In this series we bring to life some of our local heroes, the makers and growers in regional Victoria who are making a direct economic impact on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Australians.
In this two-part series we take you on an adventure to learn about Victoria's rich regional bounty punctuated by beautiful delicacies, country charm and warm hospitality. By backing these businesses, we're backing the jobs and communities they support. In Part One, we shine a light on Munari Wines in Heathcote and Rich Glen Estate in Yarrawonga. We hear about their homegrown stories and relish in their history as we celebrate these regional businesses and encourage Victorians to shop local. M U N A R I W I N E S , H E A T H C O T E
Munari Wines tell the tale of Gold Rush bushrangers with their signature ‘Ladys Pass’ Shiraz. Ladys Pass is located on the site of the Cellar Door and the bottle of Shiraz depicts the heritage route to the Victorian Gold Fields. The tale tells of bushrangers holding up travellers at this pass but always letting the ladies through. The richness of Munari spans not only the colonial history of the region but is part of making it. Founder, Adrian Munari purchased the sheep station, with the shearing shed on Ladys Pass, in ‘92. Since making their first bottle of wine, the Bendigo wine region has been defined as the Heathcote wine region with a mere five families, now second-generation wine producers. It’s an enterprising region. India, daughter of Adrian, describes the cellar door location as ‘the golden triangle’ — ‘rolling lawn, vineyards and oak and gum trees that line the base of Mt Ida’. The shearers who built the original shearing shed must have chosen the site for a reason! The first Friday night of every month is ‘Evenings at Minari’. It’s an opportunity that’s taken up by locals and tourists alike to wind down from the week or settle into holiday mode, sipping on Munari wines and enjoying the cellar door tasting plates. The fire’s burning — it’s a warm and chatty vibe that’s unique and authentic rather than touristic. At Munari they’ve lit the culture with the history, beauty and produce of the region — some may say lucked out. It was a gold rush, perhaps still now with the cellar door perched atop the golden triangle and the vines — Australia's most up and coming shiraz. T H E D E T A I L S
1129 Northern Hwy, Ladys Pass Website
R I C H G L E N E S T A T E , Y A R R A W O N G A
The moment that Jack’s grandfather stopped the bulldozers from demolishing his olive grove was a unique moment in itself. Jack recalls his mother as the one whose bright idea turned a failing business into the beginning of a local institution, now producing 150 olive-oil based food and skin-care products. It all started with ‘Poppy’s Favourite Dressing’ — a tangy, sweet, creamy, poppy seed dressing made with extra virgin olive oil. Every product is made on the estate and sold in the shop which was originally built as an extension of the family home.
During the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, the popular shop front closed to tourists, however this time gave the family business capacity to reset and re-invent their concept with a digital presence and a focus on Australian-made product packaging. Their products are available to buy at their online store, distributing worldwide with Poppy’s Dressing - still the best seller amongst their diverse range of olive oil products from infused oils to meat rubs. Rich Glen Estate's extra virgin olive oil is a local luxury — ‘there’s a lot of love required to crush and blend oil to get the right flavour for different uses’ says Jack, third generation in the family business.
T H E D E T A I L S Rich Glen Estate
734 Murray Valley Hwy, Yarrawonga Website