Boasting a winery with some of the oldest and rarest vines in the world and a family-owned business spanning a century, the Thompson Family are well-versed when it comes to crafting a quality drop. Since taking over Best’s Wines in the early 1900s, the Thompsons have been producing world-class wines in Victoria’s Great Western region. We caught up with them to chat about what sets Best’s Wines apart and why the Grampians is an important wine region.
The history of Best’s Wines extends all the way back to the 19th century. How have you built such a legacy?
The Thomson Family started as vigneron’s back in 1892, and purchased Best’s Wines in 1920 from the founder Henry Best. During this time they have kept the business running through five generations due to the love of the vines and winemaking. This year the Thomson Family will be celebrating their 100th year at Best’s Wines.
Tell us a bit about the winery in 2020.
Little has changed in regards to our approach to winemaking. No short cuts, just made for drinking and enjoyment. We have certainly upgraded our equipment, but the philosophy is still the same. Let the fruit tell the story. Our wines speak for themselves, with complexity and structure.
Best’s Wines has some of the oldest vines in the world, that were planted back in the late 1860s, and we are yet to identify seven more. This vineyard can be seen from the Cellar Door.
What’s your most popular drop at the moment?
Shiraz is always the biggest seller here as 85 per cent of the region is shiraz. We have seven shirazes at the moment, ranging from $25 for our Bin 1 shiraz up to $250 for our Thomson Family shiraz.
You have a cellar door too. Tell us about this.
We have a cellar door in the original stables that houses many interesting artefacts and historic family images. After wandering around the cellar door, and doing a wine tasting, our guests can take a free self-guided tour through our hand-dug underground cellars. We have a Premium Tasting and a Free Tasting for those that only wish to try a couple of wines.
If you have time, we have a Cheese & Wine Experience where you enjoy three of our wines matched with cheese. Our Cellar Door is located in the small town of Great Western, just 2.5 hours from Melbourne on the A8 Western Highway. We are open Monday to Saturday 10-5 and Sundays 11-4pm. Group Bookings by appointment.
What makes the Grampians the perfect travel destination?
The Grampians is said to have some of the best shiraz in Australia. The Grampians is a place of tranquillity; we have a beautiful mountain range that is one of the most visited places in Australia. Head out on walking tracks that lead to dazzling waterfalls, wildlife and awe-inspiring lookouts. Great Western Region houses around 12 Cellar Doors, so there is plenty to do when you do not feel like hiking.
Check out their range and book in for private tastings via their website.