Since European settlement in the 1800's this unique pocket of Victoria's high country has given up gold, quartz, nuts, fruits and some of Australia's most sought after and admired grape yields.
The first vines were established in the 1850's and for a time, vineyards dominated the regions landscape. By 1892 it was reported that 32 wine growers were registered in the Beechworth Shire producing a healthy bounty of approximately 40,000Ltrs pa.
From its halcyon days of the late 1800's wine production plummeted in the early 1900's. Reasons remain unclear, perhaps the advent of WWI combined with a possible invasion of the pest insect phylloxera and other socio demographic shifts impacted the industry. Whatever the influence by 1916 only 6 acres were dedicated to wine growing producing a yield of less than 115ltrs per annum.
Only a handful of private vineyards remained until 1945, when Vin Capriotti, established 5 acres of vines at Everton Hills. Using varieties sourced from Chateaux Tahbilk, the property was acquired by Brown Brothers of Milawa in 1950 and expanded to 40 acres until its last vintage in 1978.
It was around this time that the Beechworth Shire experienced a wine renaissance, due largely to the Smith family, followed by Rick Kinzbrunner who established a vineyard between Everton Hills and Beechworth in 1980.
In the years since, Beechworth Shire wine growers have produced wines of exceptional quality and consistency. Boasting over 30 family owned and independent growers and producers, the Beechworth Vignerons continue to play a significant role in the resurgence of the region's popularity as a food and wine destination.