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Bendigo is one of Victoria’s oldest wine regions, established during the 1850s Gold Rush. While all the old vines have long gone, much of the period architecture still remains; meanwhile the city has developed dramatically in terms of its art and food culture, with excellent restaurants and cafes, and a world-class art gallery. Bendigo’s winemakers have also stayed busy, moving with the times in an effort to satisfy the modern push for more fruit-forward, easy-drinking wines. But don’t despair, as there is still power to be found, mixed with equal parts of elegance and flavour, creating some of the state’s most compelling wines.
Brendan Black

Image courtesy of Mandurang Valley Wines.

Mandurang Valley Wines

Star Cellar Door

0417 357 688

It’s possible that few people have ever heard of the small town of Mandurang, south of Bendigo, yet within its boundaries sits Mandurang Valley, a small winery punching far, far above its weight. The family business is helmed by a couple with a very apt surname, Wes and Pam Vine, who originally intended to make wine for personal consumption but have since created a thriving business. Wes and Pam are joined by their son, Steve, who manages the estate vineyard, while grandson Oliver (only 19 years old) helps with the winemaking. Mandurang Valley offers a broad selection of wines across sparkling, red and white – both varietals and blends – and each is distinctive, flavoursome and incredibly well priced. Those put off sauvignon blanc and merlot due to insipid examples will delight that Mandurang Valley’s are excellent. They also have seasonal grazing platters and their new pizza oven is raring to go, so make sure to add Mandurang Valley to your must-visit list for Central Victoria. BRENDAN  BLACK

OUTSTANDING WINE: 2017 Mandurang Valley Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Malbec, A$40

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