Heathcote Wine Region
Like many small towns of its era, Heathcote was once a bustling gold mining and logging town – the lure of striking it rich brought a diverse selection of people to the region. To the north, those immigrants who were already disillusioned with the mining experience struck a new type of gold; they developed the land for grazing, cropping and vines.
During the 1850s, German Henning Rathjen settled in the Colbinabbin area, located at the northern end of the Mount Camel Range, in today’s Heathcote wine region. He planted one of the region’s earliest vineyards, unfortunately it was destroyed by phylloxera (vine louse), and following this set back his land was used for agricultural purposes.
In the bush to the north-east of Heathcote Italian immigrants planted more vines, with more success – some are still growing today! More recently, Albino Zuber and Bruno Pangrazio were responsible for plantings, and these still contribute to some of the iconic wines that the Heathcote region is renowned for – both in Australia, and internationally.
Acknowledged as one of Australia’s wine icons, the Heathcote region is now famous for producing premium shiraz. It boasts over 25 wineries and 70 vineyards, including descendents of those early settlers, who are once again growing grapes on the range overlooking Colbinabbin.
As well as premium Australian Shiraz,the famous ancient red Cambrian soils of Heathcote produce outstanding examples of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and in white wines, some excellent Rieslings and Viognier.
Many well known producers located both inside and outside the region, such as Wild Duck Creek, Jasper Hill, Tyrrells, Brown Brothers, Shelmerdine, Hanging Rock and Seppelts, have attained national and international acclaim with their Heathcote Shiraz wines.
The major event on the Heathcote calendar is the Heathcote Wine and Food Festival. An annual celebration of Heathcote wines, great food and local and regional produce.
Visit www.heathcotewinegrowers.com.au for more information.