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Yarra Valley

Grape-growing area (GI) north-east of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. It is part of the Port Phillip zone. The Yarra Valley is one of the few valleys in Australia that really deserve this designation. Between the rolling hills of the Great Dividing Range and the Christmas Ridge, it stretches over a length of 20 km from west to east. Viticulture has been practised here since 1838 and was founded primarily by immigrants from Switzerland. Of particular note is Charles Hubert de Castella (1825-1907) from Neuchâtel, who founded one of Australia's first wineries in 1863, St. Hubert's, which still exists today. His direct descendant Damien de Castella is active today at the Yarra Ridge winery.

In the 1920s, the winery began to decline because it failed to meet market demand. In the first half of the 20th century, sheep farming was practised on a large scale, and the soils still benefit from its after-effects today. The low point in viticulture was reached at the end of the 1960s, when only a little more than one hectare was under vines. Since the beginning of the 1990s, there has been a great upswing again. The vineyards already cover about 900 hectares of vines again. The red wine varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are grown, as well as the white wine varieties Chardonnay and Riesling. The climate is one of the coolest and wettest in Australia. Sparkling wines are produced on a large scale, the French company Moët et Chandon founded the Domaine Chandon in 1985. Well-known producers are Coldstream Hills, Diamond Valley Vineyards, Domaine Chandon, Eyton on Yarra, Lillydale Vineyards, McWilliams, Mount Mary, Oakridge Estate, St. Huberts, Seville Estate, Tarrawarra, Yarra Edge, Yarra Ridge, Yarra Valley Hills, Yarra Yarra, Yarra Yering and Yeringberg.

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Roman Horvath MW

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