“This is the best summer ever!” said the person with the glass of excellent wine in their hand.

We surveyed a bunch of the state’s top drinks people and collected their thoughts on what’s drinking nicely in the wine world this summer. You’ve seen their inside tips on sparkling wine, aperitifs, and rosés; but what about wines that aren’t pink or don’t have bubbles in them? From old grapes to new, crisp whites to chilled reds, from regions both fresh and familiar, here’s 20 summer you ought to find space in your Esky for this summer.

2021 Eastern Peake Intrinsic Chardonnay
“This is perfect for lovers of white Burgundy who are looking for something closer to home. Think classic chardonnay with freshness and richness in equal measure. Lively, elegant, and superbly concentrated, this would be a wonderful addition to any summer cellar.” Antonina Heymanson, Chauncy

2022 Joshua Cooper Balgownie Vineyard 1970s Block
“We barbecue a lot during the summer months, taking advantage of long, warm evenings, and nothing goes better with barbecued lamb chops than fine Victorian cabernet made by Joshua Cooper from the historical Balgownie Vineyard which was planted in the 1970s.” Andy Ainsworth, Bar Merenda

2022 Bowerbird Viognier
“I am so grateful to a friend introducing me to Kirilly Gordon’s wine. Poor old viognier gets a bad rap. This is brilliant: a perfect balance of fruit and acid. It sits more in the white nectarine spectrum; a great, aromatic drink.” Bronwyn Kabboord, Du Fermier

2022 Moonlit Forest Pinot Noir Pinot Gris
“Complex and moreish with a supple texture that welcomes a chill. An unfiltered, co-fermented blend perfect for the summer dining table.” Jayden Ong, Jayden Ong Winery and Cellar Bar

2022 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay
“Every year, the Cobaw Ridge chardonnay is the benchmark for Australian wines of purity: detailed mineral numbers, rich fruit character, striking acidity. On warm evenings, the balance of power and stone-sculpture elegance from these wines is unrivalled; get them while you can.” Mahmood Fazal, investigative reporter, wine writer

2022 Combes Redemption Blend
“A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and a bit of sauvignon blanc. A charmingly aromatic, slightly oxidative wine with acid reminiscent of a Jura blanc; perfect with luxurious cheeses and buttery delights.” Paul Ghaie, Blackhearts and Sparrows

2022 Vignerons Schmolzer and Brown Prêt-à-Blanc
“Jeremy Schmolzer and Tess Brown love making this style of dry, refreshing white blend. This one is a mix of pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, riesling and sylvaner from King Valley vineyards. Ideal summer drinking!” Meg Brodtmann, Wine with Meg and Mel

2022 Gaffy & Neal Merricks North Chardonnay
“I am a professed acolyte of Doug Neal’s, especially with regards to his chardonnay prowess. When he explained his new venture with Darrin Gaffy (of Principia Wines) on the Peninsula, it seemed like a no-brainer. The resulting wine is a head-turning example with sumptuous fruit, complexity, and power. A wine to pour and savour as it warms up in the glass.”  Mark Protheroe, Paradise Valley Hotel 

Minim Colbinabbin Fiano
“The fruit for this one is sourced from the Chalmers vineyard in Heathcote. Some aging in the barrel adds a savoury character while retaining the grape’s natural green-apple freshness, and you end up with a complex and engaging wine that aims high and delivers.” Michael Smith, The Recreation

2021 Avani Issan Vineyard Pinot Noir
“This is the first release from this Gippsland site that winemaker and owner of Avani, Shashi Singh, previously worked with during her time working at Bass Phillip. The wine has power, but there’s generous, heady fruit aromas which would brighten up a summer afternoon meal on the verandah.” Wiremu Andrews, Dearth of a Salesman

2021 Schmolzer and Brown Thorley Vineyard Nebbiolo
“The Wines of Tessa and Brown and Jeremy Schmolzer have been on heavy rotation in our places for years. The wines are so sure of themselves and always have a pure sense of identity and place. While it’s the white wines that have always intrigued me more, this year I fell in love with their nebbiolo from their home vineyard, located in Stanley just outside Beechworth. A proudly Victorian expression of this noble variety.” Lyndon Kubis, Clover

2022 Hochkirch Tarrington Chardonnay
“Maybe Victoria’s oldest biodynamic vineyard? Anyway, such a pure, diamond-like expression of the noble grape. Sometimes it’s hard not to only drink chardonnay.” Pete Baxter, Hope St Radio

2022 Joshua Cooper Greytown Old Vines Shiraz Cabernet
“We still have the odd cold day – especially here in the central highlands – and this is one for those days. A luxurious red from old mate Cooper: long fine tannins, a sweet, dense core of berries, graphite and mahogany. Oh yes.” Jeremy Shiell, Winespeake

2022 Fallow What A World Riesling
“This is soooooooo good! Biodynamically farmed riesling from Mansfield, made very nicely by Ryan and Betty in Healesville. The fruit quality here is just excellent. It’s a deep style, lightly oxidative and with plenty of acidity. A delicate kiss of sweetness makes this exceptional with or without food.” Campbell Burton, Public Wine Shop

2022 Defialy Amber Skye Muscat Riesling
“Winemaker Micah Hewitt goes from strength to strength with every release he makes, and this skin-contact muscat riesling provides all the brightness and freshness for summer drinking, with complexity to boot. Perfect for courtyard drinking as well as sitting down with friends for a meal. Such a versatile wine and insanely good value.” Alex Pineo, Poodle Bar and Bistro

2022 Latta Presence Grenache
“This is a light, juicy grenache that’s full of energy and great when lightly chilled.” Luke Skidmore, Tipo 00

2022 Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay
“The Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch wild-ferment chardonnay from Fowles Wine in the Strathbogie Ranges is deliciously fresh, but it also has depth of flavour and subtle creaminess from having spent some time in oak.” Nick Brown, Saints Collective 

2022 Victorian chardonnay (all of it)
“We are excellent at it. 2022 was a challenging vintage for lots of growers and producers, but the results have been fantastic from what we’ve seen in the selection of cool-climate chardonnay. They’re about to fill wine lists and fridges all over Melbourne, and are what I’ll be drinking when I can’t afford Chablis, and let’s face it, that’s almost all the time.” Penny Vine, Trader House

2022 Lyons Will Estate Riesling
“Ollie and Renata of Lyons Will Estate make wines that are always a pleasure to drink. The riesling is sophisticated, acid-driven and textural.” Loïque Allain, Dilworth and Allain

2021 Bandicoot Run ‘Minetta’ Chardonnay
“Al and Adriana of Bandicoot Run Wines farm a minuscule three-hectare family plot in West Gippsland. Their powerful and precise chardonnay is perfect with an abundance of shellfish and sunshine.” Josh Begbie, Brico

2022 Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir
“Eastern Peake celebrated its fortieth anniversary in November, and it would be remiss of me not to mention my husband in this Drink Victoria list. Big changes in the health of the vineyards at Eastern Peake over the past eight years have resulted in some of Owen’s best wines yet. This wine shows the classic fruit concentration, natural acidity and plushness that Owen’s become known for in his pinots. Something for those cooler summer nights (of which there are many here in Daylesford).” Jen Latta, Winespeake