Goldfields History of the Guildford area
Guildford Vineyard & Cellar has been established on prominent outcrops of sandstone and mudstone ridges that once formed the ocean floor laying beside the ancient continent of Gondwanaland.
The ancient weathered soil is mineral rich but nutrient poor. The porous nature of the soils has allowed a great diversity of indigenous plants to adapt to the dry hot summers by developing deep root systems. These porous rocky, slate, sandstone and quartz soils are ideally suited to growing grape vines.
This area is also the favourite haunt of the local organic honey beekeepers, who regularly park hundreds of honey bee hives on the edge of the vineyard in early spring. The profusion of honey bees, lady birds, butterflies and grub eating flocks of native woodland ducks all provide a delicate balance in managing the vineyard.
Guildford Vineyard & Cellar name
The vineyard takes its name from the 1850s refreshment tent that once stood on the banks of the Loddon River in the nearby hamlet of Guildford.
The tent was famous for the sustenance and grog it provided to the many thousands of gold fortune seekers on their way to Mount Alexander, the richest alluvial goldfields in the world.
The little gold mining town of Guildford grew around the refreshment tent settled by grape growing Swiss Italians and over 6,000 Chinese miners and market gardeners.
The tradition of fine food and wine is celebrated at the quarterly farmers market held in the Guildford Hall.
Traditional music is still played every week in the Guildford Family Hotel, where guitar, mandolin and banjos all come together in a weekend annual Banjo Jamboree festival each spring.
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