On our way back to Melbourne from Halls Gap we stopped off in Great Western for a wine tasting. I had read a couple of leaflets on the wineries in the regions and decided that Best’s at Great Western was the one we should visit. And it turns out it was a good decision.
Best’s Great Western is on of the oldest vineyards in Australia and they have some of the oldest pinot noir vines in the world. Might sound surprising, as I thought that Australia were more associate with new world wine. Best’s was set up by two brothers who thought that it would be better to serve the gold minors during the gold rush, rather than compete with them in finding gold. It was later bought up by the Thomson family and is still today within the same family.
They have a cellar door open for tours, so we were given a little map with points of interests and facts and we got to go down to the old original wine cellar, that was dug out by hand with help from local minors, back in 1860’s. It was really fascinating to walk through the winery and to see the the old wine cellar, which is still in use for their produce today, storing the wine they are making, along with vintage bottles of wine being stored down there too.
We got to do a tasting as well and the lady who served us was very nice and friendly and more than happy to tell us the story behind the winery and it’s wines and the old vines that were still growing there. She told us how it’s run by the fifth generation of the Thomson family. Their wines often win awards and they really value the quality of their wine, if a wine is not good enough one year they simply don’t make it just for the sake of a quick buck. To me, that’s impressive as it means you care more about the quality of your product and the history of your name than about making a bit extra money. My favourite wine of the tasting was a bit of a surprise, it was a sparkling shiraz and it was absolutely divine! I didn’t even know that there were sparkling reds until I got to Australia, I tried some at Christmas and I really liked it, so a sparkling shiraz to me sounded too good to pass up. I really wish I could have bought a bottle or two with me for my mum and brother to taste. It may sound like it wouldn’t taste good, but it really does! If you get a chance and can get hold of a bottle, try it you won’t be disappointed!