Bendigo's history is entwined with the 19th century gold rush, reflected in its glorious architecture and range of cultural attractions. While this is red wine country – home to now famous deep red shiraz and cabernet sauvignon – white wine lovers should seek out chardonnay and riesling.
Often referred to as the winemaker's region, here you are likely to meet vignerons with their sleeves rolled up, tending to their vines or working in the wineries.
The Bendigo wine region encompasses wineries in and around Bendigo, in nearby Bridgewater on Loddon, Marong, Mandurang, and in apple capital Harcourt.
Find wineries hidden in the picturesque hills and valleys around the region, many still operated by the families who founded them. Meet the winemakers, taste varieties, dine with a view of the vines, and make the most of the many cellar doors, which offer a casual, friendly atmosphere.
The first grape vines were planted here in 1856, just after the massive gold rushes. The climate of central Victoria, with its long hours of summer sunshine, coupled with deep soils, make it ideal for growing the robust, fully flavoured shiraz and cabernet sauvignon for which the region is famous. The area also produces chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc and sangiovese, all of which bear distinct regional characters.
Time your trip to coincide with one of the region's popular food and wine events. Chat with local winemakers, attend master classes and dine out under the stars. Make your way down to Bendigo's Rosalind Park in autumn for the Bendigo Winemakers Festival or visit tranquil Belvoir Park Estate for the Belvoir Park Food and Wine Festival in spring.