A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS
The first month of spring is nearly over and we have had a little hint of the warmth to come. Spring is one of the most beautiful times to visit the Yarra Valley as you can see the leaves slowly emerging from the winter dormant vines. Everything is pruned and neat and tidy and winemakers are generally a little more relaxed. Plus, school holidays means (possibly) a bit of a break from the grind and the Yarra Valley offers so much to do.
Visiting Yarra Valley wineries on a spring day is one of life’s great pleasures. At Helen and Joey Estate, our cellar door offers welcoming hosts and one of the most beautiful vistas in the Yarra Valley. We have a couple of new releases to taste so it is always worth a visit and check out the view.
Driving along Maroondah Highway there are many wineries with cellar doors. One of our favourite wineries to visit is Yarra Yering – who doesn’t want the opportunity to taste some of the Valleys most iconic wines? If it is Chardonnay you are interested in, Oakridge was one of the first wineries to start producing Yarra Valley Chardonnay in a more mineral, flinty style and their single vineyard range is testimony to the incredible quality produced across the Yarra Valley.
Obviously, Domaine Chandon is a must-see if you are in need of some sparkling wine. Their range of wines isn’t just limited to non-vintage and vintage wines, they also have an interesting high altitude Yarra Valley wine which showcases the diversity of wine styles we can produce.
Turning off the Maroondah Highway, you will find some hidden gems such as Medhurst, Maddens Rise and Squitchy Lane. These smaller producers are making a real impact with their wines. Like Helen and Joey Estate, they are a bit off the beaten track but your efforts will be rewarded with great wines and even better views.
If you are travelling on the other side of the Yarra Valley, along the Melba Highway, your first port of call should be Coombe Farm at Coombe Cottage, Dame Nellie Melba’s old house. Great wines and a chance to look at some memorabilia from one of our greatest diva.
Other wineries to visit along the Melba Highway are Yering Station, Greenstone, Yarrawood, Balgownie and De Bortoli – each offering a different taste of what the Yarra Valley can do. You can taste wines from single vineyards or blended from a number of vineyards, French or Italian varieties, young and aged wines – a veritable wine feast.
Given the huge number of wines made here in the Yarra Valley, it may be worthwhile planning on a short stay rather than a day visit. There is enough variety for every day of the year.