Yarra Valley, Melbourne
Our friends took us for a drive through the Yarra Vally which was not far from the outskirts of Melbourne. If you are a wine lover there are more wineries here than people which would be a plus for most. If you are not a wine lover it is a great drive just to relax on and there are also plenty of art gallerys and many other things along the way.
Unfortunately this was the only place the Melbourne weather let us down and we could not see many of the wonderful views due to the heavy fog that morning.
I probably preferred the Dandenongs if I had to choose between these two drives but I am more a tea shop/trinkets person than a wine girl.
I do believe the Yarra Valley is well renowned for the vineyards, and there are quite a few ways of getting out to tour the different areas, but I do think we chanced onto a really excellent tour, and I was very pleased with the whole set up.
Our group was the Australian Wine Tour Co., with vans holding about 20 people. Our driver was beautiful, full of life, knowledge of the area, the wine industry, each vineyard, wine itself, and a great guy to be around. He made the trip truly exciting and happy (of course, after 4 wineries, everyone was happy...)
The wineries you visit here are Yering Station , Rochford Wine, Yering Farm and Domaine Chandon. At the first stop, you get a good lesson in just how to properly taste wine, plus you get a few different wines to taste at that time. They will ask you your opinion (which I find annoying -- when they want to know if it tastes like gunflint, they need to leave me alone!) The first place will ask for volunteers at the end of the group tasting to ask how much they think you would pay for a glass of the wine they will give you -- the answer is $9: so, take this tour, volunteer, you will have the answer and win the prize! After the group testing, go to their "bar" and try whatever you want -- they will be happy to sell you anything you might like!
The second place is where you will be served lunch. Our van driver passed us out "menus" approaching the winery so we could make our choice. I would say DON'T pick the pork, it looked horrible. The chicken was DELICIOUS. The past looked disgusting, but that is my prejudice against spinach... Also, this was the Rochford Wine Winery, and I found them rather stuffy, and was not as impressed with their wines (maybe they tainted my mind). However, you do get a glass of wine with your lunch...
The next stop is Yering Farm, and I dearly loved them. Maybe it is my small town roots, but they were really sweet people, and the entire atmosphere, right down to (and I don't mean to be tacky but...) there bathroom -- it was so beautiful. We bought lots of wine from them.
Last stop was Domaine Chandon, where they make "sparkling wine" (champagne). There, you get a full education in how "sparkling wine" is made -- quite interesting; ending with your choice of glass of sparkling wine along with cheese and crackers.
The countryside was beautiful, the tour was wonderful, the guide was terrific. I highly recommend this tour.
Cost is AU$98 per person. Picks up from 6 different points around the city.
Picks up between 9-10am around town; returns about 4:30-5pm
They got a nice variety of ranges to choose from and along the side they also have a nice range of cheeses to choose from. You can ask for a cheese tasting plate for as less as $ 5 to 10 AUD…the goat cheese is so yummy. You can taste the some wine in their range for free (when the time we visited) and they also have some 5 dollar charge for their premium ranges…love that ‘Nobel’ and could resist except to buy that bottle for $ 48 AUD. As they say “‘The Nobel One stands unchallenged as Australia’s greatest ‘sticky’”. Open daily from 10am-5pm.
They have a nice restaurant with the beautiful view, someone told me that they are famous for their Italian cuisine.
Out of many wine regions the most famous and very near to Melbourne is the Yarra Valley. We reached the first winery within 45 minutes of our drive from the CBD. If you plan it properly, you can visit a minimum of upto 5 wineries in a day. We could make only 4.
As part of it we visited Domaine Chandon (The French giant - Moet & Chandon), where they provide guided tour inside their sparkling wine making process and its free of cost...hope its only 2/3 times during the weekend on certain timings (we did it around 1:00pm on a Sunday)...its just 30-40 minutes tour, which explains the detailed process of wine making, especially sparkling wine. Apart they have lot of ranges to taste with. They also have a lovely dining area overlooking the yards…the view is wonderful.
Victoria has many wine regions:
o Yarra Valley
o Mornington Peninsula
o Macedon Ranges
North West Victoria
o Murray Valley/Mildura
o Swan Hill
o Goulburn Valley
o Central Victorian Highlands
o Strathbogie Ranges
o Aipine Valleys
o King Valley
Catch a wine tasting tour of the Yarra valley to taste some superb Pinots. We went with Victorian Wine Tours (I think) and visited 4 winerys - all of which were great. It also included lunch at one of the wineries and an afternoon tea of crusty bread and cheeses at Domain et Chandon.
So you wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and you wanted to go for a relaxing trip..If you are a wine lover you better drive to the Yarra valley and indulge in your obsession. If you drive along Maroondah Hwy and melba Hwy you will a slew of vineyards. So make a pit stop to each one of them and do some wine tasting..make sure you have designated driver..
this photo which i did take is of crown casino from the yarra river side .
below i have taken a pic off the crown web site to show it at night.
crown cost over 1 billion aussie dollars(the way our dollar is at the moment that is about 2 dollars U.S ha ha) to build it features five star hotel ,restaurants,bars,night clubs,shops ,food courts and believe it of not the worlds lagest single gambling casino.
ombre has to say they have more of my money than I of their's lol.
Not sure where to start in terms of the casino rather I should say as the susjest it's more complex offering a array of restaurants which for the most part are pretty good though few are outstanding in a sense though all are vibrant and not over priced .
the pick for me is the asian (chinese) called silks inside crown towers ,
not place for cheap night and very causal attire though.
crown has many things to do whaich dont invole handing the hard earned to a cropier
Visit the Yarra Valley wineries. If you love wine then you must go and check them out. Yarra Valley is located approximately 1.5-2 hours east of Melbourne. If you are lucky like us and have someone in the group who doesn't drink, then there is your driver for the day! ;-). If you would like to go as a group there are many companies who organise tours for small or large groups.
There are a LOT of wineries and all of very high quality. The staff are almost always extremely friendly and helpful. There is never at any time pressure to make a purchase, so you can have a nice relaxed day and don't worry if you dont buy anything.
The bigger wineries also have restaurants so you can have a leisurely lunch and the food is excellent and reasonably priced for the quality of food and service that you receive.
Some of the wineries will charge you a $2 tasting fee per person. This amount is fully refunded if you purchase a bottle. I guess this would just be to cover their costs because a lot of people go for a day out and do not buy anything. At some wineries there is a choice of over 20 wines to taste! mmmmm......decisions decisions! I have only ever tasted Australian wine so I can't compare it to other countries, but I am told that Victoria is among the best.
YARRA VALLEY. From the 1880s until 1912, the Yarra Valley was one of the largest producing and highest-quality wine regions in Australia. Today, it is producing some of the finest wines in Australia. This was where the first wine was produced in Victoria in 1845, and it was here that the top vintners from Neuchatel in Switzerland established their vineyards.
Framed by the mountains of the Great Dividing Range, the Yarra Valley's vineyards stretch across an expansive and fertile, creating a panorama of unparalleled beauty, and only one hour drive from Melbourne.
You may get a day trip to many wineries, including some tastings (I had 20 different wines), commentaries, and a good meal. for about AUD 65, ask at the Melbourne Information Center. (You'd better don't drive if you taste so many wines;)
Rochford also has a huge variety to choose from. I like their 'Gewürztraminer'...which taste so different from the rest. They have both the Yarra valley ranges & Macedon ranges.
Enjoy a cool afternoon tasting wines in the vineyards or have lunch as well.
Most of the vineyards have beautiful scenary and some even have concerts held there.