Explore the Geelong wine region
The Geelong Wine Region is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to combine exceptional food, wine, surf, and culture. Located just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, this cool-climate region is full of BOUTIQUE WINERIES producing wines that are rich in flavour, aromas, and colours.
The Geelong wine region is found 75km away from Melbourne along the stunning Southern Ocean coastline. It is also a beautiful destination on the way to the Great Ocean Road. The quintessential Australian landscape with farmland, hilltops, and ocean views is home to three diverse sub-regions: the Surf Coast, the Moorabool Valley, and the Bellarine Peninsula.
Low rainfall helps the Geelong wine region to produce intense, complex, and colourful wines. The landscape varies from windswept coast to volcanic plains with vineyard elevation ranging from 20 to 150m. The grapes are also influenced by maritime to Mediterranean climates. The diverse region is mostly family-owned and operated, home to more than 160 vineyards, 60 wineries, and 40 cellar doors.
The Moorabool Valley
The Moorabool Valley has a tough limestone and basalt base which helps to produce aromatic wines. Its vineyards are also set back from the ocean and experience a warm, continental climate. Combine that with ancient hills and valleys and you will see why the sub-region is gaining a strong reputation for both alternative and traditional varieties.
In the Bellarine, vineyards enjoy rich, volcanic soils and southerly afternoon sea breezes that cool the grapes down. Featuring black basalt soil laid over limestone, the sub-region experiences long summers that help the fruit to ripen. Visitors get to enjoy spectacular views and distinct maritime flavours.
The Surf Coast and Otways
Winemakers and vignerons in the Surf Coast have mastered how to make the most of harsh conditions and sandy loam. The Surf Coast is close to the ocean, exposing vineyards to strong winds that present challenges but also shape exceptional cool climate wines. Some wineries are also minutes from Bells Beach, one of the world’s best surf breaks.
The famous varietals of the Geelong Wine Region
The cool climate helps to develop delicate Pinot Noir, which is intriguing and full of personality. Look out for the rich cherry plum flavours and fine tannins which make this elegant variety perfect for drinking on its own or pairing with food.
Geelong’s Chardonnay is rich and complex, weaving together citrus and stone-fruit characters with a touch of French oak. While it’s a cool climate variety, it can be a little bit more flexible in its growing conditions. It can be picked slightly earlier in a warm year or left to hang for longer in a cooler year, offering climate resilience as the seasons become less predictable.
Shiraz also flourishes in the Geelong wine region. Full-flavoured and deeply coloured, it has good ageing potential and has a growing reputation for its fragrant fruit flavours, earthiness, and complex spice characteristics.
Geelong is known for hand-crafted wines that celebrate the region’s characters and support the longevity of the vineyards.
Geelong brings a delicate touch to winemaking
Winemaking came to a halt for almost 100 years in Geelong, as it was one of the first regions in Australia to be hit by a devastating pest called phylloxera. Every vine was removed and it wasn’t until the mid to late 1960s that the Geelong wine region flourished again.
Given the forced stop, it’s not surprising that Geelong is known for hand-crafted wines that celebrate the region’s characters and support the longevity of the vineyards. Gary Farr, who is admired for his attention to detail and exceptional Pinot Noir, has also inspired the next generation of vignerons.
After spending time at Domain Dujac in Burgundy, Crimstom in Oregon, and Calera in California, he has applied his wisdom and high standards to create wines that are a true expression of their site.
The younger generation is also focused on sustainability, as they deal with mature vineyards, population growth, the need for high-quality water, and climate change. By understanding the personality of a site and working with it for a long period of time, Geelong’s winemakers and vignerons are able to produce high-quality wines, consistently.
Experiences in and around Geelong wine region
There is so much to see and do in the Geelong wine region. Geelong is Victoria’s second-largest city after all. Melbourne is also only just over an hour’s drive away, giving visitors the best of both worlds: peaceful vineyards and dynamic city life.
Beyond the diversity of wines and family-owned cellar doors available, nature lovers can also enjoy the rugged beauty of the Great Ocean Road, an Australian National Heritage listed 240km stretch of road running between Torquay and Allansford. Alongside seaside cliffs and striking vistas, Great Otway National Park and the 12 Apostles are also waiting to be explored.
There are also many excuses to celebrate Geelong wines with local events such as the Summer Wine Celebration, Pinot Affair, Winter Shiraz, Toast to the Coast, and the Geelong Wine Show held throughout the year.
Geelong Wine Region's distinct style
The rich landscape and cool climate might be akin to Bordeaux and Burgundy, but Geelong is developing wine flavours and styles that are very much its own.