The amazing volunteers at the Stawell Historical Society have stumbled across a very interesting article, dated the 7th July 1904 that was published in the Stawell News. This amazing piece of history explain that Great Western may have been renamed to 'Irvine"Mr. Hans Irvine first arrived in Great Western in 1888 and purchased what is now known as “Seppelt Wines” from Mr. Joseph Best for 12,000 pounds.
Mr. Irvine was an astute, wealthy business man and quickly became the leader within the Australian Wine industry. In the late 1800’s, he traveled to Europe and brought back with him Mr. Charles Pierlot, a reputable winemaker from Champagne in France. It was the combination of Irvine & Pierlot that brought the “Traditional Méthode” used to make French Champagne began in Great Western. With the intention of honouring Mr. Hans Irvine, leading Wine Markers from the Great Western region put forward the proposal to the Railway Commissioners to have the township of "Great Western" be changed to "Irwin" But even back in 1904, Great Western was quickly gaining a reputation as a “Wine Growing Centre” It was considered keeping it named “Great Western” would be in the best interest of the wine made in the region. Mr. Irvine himself even signed the letter objecting to the name change.
If you would like to know more about the amazing Mr. Hans Irvine, Seppelt Wines, where Mr. Irvine’s famous wines were made have tours departing every hour from 11am with the last tour leaving at 3pm daily. There is over a mile of hand dug Drives below the surface, that you can explore whilst the Seppelt Tour guides takes you on the journey of 160 years of wines being made in Great Western.