Montara Wines is captivating with its panorama of plains, mountains, vines and old-world charm of the Ararat gold rush days. Situated 200 kilometres west of Melbourne with a dramatic backdrop of the rugged sandstone Grampians mountain ranges, it is a feast for the eyes and the spirit. Established in 1970, Montara Wines is today owned by the Stapleton family. This dynamic group of six siblings has given Montara a youthful exuberance, where tradition meets a new era of winemaking. Montara's wines are 100 per cent estate grown and truly express the elegant, intense fruit characteristics reflective of the cool climate Grampians region. Wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz. "Cruise up the entrance avenue, through Montara's imposing gates, and head up to the quaint, old-worldly cellar door. Sit on the veranda to take in the dappled, ever-changing landscape towards the Pyrenees and the Sleeping Princess ranges. This is one of the best views from any Victorian winery. Specialities are Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc." Ralph Kyte-Powell "A picturesque cellar door and beautiful vineyard setting augur well at Montara. The Pinot Noir has won many admirers over some years now; and a typically regional - and very good - Shiraz, showing pepper and smoke and a hint of eucalyptus." Ben Canaider
Imagine life 150 years ago amid the excitement of the travel weary Chinese prospectors who had just discovered one of the world's richest shallow alluvial goldfields. The world-class Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre tells the story of those miners and their arduous journey from Southern China to Australia where they dreamed of finding gold. Relive their great trek on foot from Robe in South Australia to the goldfields upon which Ararat now stands and learn how life was for these resilient explorers in a strange land. Designed in the traditional Southern Chinese architectural style and incorporating the principles of Feng Shui, the dramatic two-storey building with its authentic Chinese tiled roof houses a fascinating selection of interactive audio-visual and static displays. See the wonderful textiles, embroideries and relics of this rich culture. Discover the fun and delight of gold panning, try your hand at calligraphy, learn about the Chinese language and play traditional Chinese games. Become engrossed in the courthouse stories and see the replica of the mining tunnel uncovered during the construction of the Centre. The Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre provides an authentic snapshot of the Chinese culture from the 1800s through to the modern day. A truly interactive experience for visitors of all ages.
Located in the heart of Ararat in the landmark Town Hall, Ararat Regional Art Gallery offers a varied program encompassing national touring exhibitions, aspects of the permanent collection and exhibitions by visiting textile fibre and regional artists. The Gallery was established in 1968 and has a unique place amongst Australia's public galleries through its longstanding commitment to supporting and promoting textile and fibre art - a curatorial and collection focus that began in the early 1970s. While the permanent collection is not always on display, the Gallery maintains its dedication to highlighting excellence, innovation and diversity in contemporary textile fibre art practice through an annual exhibition program that features visiting artists and touring exhibitions.
Fratin Brothers Vineyard is nestled between the rolling hills and picturesque surrounds of the Great Dividing Range in Western Victoria, 50 km south east of the Grampians National Park.
With viticulture background and a strong family tradition the vineyards were planted by Dino and Michael Fratin in 1998, thirty years after their father Serge and his brothers Don and Lino established the well renowned Mt Langi Ghiran Vineyards.
Shiraz cuttings were taken from Mt Langi Ghiran and planted with the initial idea of selling the grapes to neighbouring wineries, but with the exceptional quality of the grapes and encouragement from a family friend and local winemaker, the brothers followed in their father's footsteps making wine under the Fratin Brothers label. Serge still oversees the vineyard operations today combining years of viticulture expertise and careful nurturing of the vines to continually produce fruit of premium quality.
Traditional grape varieties Shiraz, Merlot, Italian varietal Sangiovese along with the most recent plantings of Chardonnay make up the 8-acre boutique style vineyard. The high altitude allows for a long and gradual ripening season allowing for slow berry development. With a commitment to quality we continually ensure that the vineyard produces lower yields of the highest quality.
The wines are made in shallow, open top fermentation tanks, the skins hand plunged to extract intense colour, then basket pressed and the wine allowed to settle before being stored in a variety of American and French oak then carefully blended to produce award winning wines. Traditional winemaking methods and minimal handling of the wines allow us to capture the true characteristics and intense flavours of the vineyard.