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Vineyards near Avoca, viewed from the Pyrenees ranges
|Type||Australian geographical indication|
|Years of wine industry||1848–present|
|Part of||Western Victoria|
The altitude of the ranges is 300 to over 750 m (approximately 980–2460 ft). Main peaks in the range include Mount Avoca (747 m) and Mount Warrenmang (537 m).
The explorer and surveyor Thomas Mitchell was the first European recorded to have traveled through the district on his 1836 journey of exploration. The ranges reminded him of the Pyrenees in Europe where he had served as an army officer, hence the name he gave them. He found the area more temperate in climate and better watered than inland New South Wales, and he encouraged settlers to take up land in the region he described as "Australia Felix".
Vines were first planted in the region in 1848. Several wine growers produced and sold wine in the region in the late 1800s and early part of the twentieth century. The pioneer of the region Edwin Horatio Mackereth had his vineyard sold to a dairy farmer in 1929 by his descendants. Another early producer Kofoeds survived until 1947. The 1960s saw the re-establishment of vineyards in the area with the French Cognac producer Rémy Martin planting grapes in the mid 1960s. Since the 1970s the region has been a significant producer of full-bodied red wines based on Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties.
The main eight wineries of the region in the 1970s and 1980s included: Chateau Rémy (since renamed Blue Pyrenees Estate), Dalwhinnie Vineyard, Mount Avoca Vineyard, Mountain Creek, Summerfield Vineyards, Redbank Winery, Taltarni Vineyards and Warrenmang Vineyard.
Wineries of the region now number almost twenty with a second wave of plantings and investment in the 1990s. Most of the wineries are around the towns of Moonambel and Avoca. The varieties planted now include many white varieties including Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier, while the main varieties of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon well supported by a range of other varieties from France such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Grenache, Italy for Sangiovese and Nebbiolo and Spain for Tempranillo.
Tourism is a very significant part of the appeal of the region with many wineries including cellar-doors where wines can be tasted (usually free of charge) and several also including accommodation and restaurants as part of their business.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pyrenees (Victoria).|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Victorian Pyrenees.|
- "Pyrenees Wineries". Wine Regions. Wine Australia. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
- Thomas Mitchell Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Volume 2
- Wineries of the Pyrenees website
- Pyrenees Gold Field Victoria Geol. Survey, 1904, WM Bradford; discusses Geology of Pyrenees area and Gold Field.