Australia: Yarra Valley VIC

Glad I am to be in Victoria’s excellent wine region, the Yarra Valley, an hour north east from Melbourne. Three nights here mid week without a weekend crowd means we can make a serious dent in the considerable army of cafes, wineries and distilleries on offer.

Enjoying the food, wine and sunny outdoors at Meletos Cafe – one part of the gorgeous Stones of the Yarra Valley. It’s as good as it was a couple of years ago when I visited with friends. Then, we stayed at The Farm House and ate and drank our way through the degustation dinner at The Stables.
No 7 Healesville opposite Four Pillars is the latest venture by Stones of Yarra. Active in sponsoring young winemakers, Tillie J’s pinot noir is particularly good.
My husband is not a gin drinker. Guess I’ll take one or more for the team. Four Pillars Negroni is nice.
I was introduced to Pimpernel wines a couple of years ago and had to return. This visit we spoke with a young winemaker whose knowledge was excellent. Their wines were firing on all cylinders.
Clinked a few pinot noir glasses here at TarraWarra Winery

It’s not all a bed of roses here in the Yarra – Grapes are smaller and being harvested three weeks later this year due to the prolonged drought. Grape growers also have to contend with smoke tainted grapes from the bushfires.

TarraWarra Winery is home to the Museum of Art which was hosting an exhibition of Robert Klippell’s sculptures – large and small
Yering Station
Behn Payten and Troy Jones are the down to earth larrikins who own and run Payten and Jones. Under the firm hand of Behn’s father, their Healesville pinot noir and sangiovese are excellent. Their latest addition is Vermuth which hails from a Spanish vineyard the boys have invested in recently and it’s sensational.
Watt River Brewery – laid back and easy
Yarra Valley Dairy
Cheese galore at Yarra Dairy
Mixing up the wine tasting with vodka and rum
Chocolaterie – for all the sweet stuff
Drinking to the rhythm of an earthy shiraz at The Healesville pub
Noogoonie Lane Healesville – cute studio in the midst of a forest of tall gums, lavender, rosemary and roses. Generous hosts who filled the fridge with all the good stuff – cheese, dips, berries, eggs, bacon.
We navigated our way along Black Spur Rd to Marysville. The scenery is stunning but it belies a tragic past. In February 2009, the Black Saturday fires tore through this small community, destroying lives and property.
The Information Centre provides graphic details of Black Saturday
Marysville 10 years after…

We melted into Yarra Valley life effortlessly. It’s an easy going community where people are up for a chat and keen to showcase their excellent brews and food. I now have a pretty full cellar which should hold me in good stead for the next few months. Now to bottle all these great moments, take them home and float the idea that we must return.