Great Western is small wine development town midway between Stawell and Ararat. Great Western was made famous during the 70’s and 80’s with the Great Western Champagne. One of Australia’s first sparkling varietals to take on the champagne market. Great Western was made famous with the launch of the ‘champagne’.
The first European settlers in the Great Western area were sheep graziers in the 1840s and closer settlement began with the discovery of gold during the Victorian gold rush.
The first vineyards in the Great Western area were established by two Frenchmen who met at the gold diggings at Daylesford. Following their example, Joseph Best and his brother Henry established vineyards in 1865. Following Joseph's death in 1888, the property was purchased by Hans Irvine. Irvine imported staff from France and dedicated himself to establishing a sparkling wine of comparable quality of French champagne. In 1918, Irvine sold the winery to his friend and Australian wine pioneer, Benno Seppelt.