Some places in the world seem just right for growing grapes. Mildura is one of those places. Not only does it have warm weather and low rainfall, but it also boasts a distinct, rich, red soil. The very name Mildura is an aboriginal word meaning ‘red earth’. Like many of the great winegrowing regions of the world, this calcareous soil provides excellent water retention and drainage. This allows for good nutrient uptake in the vines. And it’s not just grapes; the soil is flexible enough for dryland cereals, grazing, stone fruits, citrus, avocados and nuts too. As one local grower explains, “It’s beautiful! Just add water!” Which brings us to the next great thing about Mildura… the river.
Mildura is situated just near the place where two great Australian rivers converge: the mighty River Murray and the famous River Darling. There’s no denying that the river is the real lifeblood of the area. It’s a constant source of water, a resource that thanks to the Chaffey brothers in the 1880s, has been harnessed for a variety of agricultural purposes. George and William Chaffey established Australia’s first irrigation colony by developing a series of steam-driven pumps to lift water from the river and irrigate up to 33,000 acres. Today this irrigation is as vital as ever – without it all growing would cease. Ask any local and they’ll probably tell you that the River and its environment is the best thing about Mildura. That, and of course, the climate.
You may hear people say that Mildura is like the ‘Mediterranean of the Outback’. It’s true. With long, hot days and cool nights, the climate is very stable. There’s very little rain and a whole lot of sun. There’s more daylight, more sky and more sunshine hours than the Sunshine Coast! Mildura lies in the centre of the Sunraysia district, aptly named, as it is renowned for its sunshine and intensive horticulture. It has an ideal climate for growing grapes. It’s reliable. The grapes have time to fully ripen on the vine and the conditions keep the risk of disease to a minimum. As well as helping to cultivate some of Australia’s must-taste wines, the warm, dry climate makes Mildura a great place to visit at any time of the year.
Situated in the second largest wine region in Australia, Mildura has been dubbed the ‘engine room of the Australian wine industry’. It is best known in key markets throughout the world for its production of well-priced, popular premium wines.
Mildura’s long history of winemaking and grape growing, through the generations and diverse cultures, has created winemakers with an amazing depth of knowledge and experience. Their advanced vineyard management skills and considered oenological approaches are creating distinct, exciting and innovative wines.
While Mildura has a long history with large-scale wine production, it is also home to many winemakers with smaller, boutique wineries. These have often been family owned over several generations and have a personal, hands-on approach that represents quality and artistry.
From the smallest to the largest operation, winemakers here are producing handcrafted, sophisticated wines comparable to more recognised premium wine region brands. And we’re very proud of that.
Address The Setts Business Centre, 110 Eighth St Mildura VIC 3500
Postal PO Box 2653, Mildura VIC 3502
(03) 5022 0722
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Photos courtesy of Mildura Tourism Inc., Darren Seiler Mildura Photographer, Vision House Photography, and Mildura Development Corporation.