This is a region of arresting natural beauty, set against the magnificent Grampians Mountain Range. With a longstanding viticultural tradition dating back to the 1850s gold rush, it is amongst the oldest continuously producing wine districts in Australia. Shiraz is the rightful star of the region. It makes multifaceted, intensely flavoured wines with silky tannins, signature spice and underlying earthiness. The most compelling examples arise from ancient vines in the Great Western sub region. Cabernet sauvignon is also widely grown and often seen together in blends with shiraz. Other reds include pinot noir and dolcetto. Riesling, chardonnay and pinot gris make up the region’s leading whites. Great Western is a famous and historic district in the heartland of Victorian wine country. It is the birthplace of Australia’s unique sparkling red wine style. Made from shiraz, the rich, frothy sparkling was first developed in the 1890s and grew to popularity through the 1950s. It shows brooding plum and fruitcake character with plenty of spice and licorice notes. The full flavoured wine is traditionally enjoyed at Christmas time. The Grampians wine region is situated between the Grampians, Serra and Pyrenees Ranges at elevations of 240-400 metres. Over 600 ha of vineyard are centred around the townships of Great Western, Ararat, Stawell, Buangor, Moyston and Halls Gap. While the region has a Mediterranean climate of warm days, cold nights and mild Autumns, the proximity of nearby mountains have an overriding cooling effect. Soils consist largely of grey loamy sands and clay loams. The Grampians National Park is renowned for a wide array of native plant species and wildlife, world class rock climbing and ancient Aboriginal rock art sites. The breathtaking panoramic scenery is composed of steep, craggy mountain peaks, rocky escarpments, gorges and tumbling waterfalls.