Located in the "deep south" of the Grampians region, the Henty Wine region is approximately 300km west of Melbourne and 500km southeast of Adelaide. Easily accessible from Portland, Warrnambool, and Hamilton, the area is endowed with natural beauty from the rolling redgum-dotted pastures of the north to the dramatic coastline of the south.
The Henty brothers arrived in Portland Bay in 1834 in the schooner “Thistle” and established the first permanent European settlement in Victoria. They also brought the first grapevine cuttings to Victoria, according to the Thistle’s cargo manifest. The Hentys helped to develop southwest Victoria into a renowned pastoral and agricultural region – now an emerging viticultural area which bears their name.
The first commercial vineyard to be established in the Henty region was 100 hectares planted by Seppelts at Drumborg in 1964. This was followed by Crawford River in 1975 and Barretts in 1983. Today there are more than 15 vineyards across the region.
The climate is characterised by cold, wet winters and warm, dry summers followed by a long cool autumn ripening period and grapes in the Henty Wine region ripen later than those in many other wine regions, resulting in aromatic white wines, luscious sweet dessert wines, and intense, finely structured reds. The wine grape varieties which have been most widely planted in the Henty region are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Also to be found are Semillon, Shiraz, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Gris.