The Yarra Valley
BEST OF THE BUNCH: WINERIES
The Yarra Valley is famous for its range of wineries, spanning from tiny family businesses to national suppliers. Here’s some of our favourites.
A Yarra Valley institution, this winery/cellardoor/restaurant has almost everything you need, from fresh pastries and local coffee in the morning to woodfired pizza and an extensive wine menu at night. Or stop by to pick up some of their famed pink Moscato to take home with you. Whatever takes your fancy, stop here and you might find it – with a dose of the venue’s trademark irreverence.
The jewel in the crown of the Yarra Valley, Yering Station perfectly balances the classic views of the land with a contemporary flair – think large conceptual sculptures and sweeping glass panels. The extensive wine list means you don’t have to buy the top shelf option to experience a glass of their crowd pleasers; options start from just $24. As well as the wines, Yering Station houses a lunch restaurant filled with interesting dining options, an art gallery and a local produce store.
With gorgeous views and great tasting options, Oakridge is a charming place to pull up a pew. You can choose from three tiers of wine from the reserve selection, giving you ample opportunity to compare and contrast different takes on the same region selection. And with reasonable pricing for both food and beverage options, Oakridge cements an unpretentious, elegant approach to the Yarra Valley winery experience.
Dating back to the 1880s, this historic homestead pays homage to its French heritage from champagne producers Moet & Chandon. Guests can take a guided tour to learn about traditional champagne-making methods and see the facilities, or simply enjoy the sparkling wine varieties on offer.
Another French expat, Dominique Portet and his eponymous wine label are now a Yarra Valley stalwart. With a Mediterranean sensibility, the cellar door is always busy with tours, tastings and events throughout the year. With cheap and cheerful pricing, their reserve wines start from around $20 a pop.
This one gets our tick of approval not just for the gorgeous architecture (and delicious restaurant) but for its onsite art gallery, the TarraWarra Museum of Art. A gift from the wineries’ founders and avid art collectors Marc and Eva Besen, the gallery focuses on Australian art from the 1950s onwards with around 50 works on display at any time. Whilst their cellardoor has fewer reserve options on offer, they’ve provided elegant and simple choices, perfect for an early afternoon tipple.
White Rabbit Brewery
Not a winery - but very worth a visit if you’re more inclined to a craft beer than a Cab Shiraz, with 6 brews on tap plus a cider. Just a stone’s throw away from Innocent Bystander, White Rabbit Brewery attracts a young, hip crowd to it’s sprawling interiors, where you can match your dark ale with just the right meal accompaniment – pizza.
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