IT’S MY PYRENEES TO UNEARTH
A relaxing drive from Ballarat, Bendigo, the Grampians, the Wimmera and Melbourne is Victoria’s very own Pyrenees, a spectacular region well removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and best known for its award winning wineries, arts, agriculture and the Avoca Races.
Those who enjoy a journey of the senses to a destination off the mainstream tourist track will love discovering PYRENEES UNEARTHED, an all-new festival that brings together Wine, Art & Racing, held on the ANZAC Day long weekend.
One can see why the French and Australian regions share a name, with sweeping vistas, a love of petanque and diverse wine growing country that produces world-class wines.
The French wine connection dates back to the 1960s when French brandy producer Remy Martin established their eponymous chateau near Avoca, now known as Blue Pyrenees Estate. There is a history of French winemakers within the region and in more recent times Michel Chapoutier, one of France’s most admired makers of shiraz, has bought vineyards in the region.
A southern extension of the Great Dividing Range, the Pyrenees boast tracks for off road driving, trail biking, mountain bike riding and bush walking. The foothills and ranges also create a remarkable diversity of microclimates for winemakers.
The Pyrenees’ strength and reputation lies in its savoury, spicy reds, in particular premium Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and increasingly in a fine range of wonderful sparkling wines. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also respond beautifully to the Pyrenees soils and climate.
In 2015 Blue Pyrenees was awarded a trophy for Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon by Winewise magazine and Taltarni received a trophy for Australia’s best Shiraz at the Royal National Wine Show in Canberra. Five Pyrenees wineries were also awarded 5 red stars, the highest rating, in the prestigious 2016 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion.
Pyrenees wines also impress judges abroad with Blue Pyrenees Estate’s 2010 Midnight Cuvee awarded the Best Sparkling Wine in Australia in 2014 and Taltarni’s Taché Australia’s Best Sparkling Rosé in 2015, both at the Champagne and Sparkling World Championships.
The Pyrenees also holds its place in the history of Australia’s Gold Rush with many prospectors still striking it lucky today in areas of the Pyrenees State Forest and Mount Cole. To acknowledge this history, a contemporary Chinese Garden was recently created nestled among the Australian landscape in Avoca. Garden lovers would also enjoy a visit to Mount Mitchell Estate.
There are many towns and villages, art galleries and cafés to explore across the Pyrenees region but central to them all is Avoca. Avoca is a delight to explore and will play host to the majority of events happening over the 2016 inaugural ANZAC Day long weekend festival, PYRENEES UNEARTHED and we hope to see you there!
Fore more details about the Pyrenees region please visit www.visitpyrenees.com.au.