Are you planning a Melbourne get-away when our COVID-19 travel bans are lifted? Look no further then the beautiful Yarra Valley!
Only 51km’s from the Melbourne CBD, the Yarra Valley presents the perfect location for a wining and dining day trip. Establishing itself as the leading cool climate wine region of Australia, winemakers in the Valley are proving time and time again that this region and its climate are perfect for adapting varieties from all over the globe, while putting their unique Aussie stamp on them. From the relaxed and casual, to the highly awarded and esteemed wineries and restaurants dotted throughout the Yarra Valley, here are the ones we think make the perfect places for a Yarra Valley day trip…
One of the oldest estates with a reputable history of producing the most premium wines of the Yarra Valley, Yarra Yering offers its visitors an intimate and homely setting in which to experience some truly exceptional wines. Their catalogue includes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Malbec, Viogner and a Cabernet Sauvignon that was recently awarded 99 points by James Halliday.
What they’re perhaps best known for though, is their Dry Red No. 1 – a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. This a pretty low-key cellar door considering the calibre of wines on taste, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. You could be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed somewhere in Spain or Italy when you arrive. With somewhat of a Mediterranean inspired cellar door and vine views from every window of the tasting room, a stop here is a must.
With sweeping views over the valley floor and mountain ranges, Greenstone Vineyards offers a relaxed and casual escape in the heart of the Yarra Valley. The cellar door here boasts a diverse offering of Yarra Valley’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Originally a Heathcote based winery though, Greenstone continues to showcase the beauty and intensity of the region with its reserve range of Heathcote Shiraz, Sangiovese and Colorino, a Tuscan variety rarely found anywhere in Australia. This cellar door really shines in summer, with a spacious outdoor deck overlooking estate vines and one of the best views in the Valley, you’re invited to picnic on the grass with glass in hand and while away a lazy afternoon.
DiVino Ristorante @ Mandala Wines
After a morning of swirling, sniffing and tasting, what better way to refuel and re-energise than with a traditional Italian home-cooked meal.
If perfectly cooked wood-fired pizza is your thing, along with flavour-packed pastas and antipasto, this place is for you. House made gnocchi with lamb shoulder ragù, roast pumpkin ravioli, the list goes on. Using only the freshest, locally sourced seasonal ingredients makes DiVino Ristorante @ Mandala wines a must-eat for locals and visitors alike. You’ll find the cellar door to Mandala Wines at the entry to the restaurant, so you can drop-in for a tasting or two before or after lunch.
A boutique winery that rewards its visitors with some of the best wines being produced today in the Yarra Valley. One visit to Pimpernel Vineyards small and immersive cellar door, and you’ll understand why. Pinot Noir drinkers will be treated to a stunning range which includes different clones and differing winemaking techniques, taste them all, then decide which is your favourite. It’s not just Pinot Noir they excel at though. Their Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Syrah and Shiraz are some of the best you’ll taste anywhere in the Valley. A definite standout is the ‘Grouch’, a powerful blend of Syrah and Marsanne, a typical Northern Rhone blend, found in the heart of Australia’s wine country.
So there you have it! A little low down on some fabulous day trips you can do in the Yarra Valley. For more tips on this stunning region and to taste your way through the Yarra Valley with a private and tailored tour, check out Wine Compass Yarra Valley Tours, the wine tour specialists.
Adam – Director @ Wine Compass