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Pyrenees

Viticultural Area (GI) 200 kilometres north-west of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. It is part of the Western Victoria zone. It used to be named after the main town of Avoca. The current name comes from the English colonist Major Thomas Mitchell (1792-1855), who was reminded by the rugged beauty of the mountain ranges, the lush meadows and the meandering river courses of the Pyrenees in southern France, where he had served. The viticulture established by the gold rush in New South Wales has been practised here since 1848. The vineyards cover about 600 hectares of vines at 200 to 400 metres above sea level. The climate is moderately cool, and artificial irrigation is required due to the low rainfall. The soils consist of deep gravel with underlying red sandstone, grey gravel mixed with sand and clay. They are two-thirds planted with the red wine varieties Shiraz (Syrah), Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Petit Verdot, and one-third with the white wine varieties Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Well-known producers are Blue Pyrenees, Dalwhinnie, Mount Avoca, Redbank, Summerfield, Taltarni and Warrenmang Vineyard. The picture shows vineyards near Avoca in central Victoria as seen from the Pyrenees range.

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