Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Victoria, third most important wine state in australia in terms of volume of wine produced. From its nadir in the mid 1950s, when there were fewer than 30 wineries in operation, Victoria has recovered to the point where its viticultural map once again resembles that of the 19th century, populated by almost 800 wine producers, more than any other state.

Hubert de Castella came to Victoria in 1854 from his native Switzerland, and was a leading figure in the golden age of Victorian viticulture up to 1890 (when it produced half the wine made in Australia). He wrote several books, the most famous entitled John Bull’s Vineyard, a eulogy suggesting Victoria could supply England with all the wine it might ever need. Instead, a combination of phylloxera, changing land use, changing consumption patterns, the removal of inter-state duties, and the First World War saw the end of the hundreds of vineyards and wineries spread across the very cool southern half of the state.