Wine growing area (GI) 200 kilometres northwest of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. It belongs to the Western Victoria zone. It used to be named after the capital Avoca. Today's name comes from the English colonist Major Thomas Mitchell (1792-1855), who was reminded of the Pyrenees in southern France, where he had served, by the rugged beauty of the mountain ranges, the lush meadows and the meandering river courses. Wine growing, founded by the gold rush in New South Wales, has been practised here since 1848. The vineyards cover around 600 hectares of vines at an altitude of 200 to 400 metres above sea level. The climate is moderately cool, and because of the low rainfall, artificial irrigation is necessary. The soil consists of deep gravel with red sandstone underneath, grey gravel mixed with sand and loam. Two thirds of the soil is 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 wine producers are Blue Pyrenees, Dalwhinnie, Mount Avoca, Redbank, Summerfield, Taltarni and Warrenmang Vineyard.