Vinea Marson patriarch Mario Marson spent 15 years as a winemaker at Yarra Valley’s Mount Mary Vineyard before making the move to the Cambrian soils of Heathcote more than two decades ago.

The Heathcote region had been known for one variety: Shiraz. But Mario Marson changed all that. He believed that the Sangiovese grape would thrive in Heathcote because of the climatic similarities to Tuscany. It led to him experimenting with Italian varieties not seen before in the region, to great success (Shiraz was planted as an insurance policy).

His hillside property is an idyllic spot for wine tasting. It offers unfettered views over the vineyards and boasts a full-sized bocce court (Mario insisted on it). Tastings are on Saturday and Sundays or by appointment during the week. Choose from a tasting of five or ten wines from the winery’s two ranges. The heritage range focuses on the alpine valley wines that explore the family’s Friuli heritage, from a sparkling through to a very textural, skin-contact white. The flagship pour is the Grazia, a white blend of three grape varieties.

Tastings are informal and fun, with an Italian antipasti platter included. Be sure to try the Drunken Buffalo cheese (buffalo milk cheese wrapped in Marson’s Nebbiolo skin. The winery also hosts a monthly Sunday lunch. It’s a full Italian sit-down dining experience with matched wines.

Vinea Marson is also part of the Heathcote Women in Wine cellar door trail, which celebrates women making a name in the local wine industry.

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Updated: February 9th, 2023

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