When travelling through Victoria’s High Country, be sure to put these Bright wineries on your list.
Alpine adventures are a big reason people flock to this mountainous corner of Victoria, but Bright is also a top spot to relax on a porch with a glass of crisp white wine or by a log fire with a drop of shiraz. The pristine Alpine Valley wine region’s small clutch of vineyards produces complex, cool climate wines that punch above their weight. Head to these Bright wineries (along with a few from neighbouring towns and villages) to meet the talented winemakers, learn about fermentation and source a bottle (or two) to take home.
1. Ringer Reef Winery
Located on the Great Alpine Road in Porepunkah, this family-owned winery is just an eight-minute drive from Bright.
Ringer Reef Winery is a vibrant, family-run vineyard. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Love to cycle? Ringer Reef is on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, so you can peddle there from Bright too (the staff will even deliver any bottles of wine you buy to your local accommodation at the end of the day).
Plan a day out with your partner. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Book a guided wine-tasting experience or relax on the landing with a glass of merlot or montepulciano (an underrated grape from Central Italy) while taking in sublime Mt Buffalo vistas. Come for the wines, stay for the views.
Taste Ringer Reef’s finest wines. (Image: Visit Victoria)
2. Billy Button Wines Cellar Door
Like the idea of heading to a wine hotspot that pours more than 30 different drops? Head to this busy cellar door right in the heart of Bright. Named after the bright-yellow native flowers that dot the surrounding alpine landscapes in summer, this popular cellar door offers so much more than wine.
Come over for some drinks.
By all means, try a refreshing glass of prosecco or chardonnay, but be sure to order some artisan cheese or a toasted sandwich to keep you warm on a brisk autumn afternoon. This is also a top place to source locally-made gourmet bites to take home or enjoy on the road. Coffee beans, smallgoods, cooking oil, preserves, nuts and truffles can all be yours. If you find yourself in the nearby town of Myrtleford, there’s a Billy Button Wines outpost there also.
Drink wine with a friend to pass the time.
3. Feathertop Winery
This picturesque private estate in Porepunkah overlooking Mount Buffalo opens its doors to visitors regularly for a range of special ticketed events.
You’ll see empty barrels of wine at the entrance. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Movie nights, games championships, acoustic music sets, themed tastings, al fresco long lunches and paint and sip classes are on rotation throughout the year, so keep an eye on the winery’s social media pages to see what’s on before you plan your trip.
Drink and dine al fresco. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Looking for somewhere to stay in Bright? There’s also luxe accommodation on site if you’re keen on a getaway (the Vineyard Residence’s magnificent infinity pool will take your stay to the next level).
Feathertop Winery welcomes two-wheeled guests. (Image: Visit Victoria)
4. Gapsted Wines
You’ll find Gapsted Wines in the beautiful, bucolic town of Myrtleford, a half-hour scenic drive along the Great Alpine Road from Bright. At this award-winning cellar door and restaurant you’ll be able to taste under-the-radar varietals you might not have heard before.
Verdant grape-bearing vines surround the famed winery.
Why not try a drop of durif, manseng or saperavi after you’ve sampled more well-known wines like cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir? Stop by for a tasting or make a booking for a decadent, multi-course lunch (with matching wines, of course). The vineyard views from the restaurant provide the perfect backdrop for a long, lazy lunch.
Indulge in a satisfying lunch with a glass of wine on the side.
5. Homestead Estate
Want to book a memorable wine tasting for a small group? Try Homestead Estate, a vineyard and olive grove located just 25 kilometres from Bright. You’ll get to enjoy a tour of the historic homestead and garden, as well as wine and extra virgin olive oil tastings in the ballroom afterwards. There’s a modest but impressive range of wines to choose from, including rose, sangiovese and blanc de blancs, as well as a few fortified wines. Don’t sleep on Homestead Estate’s extra virgin olive oil – it consistently wins medals at the Australian Golden Olive Awards.
6. Annapurna Estate
Drive half an hour east from Bright and you’ll find Annapurna Estate – one of the highest vineyards in Victoria. With a restaurant and cellar door open from September to the end of April, this low-key winery tucked away in the Mount Beauty area is ideal for a quiet lunch accompanied by some cracking good wines followed by a stroll in the fresh, alpine air. Rustic, hearty fare features on the simple menu that draws inspiration from the Mediterranean region (think: focaccia, lasagne and moussaka). Whether you’re into fortified merlot or light-bodied rosé, Annapurna Estate has got you covered.
Annapurna Estate is beautifully situated at Victoria’s Kiewa Valley. (Image: Visit Victoria)
7. Michelini Wines
Italian varietals are in the spotlight at this family-owned cellar door in Myrtleford that’s reminiscent of Tuscany. Have fun getting to know the greats of the Italian winemaking scene by tasting sangiovese, nebbiolo, barbera, vermentino and beyond.
Discover what’s behind the cellar door.
On a warm day, there’s no better place to relax in the region than on the patio under a canopy of vines with a glass of prosecco and a charcuterie plate. Close your eyes and think of Tuscany.
Try Michelini’s signature delicate wine.
8. Eaglerange Estate Wines
An easy 15-minute drive from Bright, this down-to-earth winery sits in the hills of the cheerfully named Happy Valley. Stop by for a tasting of cool climate drops and you’ll likely be welcomed by the winemaker himself, Frank Ivone. A serene spot to taste riesling, tempranillo, merlot and more, this winery also produces several vegan-friendly wines. If you’re looking for an easy-going, unpretentious wine experience, be sure to stop by Eaglerange Estate.
Want more travel tips for Bright? We’ve got a round-up of top accommodation, incredible restaurants to try and cafes to visit during your stay.