Insider’s information to the Yarra Valley

Located just over an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a flat, sprawling area peppered with more than 50 wineries, cute-as-pie country towns, markets and even microbreweries. However although the Yarra Valley may be well-known for its wine, there really is quite a bit more to the place than vino!

It’s possible to see most of these sights in an prolonged day journey however you can consider staying a day or three in case you’ve bought an extended weekend to burn. Get ready to leap within the car…just bear in mind to appoint a designated driver! Oh, and check opening days of places you’re visiting – because the Valley gets most guests over the weekend, some places are shut on Monday/Tuesday.

So many wineries…which one to pick?

You’d have to spend a couple of days to visit all the wineries in the area – and you’d be quite drunk by the top of it. So we’ve selected a few alternative wineries for you to pop into for a style and maybe a meal.

De Bortoli (58 Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek)

Probably the most-visited of all wineries. De Bortoli has over 240 hectres of vineyards. Their wines embrace glowing, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and more. Yep. Just about each variety. The highlight needs to be the Richard Thomas cheese room – named after Richard who will serve you cheese, let you know everything you want to know and then serve you more cheese.

Domaine Chandon (727 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream)

The Moët lot from France discovered a sister property here in the Yarra and in consequence have created a line of scrumptious and reasonably priced still and sparkling wines. No, they can’t call it Champagne. The tour is a little bit hokey but takes you through to a surprise ending that doesn’t fail to elicit the ‘Wahhhh!’ from visitors.

Rochford Wines (Cnr Maroondah Hwy & Hill Rd, Coldstream)

The declare to fame here has to be their ‘A Day on the Green’ sequence of concerts. Biggies resembling Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall and Norah Jones have graced the grounds. Forthcoming friends in October 2010 embody Merely ‘we’re retiring!’ Red, John ‘have not I retired yet?’ Farnham (an Australian musical legend), Cuban jazz teams and Blondie & the Pretenders. Rock on!

Yering Station (38 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen)

Yering Station can also be house to the month-to-month Yarra Valley farmers’ market held on the third Sunday of each month. Pick up organic veggies and meat, residence-made pies, cordial, sinful sweets, organic olives, cheese, coffee – all made by small producers. Their restaurant is a sublime metal and glass structure set towards a backdrop of lush vineyards.

For the seasoned, here a few places which can be all concerning the wine. There’s no messing about with restaurants and also you definitely won’t find the places swamped with vacationers toting plastic tasting cups.

Yarra Yering (four Briarty Rd, Gruyere)

Pssst, they don’t let you know about this place in the tourist brochures. The Dry Red No 1, 2 and three are the pick of the lot at this winery first established by the iconic Dr Carrodus in 1969 – they usually sell out quickly. The cellar door stays open if there’s nonetheless wine on the market so check before you go!

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