Your ultimate guide to the Pyrenees wine region
Just a two-hour drive from Melbourne, as soon as you arrive in the Pyrenees you feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Sharing its name with the famous mountain range which sits between France and Spain, with sweeping mountain vistas and a plethora of attractions this tiny region is steeped in history and majestic views. From Victoria’s first official gold mine discovery to four national parks offering both hiking and mountain biking tracks, this region offers something for everyone.
The Pyrenees is also home to a small but highly acclaimed wine region, nestled amongst the stunning mountain ranges. This magnificent natural environment produces unique microclimates perfect for winemaking. The regions first vineyards were planted in 1858 and there are now around 40 wineries in the area producing exceptional wines, including our very own award-winning estate, Dalwhinnie.
Read on to explore some of the top things to do in the area – after visiting the Dalwhinnie cellar door to stock up on delicious local wines of course!
Things to do
1. A visit to the Pyrenees would not be complete without a total immersion in nature. Mount Cole State Forest is a bushwalker’s haven, with over 15km of walking tracks. Meander (or power!) through thick forest bursting with local flora and fauna, broken up by a vast expanse of alpine plateau.
After a fun-filled day in the fresh forest air, unwind and share a bottle (or two) of the delicious 2021 Mesa Chardonnay with your loved ones.
2. Make sure to spend an afternoon wandering around St Arnaud – a historic gold mining town surrounded by sheep farms and vineyards. Take in the picturesque main street lined with old pubs and shops with beautiful facades featuring ornate cast-iron lacework.
After getting your steps in exploring this delightful old country town, treat yourself to a glass of the impeccable 2016 Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon.
3. For an incredibly unique taste of rural Victorian history, you cannot miss the annual Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally. The event will be in its 120th year in 2023 and showcases a huge collection of restored steam engines, steam rollers, farm tractors, vintage engines and restored vintage homewares.
Match your vintage experience with a vintage wine – try the seriously impressive 2013 The Pinnacle Shiraz to finish your day on a high.
4. If you like spectacular views and a good challenge, make sure to lace up your hiking boots and walk the 10km Ben Nevis track, which traverses the Northern end of the Pyrenees range. You may even see a native wedgetail eagle soaring or spot a popular local hobby – a hang glider!
After a hard hike, make sure to reward yourself with a glass of 2015 The Eagle Shiraz. You may recognise the eagle on the front, the very same wedgetail you hopefully saw on your walk.
5. Get your heart rate up and cycle your way through over 20km worth of forest tracks on a self-guided winery tour. Warning: These tracks include some steep terrain to really earn your tastings!
Once you’re safely back at your accommodation, cool off with a cold glass of the divine 2020 Moonambel Chardonnay.
6. The Pyrenees Unearthed festival is an annual event which celebrates the incredible wineries of this tiny region. If you are lucky enough to be in the area when the festival is on, you will be able to taste through some of the best Pyrenees wines, all in one location.
After a big day out tasting local wines, change things up with a bottle of the Dalwhinnie 2020 Three Valleys Pinot Noir from cool-climate Tasmania.
7. Every Saturday morning from April to November, the old courthouse grounds in Beaufort come to life with the hustle and bustle of the local markets. Stalls are filled to the brim with fresh local produce and artisanal goods from producers and growers in the area.
8. The picturesque Ferntree Falls in Mount Buangor State Park is a magical waterfall situated amongst a fairytale scene full of towering ferns and giant mossy boulders. An easy walking track with a 250m path each way gets you there in no time.
Pack a picnic full of local cheese, meats, dips and bread and enjoy the stunning scenery with a glass of the Dalwhinnie 2019 Mesa Shiraz.
To explore a range of local Pyrenees accommodation options, read our blog here.
Be sure to browse all Dalwhinnie wines here.