Only a 2-hour drive from Melbourne, Great Western is situated at the foothills of the stunning Grampians National park and is easily found on the Western Highway between Ararat & Stawell. Currently boasting not one, but three James Halliday 5-star rated wineries, the town has long been considered a wine destination and with over 160 years of Australian wine history there has never been a shortage of opportunities to discover the regions fascinating pioneering viticultural and gold-mining past. Now in the process of a modern renaissance, the well-established wine village is looking to add ‘regional foodie mecca’ to its reputation with the recent changing-of-hands of historic Salinger’s Café and a new generation of up-and-coming, chef prodigies in town. Here’s what you need to tick off your list on a trip to Great Western!
A visit to the Grampians is not complete without a trip to the region’s original winemaking pioneers at Seppelt Great Western.
Open seven days a week, experience the beauty of country Victoria at the historic cellar door for a tasting or to purchase wine, coffee, a light lunch or cheese platter, and step back in time underground with a tour of the heritage-listed cellars, The Drives – first excavated in 1868 and the longest in the southern hemisphere.
Tours depart every hour from 11am with the last tour leaving at 3pm daily. There is over a mile of hand-dug drives below the surface, that you can explore whilst the Seppelt Tour guides takes you on the journey of 160 years of wines being made in Great Western.
Situated right in the heart of the town, The Great Western Hotel has the largest Grampians Regional Wine List, all available by the glass and the bottle. The unpretentious, classic country pub offers punters a solid menu consisting of the quintessential, chicken parma and T-bone pub favourites as well as gourmet salads and a posh Pickers Platter. Mingle with the locals at Happy Hour every day from 5pm - 7pm, and don’t miss the talented live music acts if you’re there on a weekend.
3. Best's Wines
Founded in 1866 in the Great Western wine region of Victoria, Best's Great Western is one of Australia's oldest continually family owned and operated wineries. Best's is known to have some of the oldest vines in Australia and produces extraordinary wines with great longevity. ‘The Stables’ Cellar Door is a great place to taste the wines before experiencing the original underground cellar on their self-guided tour. Best's Great Western is located in the township of Great Western and it is an absolute must for any wine fancier. Few wineries are as historic or as atmospheric.
The coffee, cake and all day breakfasts will continue with the recent sale of iconic Great Western business Salinger's Café that will also see the addition of modern dining options on par with what you’d experience in any cafe from Collingwood or Fitzroy. Two of the region’s best up-and-coming chefs will be at the helm in the kitchen; Bryden Buckingham from Ararat will be showcasing his passion for local, fresh produce with a constantly evolving seasonal menu, and renowned local Chef Katie Leeke returns to the region ready to showcase her exquisite dishes and high international standards after some impressive local experience at Il Solito Posto in Melbourne and overseas at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in London. The sophisticated and seasonal menu will be complemented with an exceptional regional wine list that will feature the Seppelt Salinger Sparkling Wines, named after the original owners of the building.
Salinger’s will be operating from the 1st September 2018 and will be open 7 days a week from 7am until 4pm and will be available for private functions for dinner.
Just off the main road, Grampians Estate is a great place to taste some of Great Western's outstanding Shiraz, in either still table wine form, or the sparkling type that is a regional speciality.
The premier boutique winery owns two vineyards. The Garden Gully Vineyard at Great Western was established in the late 1870s, with the vineyard's Shiraz and Riesling vines being amongst the oldest in Victoria. The Mafeking vineyard to the south of Moyston produces classic cool climate peppery spicy shiraz, best exemplified in the multi awarded Streeton Reserve Shiraz label. Owner’s Tom & Sarah Guthrie will greet you at the friendly, relaxed cellar door which has earned Gourmet Traveller - Best small cellar door and cellar door with the best food (Grampians) awards.
Offers guests the ultimate in bespoke, destination dining. Enjoy your experience either inside The Tasting Room which seats up to 18 guests or Alfresco in the beautiful landscaped Wine Garden.
For lunch, graze through the signature Tasting Boards or a selection of Chef's Tasting Plates with a glass of the Region's outstanding wines. Dinner features a 3-course Chef's Menu inspired by French & Italian flavours and the seasons. The Wine List showcases the 7 winemakers of our region who don't have cellar doors. The best part? If you love what you eat & drink you can purchase produce and wine and take it home with you! Including the Erards Artisan Produce charcuterie, French cheese and an extensive selection of Grampians wines from the smaller producers in the region, holiday souvenirs never tasted so good!
Don’t miss Shiraz Sundays, a regular event held at Steel Cutters Cottage on the last Sunday of the month celebrating great food, Grampians wine and live music. Bookings are essential.