Bests Great Western
May 20, 2024

Established in 1866, Best’s Wines Great Western is one of Australia’s oldest wineries. Best’s is celebrated for its rich vineyard resources in Victoria’s Great Western region, with a focus on Shiraz. Their Nursery Block is a true viticultural treasure, a patchwork of 39 different varietals, some of which remain unidentified to this day. The 1868 plantings of Shiraz, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Dolcetto also house some of the world’s oldest pre-phylloxera vines, named among Australia’s most notable vineyard resources.

Only two families have owned Best’s since its origin in 1866. The Thomson family took over in 1920 upon Henry Best’s passing, having grown grapes in nearby Rhymney since 1893. Today, fifth-generation Ben Thomson is at the helm alongside his wife Nicole who runs the Best’s Wine Club. Hamish Thomson, Ben’s brother, is also actively involved as Regional Sales Manager. Best’s Patriarch, fourth-generation Viv Thomson OAM, still lives on the property and can’t help but stay involved. The sixth generation is also showing an interest in the family business.

For a tiny boutique producer, Best’s Great Western punches above its weight! Best’s is a Halliday 5-star rated winery with numerous accolades for the brand, consistently showcasing the quality and diversity of the wines. In 2021, Best’s was named Halliday’s Best Value Winery of the Year, and their Thomson Family Shiraz (2014) and Foudre Ferment Riesling (2021) took out the title of Wine of the Year. The 2011 Best’s Bin No. 1 Shiraz was awarded the prestigious 2012 Jimmy Watson award for Best Red Wine of Show – a moment in time recognising the long history of Shiraz in the region. Best’s Thomson Family Shiraz is named as First Classified in Langton’s Classification VIII, the most highly prized of all Australian fine wines and Bin No. 0 Shiraz is named as Classified.

The Best’s winemaking philosophy focuses on making small parcels of wine that speak of the unique Great Western soils and pay tribute to the historic vineyard resources at their disposal. All winemaking is done on-site with minimal intervention. Despite the long traditions, the brand continues to innovate, introducing new styles, such as white shiraz, to keep the brand relevant to new wine lovers.

This winery is truly one of Australia’s best-kept secrets.

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