The High Country and its subregions are brimming with innovative producers. While chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon are homegrown heroes, the region also produces specialities like nero d'Avola, grenache, sangiovese and topaque.
Here are six wines to try from Glenrowan, Rutherglen, Beechworth, and the Alpine Valleys.
Bright crimson colour with lifted floral aromas that immediately awaken the senses. The palate exhibits layers of cherries overlain with blue fruits and spice, rounded by soft, supple tannins and a slightly savoury finish. Best enjoyed while young, however can be cellared for up to two years.
Winemaker Paul Dahlenburg says: The nero d'Avola is best enjoyed at room temperature, or lightly chilled. Pair it with game meats such as duck or succulent pork dishes.
RRP $20 | Drink to 2025 | baileysofglenrowan.com
Premium parcels of grenache were split into two batches. Half were partially fermented on skins for 26 days to build complexity and tannin structure. The Nook has not seen oak, to retain freshness and clean fruit flavours. It’s lively with upfront berry fruit and a fine, savoury spice finish.
Winemaker Dave Whyte says: Pair The Nook with roast chicken, or try it lightly chilled with Asian-inspired dishes.
RRP $23 | Drink to 2025 | bullerwines.com.au
A rich medium-bodied ruby red wine, with great varietal expression. Perfectly balanced with savoury forest floor and fruit concentration. Aromas of cedar, black olive and cassis are nuanced with finely developed tannins. Named after the family patriarch & founder, Emo Michelini, and only produced in years of exceptional quality and limited numbers. Only the finest parcels of fruit are selected to represent our Italian heritage, our Australian home and our commitment to producing wines that are world-class.
Winemaker Matt Kilby says: The sangiovese is best paired with a tomato-based rustic pasta dish, a slowly braised meat dish, or a crispy homemade margherita pizza.
RRP $65 | Drink to 2027 | micheliniwines.com.au
A true benchmark, only the most exceptional vintages are blended for this strictly limited release. Showing aromas of toffee, malt and concentrated butterscotch flavours. A smooth, silky texture and soft spirit on the middle palate leading to a relatively dry, long finish.
Winemaker David Morris says: The Rare Topaque is a true special occasion wine, perfect on its own or poured over vanilla bean ice cream for a decadent dessert.
RRP $90 | morriswines.com
This is a delicious, juicy, fragrant wine. Lifted aroma of dewy rose petal, sour cherry, pomegranate, raspberry and ripe red berry fruits, exotic spices with a subtle gamey truffle finish. Pure, focused and precise with great length, texture and persistence. An elegant wine of depth, complexity and finesse. Please open this wine and decant a few hours before serving as it continues to evolve and reveal its nuances over many hours.
Winemaker Keppell Smith says: This pinot noir is best enjoyed with Chinese roast duck or wild mushroom risotto.
RRP $75 | Drink to 2035 | savaterre.com
Balance is the common thread across most of the 2019 Beechworth reds. The aromatics in this pinot sit nicely between dark red fruits and spices. The palate is finely structured, with an almost powder-like tannin, and carried nicely by bright acidity. A hallmark of the vintage across both reds and whites.
Winemaker Chris Catlow says: The 2019 reds are very well balanced, and easily enjoyed without food. Dishes with duck or pork will highlight the fine tannin structure best.
RRP $55 | Drink to 2026 | sentiowines.com.au
Learn more about High Country in our essential guide.
This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.
Top image credit: Visit Victoria