A three hour drive north of Melbourne and located at the foothills of the Alpine National Park, is the stunning King River Valley, one of the most picturesque and unspoilt valleys in Australia.
It has the greatest concentration of alternative varieties of any wine region in Australia.
Although winemaking in the King Valley dates back to the late 19th century with the Brown family planting their first vines in Milawa in 1889, the area hasn’t always been as populated by vineyards as it is now.
The King Valley used to be farmed widely with tobacco farms, first planted there by Italian immigrants. From the late 1970's favourable government policies and subsidies to the tobacco industry were phased out and in the 1990s growing tobacco was outlawed. Tobacco farms were steadily replaced by vineyards and the King Valley is now known as a thriving network of cellar doors, tasting rooms and trattorias dedicated to celebrating the finer things in life: food, wine and company.
King Valley has a continental climate which means warm days and cool nights and is one of the highest altitude grape growing regions in Australia.
The climate of the region is heavily influenced by altitude and the region takes advantage of a range of elevation and microclimates, from the warm valley floors to the cool upper slopes. This variation is what enables the production of a wide range of wine styles from sparkling wines to fortified wines.
In the higher southern end of the King Valley are Riesling, Pinots Gris, Meunier and Noir, varietals suitable for early ripening. Further down into the valley into the warmer areas are a full range of red and white wine varieties.
King Valley is one of Australia’s premium wine regions producing a wide spectrum of wine varieties from the Italian varietals it is well know for through to premium traditional cool climate wines.
Italian varietals include Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, Arneis, Barbera and Prosecco.
King Valley Wine Heroes:
Prosecco is a light and lively sparkling wine with a dry finish and fresh fruit flavour through the mid palate. It originates in the cool alpine climate of Veneto in north-east Italy.
King Valley was the first region in Australia to produce an Australian-made premium Prosecco and Prosecco has become the region’s flagship sparkling wine.
Sangiovese is the main grape of the great Chianti Classicos of Tuscany and the King Valley leads the way as Australia’s premier region for this grape.
It is a wine that shows savoury, dark cherry flavours and earthy characters with fine tannins and cleansing acidity.