Glenrowan Wine Region

The Glenrowan Wine Region in the North Eastern Victorian Zone is often overlooked...

But it has a long history and a collective instinct for survival.

Glenrowan is a much smaller region than Rutherglen, its neighbour to the north. Until the 1970s Glenrowan was well  known and respected as a producer of high quality fortified wines - Ports, Muscats and Tokays as we called them back then.  But those styles declined in popularity and the region lost its main attraction.

An iconic liqueur Muscat from the Glenrowan region

Ferruginous red wines

fer-ru-gi-nous adj. 

1. Associated with or containing iron. 2. Having the color of iron rust; reddish-brown.

This wonderful word was once used to describe the red wines from this region. The allusion to iron implies that the wines are an ideal tonic for anaemic or 'thin-blooded' people. They used to be marketed as such. The wines certainly used to be very dense in colour and had a very high tannin, if not iron, content. 

Nowadays there is merely a handful of wineries here. The emphasis is on quality, rather than quantity. The region is justly famous for its fortified Muscats and Tokays.

Unfortunately the name Tokay has been phased out, to be replaced by the name Topaque. This wine is made from Muscadelle grapes, but as yet the new name has not been widely recognised.

The soil is largely derived from the eroding granite of the Warby Ranges and hence deep and well drained. Vineyards thus require little or no irrigation.

The warm climate allows ripening of late maturing red wine varieties, and while the scene is currently dominated by Shiraz, there is plenty of scope for other varieties. Warmer climate Italian varieties such as Fiano and Nero d'Avola seem to be a good choice.

Alternative varieties in the Glenrowan Region

  • Acres Wilde Durif
  • Bailey's of Glenrowan Aucerot, Durif, Fiano, Muscadelle, Nero d'Avola, Touriga, Tinta Barocca, Tinto Cao
  • Morrisons of Glenrowan Durif, Fiano, Garganega, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
  • Taminick Cellars Alicante Bouschet, Durif, Nero d'Avola, Trebbiano
Page updated 31 August 2023

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Victorian wineries on Pinterest

I have a Pinboard showing some of the wineries in Victoria who use alternative varieties.

Visiting the Glenrowan region

Glenrowan is located close to the Hume Highway just about 2 and a half hours north of Melbourne.  You can combine a visit to this region with a longer journey to adjacent regions such as to Nagambie Lakes, Strathbogie Ranges, Rutherglen or the King Valley.

This is a suitable place in Victoria for an extended visit. You can check out accommodation options via this hotel booking service.

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