature in Healesville is 19.4°C
  • Of the annual rainfall of 1160mm only 200mm falls between October and April
Soil
  • Grey-brown sandy loam with a mix of rocky clay sub-soil. Derived from the ancient sandstone of the Great Dividing Range
  • Younger red soils of volcanic origin

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