Great Western, Victoria

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Great Western
Great Western Western Highway.JPG
The Western Highway at Great Western
Great Western is located in Shire of Northern Grampians
Great Western
Great Western
Coordinates 37°09′0″S 142°51′0″E / 37.15000°S 142.85000°E / -37.15000; 142.85000Coordinates: 37°09′0″S 142°51′0″E / 37.15000°S 142.85000°E / -37.15000; 142.85000
Population 644 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3377
  • 225 km (140 mi) north west of Melbourne
  • 111 km (69 mi) north west of Ballarat
  • 19 km (12 mi) north of Ararat
  • 16 km (10 mi) south east of Stawell
LGA(s) Shire of Northern Grampians
State electorate(s) Ripon
Federal Division(s) Wannon

Great Western is a town in the east of the Wimmera region of Victoria, Australia. The town is located on the Western Highway, in the Shire of Northern Grampians local government area, 225 kilometres north west of the state capital, Melbourne. The town has a population of 644.

The first European settlers in the Great Western area were sheep graziers in the 1840s and closer settlement began with the discovery of gold during the Victorian gold rush, the Post Office opening on 1 June 1858.[2] . The first vineyards in the Great Western area were established by two Frenchmen who met at the gold diggings at Daylesford. Following their example, Joseph Best and his brother Henry established vineyards in 1865. Following Joseph's death in 1888, the property was purchased by Hans Irvine. Irvine imported staff from France and dedicated himself to establishing a sparkling wine of comparable quality of French champagne. In 1918, Irvine sold the winery to his friend and Australian wine pioneer, Benno Seppelt.[3]

Today, Great Western is still producing quality sparkling wines including Seppelt Salinger at the Seppelt winery, now owned by Treasury Wine Estates.[4][5] The Seppelt cellars include over 3 kilometres of labyrinthine tunnels ("drives") originally constructed by miners searching for gold and are now used to allow the sparkling wine to rest and develop.[3] The other major vineyard in the area is the Concongella vineyard, operated by Best's Wines, producing a wide variety of wine types.[6] Table shiraz, including some from pre-phylloxera root stocks, is also produced by wineries in the area.[7] The development of a water recycling program transferring waste water from nearby Ararat to wineries at Great Western has allowed recent expansion of the wine industry in the area.[8]

The horse racing club, the Wimmera Racing Club, holds the Great Western Cup meeting on Australia Day (26 January),[9] and a rodeo is also held annually.

The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the Mininera & District Football League.[10]



  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Great Western (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  2. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Great Western - Victoria - Australia - Travel -". 2004-02-08. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  4. ^ "Seppelt Salinger". Seppelts Wines. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  5. ^ "Seppelt". Foster's Group. Archived from the original on 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  6. ^ "Best's Concongella Vineyard, Great Western (Established 1866)". Best's Wines. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  7. ^ "Our Vineyards - Great Western, Victoria". Seppelts Wines. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  8. ^ Courtney, Pip (2000-04-30). "Great Western turns water into wine". Landline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  9. ^ Country Racing Victoria. "Wimmera Racing at Great Western". Archived from the original on August 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  10. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Brasch, Nicolas; Thomson, Chris (2016). Best's Great Western: Celebrating 150 years. Preston, Vic: Bounce Books. ISBN 9780992398149. 
  • Francis, L.R. (1965). 100 Years of Wine Making: Great Western 1865-1965. Great Western, Vic: B. Seppelt & Sons. OCLC 52978235.