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Great Western has played an important role in Australia's winemaking history, with grapevines first planted in the area in 1863. Located in the middle of the Western Highway between Melbourne and Adelaide, Great Western was first settled by sheep graziers in the 1840s. This was before the township grew following the discovery of gold and later the planting of the now famous grape vines. Wine continues to be the town's drawcard, with a tour to some of Australia's best-known wineries a must for any visit to the Grampians region. Call into the historic wineries and see the gnarled old grape vines that put the town on the map. Explore the hand-dug 1860s cellars with the intriguing original barrels at Best's, and tour Seppelt's underground 'drives', one of the region's most popular activities. Make sure you try the famous sparkling shiraz from Grampians Estate. Taste local fare at the cellar doors, then explore Great Western village's old churches and see the old toll gate. Visit for the annual rodeo or plan your trip for January and join the festivities for the Great Western Cup, one of the region's most popular horse racing events. Great Western is around two-and-a-half hours from Melbourne along the Western Freeway.