The scenic approaches to the border town of Howlong follow the winding Murray River and billabongs festooned with pelicans and waterfowl.
This is mixed farming country where tell-tale mullock heaps stand witness to the days when miners wrung gold from the ground.
Today the area’s wealth flows from the liquid gold squeezed from the grapes of the Rutherglen. The Rutherglen patch is acknowledged as the most important wine-growing area in Victoria and its vineyards consistently produce some of Australia’s finest table and fortified wines.
The town of Rutherglen lies 21km south-west of Howlong and village sign posts give directions to the individual wineries.
Two of the Howlong's inns built in the 1870s have long since been converted into private homes, but you can still get a drink at the Court House Hotel, which also dates back to the 19th century.
The town's unusual name is almost certainly a corruption of the Hoolong cattle run established by Isaac Rudd in the 1840s.