Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published June 17th 2010
Enthusiasts of the glorious vine and its wine might like to partake in a 3-day tour on the Great Grape Road, a scenic circuit through western Victoria's best wine regions, Ballarat, the Pyrenees and the Grampians, which are world-famous for their cool-climate wines.
Along the way, as well as beautiful scenery, you can enjoy cellar door experiences ranging from sophisticated tasting rooms and underground tunnels to simple farmgate hospitality.
If you head out from Melbourne on the Western Highway, you'll be in Ballarat in about 90 minutes.
Check out this very cool map. It follows the touring route, and if click on the wine regions of interest, you'll get more information about the area. For example, click on Ballarat and you'll discover that, in addition to its famous gold rush history, it's famous for "subtly fragrant pinot noir, restrained chardonnay and elegant sparkling wines, while winemakers are also having success with Riesling, and even shiraz." You'll also get a more detailed map pinpointing 9 wineries.
By the way, don't worry if you don't have a connoisseurs' knowledge of wine tasting. Neither do I. I do, however, know if I like it or not, and that's all that really matters.)
From Ballarat, you can either head up the Pyrenees region and choose from 12 wineries famed for Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, or southwest toward the glorious Grampians, home of some of the oldest shiraz vines in the world.
It's really up to you and given it's a circuit, you'll end up doing the whole road anyhow.
Here's an easy guide to accommodation in the various regions. Drive safe, drink responsibly and have fun.