Just lately I spent the weekend in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. Through the weekend, I headed out to the Yarra Valley, about an hour to the north-east, for a day journey to the world-class wineries within the region. It was an excellent day, with document-breaking cold temperatures and thick fog in the early morning (it was nonetheless about 2C at 10:30am after we arrived at our first destination), that fined up to one in all magnificent blue skies and vivid sunshine for the afternoon. While a Yarra Valley vineyard journey can be expensive (primarily based mostly on how much wine you purchase!), it might nonetheless be affordable if you happen to comply with these tips.
1. Self-Drive, with Care
The easiest option for a vineyard journey is to book onto a bus tour, but this is commonly fairly an expensive option. The cheaper option is to self-drive, both with your individual automobile or a rental automobile, for about $50 for the day. Seize a map of the wine region before-hand or from the first winery you go to, then head to whichever wineries you want. Just be careful that whoever is driving either skips many of the tasting, or is spitting. It’s additionally a good idea for everybody to take your time.
2. Visit the Smaller Wineries
In Australia, wine-tasting is normally complementary, although a number of the larger, more popular wineries are starting to charge. At both Domaine Chandon and De Bortoli, there was a $5 per particular person cost, redeemable towards most purchases. And sadly, just because you’re paying doesn’t imply there are essentially more people serving to with the wine tasting!
To avoid the crowds and prices, head to a number of the smaller wineries. There you’ll get more personalised attention, usually from the winemaker themselves, although you usually really feel obligated to purchase a minimum of one bottle. An interesting small winery to go to is Dixon Creek Estate, with owner Graeme Miller, which also has superb views of the valley. Alternatively, in case you don’t intend to purchase anything, because you’re just about to fly out, you might feel consolationable paying a small charge and then not buying any wine.
3. Have a Picnic or Strive a Platter
Most wine areas have an incredible range of restaurants, situated either on the wineries themselves or in the region. Nonetheless, costs could be quite high, and if visiting on the weekend they are often moderately busy, and require a booking (which we discovered at at Innocent Bystander in Healesville). Normally it’s better worth to graze on a tasting platter, from a local producer that is selling their very own produce. Yarra Valley Dairy does nice-value cheese platters for $32 (as of 2015). Alternatively, put collectively a picnic either earlier than you allow for the day, or from the products on sale at cellar doors and local farmers markets, then get pleasure from it within the picnic grounds at a few of the wineries. The Yarra Valley Farmers Market is held the third Sunday of each month at Yering Station.
4. Look out for Cellar Door Specials
Most wineries may have wines for sale that are only available on the cellar door. Typically, these could be excellent bargains, especially shortly earlier than they release their new season wines within the spring. Alternatively, reductions are often given for those who purchase in bulk, or sign as much as be a wine club member, with common deliveries of wine all through the year. Enquire for delivery costs, should you’re not driving your own automobile, which could even be included in the value in the event you purchase in bulk.
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