Region Visit: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

This post is one chapter on our trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne with The Great Ocean Road, exploring The Yarra Valley and the beaches of The Gold Coast via Qantas First Class. This trip was booked using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Region Visit: The Yarra Valley Wine Region, Victoria, Australia

I woke up at about 7:30 AM today while MrsWT73 slept in a little bit. The plan was to get out of the city for a day trip to the Yarra Valley. After breakfast, I walked over to the Hertz on Flinders Street to pick up a rental. I booked a Nissan Qashqai but Hertz Five Star status had me upgraded me into a larger Nissan X-Trail (Nissan Rogue for North American markets). The car was shiny and clean with less than 5,000 km on it. There was a caution that toll use would result in a $38 AUD charge after the administrative fees; which was valuable information to have in route planning. There are tolls seemingly everywhere in Melbourne.

Starting off at Coldstream Hills:

After downloading our destinations into offline Google Maps, we set out via the back roads to the Yarra Valley. It was only about 1 hour’s drive from Melbourne through some interesting back roads. We were in the quiet Yarra Valley before we knew it. It’s always welcoming to having winery directions along with the typical Australian yellow diamond Kangaroo sign.

We arrived via Coldstream Road at the bottom end of the Valley. Our first stop was at Coldstream Hills. Coldstream Hills was one of the boutique brands owned by SouthCorp wines. The visit was at a small cellar door which was both intimate and personal.

We ended up walking away with several bottles for our Whitsunday sailing trip, including their Pinot Gris, Sauvingon Blanc, Merlot and a sparkling.

Next Stop: Exquisite Yarra Yering

From there, it was a few minutes up the road to Yarra Yering.

Yarra Yering was the highest “price point” winery that we visited on today’s tasting route. The tasting on offer today was $15 AUD and afforded the opportunity to taste 8 wines. The wines were all of excellent quality; both delicate on the palette and with subtle strength in their structure. Most surprisingly, thanks to the winter season, we were the first tasting room visitors of the day at 1 PM. We had fresh bottles opened for us for each varietal tasting opportunity.

There were pleasant wintery views from the tasting room at Yarra Yering…

Lunch at Domaine de Chandon:

We made our third stop at the large estate like Domaine de Chandon. Chandon is now owned by the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey) group and it shows with the amount of moneyed infrastructure compared many of the other smaller operators.

MrsWT73 enjoyed a sparkling tasting and I enjoyed late lunch at the restaurant at Chandon. Lunch was Pan Roasted Ocean Trout, with Pancetta Vinaigrette, Du Puy Lentils, and Braised Fennel paired with the recommended Chandon Vintage Brut Rose 2015. Like with many other portion sizes in Australia, the portions were generous and plentiful. MrsWT73 enjoyed a mixed salad and pommes frites with rosemary salt and aioli. Overall it was super tasty.

Last Call: Yering Station

Our last stop of the day had us through Yering Station. MrsWT73 enjoyed the last tasting of the day on her own since I was driving. The tasting room was in an antiqued barn with some interesting and eclectic taxi-dermy art on the sides. MrsWT73 enjoyed the Shiraz and the Viognier.

We had a nice leisurely drive back to Melbourne with a simple slice of pizza for dinner. I garaged the car at the hotel for $60 AUD valet only. It was explained that I could park overnight in one of the garages locally but the car would have to by out by 6 AM. I didn’t think MrsWT73 would be up for that occasion so valet it was. Otherwise a nice quiet day through the peaceful Yarra Valley.

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