Insider’s guide to the Yarra Valley

Located just over an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a flat, sprawling region 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 lots more to the place than vino!

It’s potential to see most of those sights in an prolonged day journey but you would consider staying a day or three should you’ve received a long weekend to burn. Get ready to leap in the car…just bear in mind to appoint a designated driver! Oh, and check opening days of places you’re visiting – as the Valley gets most visitors 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 within the region – and you’d be fairly drunk by the tip of it. So we’ve selected a couple of alternative wineries so that you can pop into for a style and maybe a meal.

De Bortoli (58 Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek)

Probably essentially the most-visited of all wineries. De Bortoli has over 240 hectres of vineyards. Their wines embody glowing, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and more. Yep. Pretty much every variety. The highlight needs to be the Richard Thomas cheese room – named after Richard who will serve you cheese, tell you everything you want to know after which serve you more cheese.

Domaine Chandon (727 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream)

The Moët lot from France discovered a sister property right here within the Yarra and consequently have created a line of delicious and reasonably priced nonetheless and sparkling wines. No, they can’t call it Champagne. The tour is slightly hokey however takes you through to a shock ending that doesn’t fail to elicit the ‘Wahhhh!’ from visitors.

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

The claim to fame right here needs to be their ‘A Day on the Green’ series of concerts. Biggies such as Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall and Norah Jones have graced the grounds. Forthcoming company in October 2010 embrace Simply ‘we’re retiring!’ Red, John ‘haven’t 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 be dwelling to the month-to-month Yarra Valley farmers’ market held on the third Sunday of every month. Pick up organic veggies and meat, residence-made pies, cordial, sinful sweets, natural olives, cheese, coffee – all made by small producers. Their restaurant is a sublime steel and glass structure set in opposition to a backdrop of lush vineyards.

For the seasoned, here a couple of places that are all about the wine. There’s no messing about with restaurants and you certainly won’t find the places swamped with vacationers toting plastic tasting cups.

Yarra Yering (four Briarty Rd, Gruyere)

Pssst, they don’t inform you about this place in the vacationer brochures. The Dry Red No 1, 2 and 3 are the pick of the lot at this vineyard first established by the long-lasting Dr Carrodus in 1969 – they usually sell out quickly. The cellar door stays open if there’s still wine for sale so check before you go!

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