"Drop by Drop

While some locals were digging for gold, others were interested in a different kind of treasure. The first vineyards were planted in Victoria's north-east in the 1860s and many of the area's wineries are still family-run. A number of distinctly different wine regions are just half an hour's drive apart, allowing visitors to sample a range of wines in one day.

Perhaps the best-known wine region is Rutherglen, famous for its rich fortified wines. The area has 21 cellar doors, including All Saints Estate, which is helmed by young siblings Eliza, Angela and Nicholas Brown, fourth-generation winemakers. The estate itself is imposing - elegant gates, carriage lamps and an avenue of towering elms lead to a 120-year-old castle - and the wines are terrific. While their fortifieds are superb, All Saints' crisp whites and warm reds also are worth sampling. Enjoy a lunch at The Terrace Restaurant, or pop into the Indigo Cheese Co. next door for something lovely on which to nibble."

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Canberra Times, Ute Junker, August 2012