Like neighbouring Heathcote, the Bendigo area is responsible for some of the country’s richest reds. Both its shiraz and cabernet sauvignon are wonderfully reliable varieties that could only be shaken by a very bad season. Wineries to visit are Balgownie Estate (Hermitage Rd, Maiden Gully, (03) 5449 6222), Passing Clouds (RMB 440 Kurting Rd, Kingower, (03) 5438 8387) and Pondalowie Estate (6 Main St, Bridgewater on Loddon, (03) 5437 3332). Bress (3894 Calder Hwy, Harcourt, (03) 5474 2262) also dabbles in traditional apple cider.

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