This irrigated wine region in Northern Victoria is centred on the Regional City of Swan Hill. It also includes some vineyards in the adjoining irrigation districts of New South Wales. Interestingly, one of the villages in the region is called Vinifera.
This region produces much more wine than is generally known.
A considerable proportion of the grapes produced here is taken for vinification elsewhere.
Wineries based elsewhere also own vineyards in the Swan Hill region. For example Brown Brothers, based in the King Valley, have large vineyards at Kangaroo Lake near Mystic Park. Bullers main winery, Calliope, is in Rutherglen. Their winery in this region is at Beverford.
Many large wine companies also buy grapes on contract from growers in this region.
Over the past few years many grapegrowers have started making wine under their own label. In these cases you will find Swan Hill mentioned on the label. The local tourist industry is gradually coming around to promoting local wines as part of the experience of visiting this sunny part of the state.
The climate is hot and dry in the summer, it is marginally cooler than the Murray Darling Region centred on Mildura further down the Murray River.
Each year Swan Hill hosts the Australian Inland Wine Show, held in conjunction with the National Moscato Challenge. It is a splendid chance to taste and compare the wines from the irrigated wine regions, including Murray Darling, Riverina, Riverland and Swan Hill.
The main alternative variety produced here is Durif. A couple of Rare Ozzies in the region are Zweigelt by Andrew Peace Wines and Mystique by Brown Brothers. Andrew Peace also makes a delightful red from the Umbrian variety Sagrantino.
As noted above much of the grape harvest of this region is vinified in other regions. The small list of local producers does not fully reflect the importance of the Swan Hill Region.
This dozen contains 2 bottles from each of six different producers in several regions. It gives you a broad overview of the styles of Australian Tempranillo.
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