The Yarra Valley is inundated with exceptional wineries; its pristine rolling hills and moderate climate makes for great grapes, great wine, and great fun! The Yarra Valley is located just a few kilometers north of Melbourne (the world’s most livable city and my favorite city maybe ever), Australia.
First, you must sort out how to get around the Yarra Valley, particularly if you decide to do a few wine tastings. One wine tasting is enough to put you over the limit for driving- particularly because the wine tastings are generous, and at some, you are able to taste up to 15 wines. So, be sure to plan ahead, which will save you the headache of deciding if you have had too much.
Taking a tour bus is not ideal, because they only take you to the larger wineries that are suitable to fit larger amounts of people. The smaller wineries are where the gems are. If you have a large enough group, you may be able to hire your own driver to take you to your desired locations. Although, that can also be problematic at the smaller wineries that are not able to accommodate large numbers.
Driving is ideal, but you need a designated driver, who will not participate in more than one wine tasting. This way you can go where you’d like, stay as long as you’d like, and pack a picnic!
Most wine tastings are $15, and you can try anywhere from 5 – 15 wines, from white to rosé to sparkling to red to dessert. Most wineries also offer snacks, but I enjoyed a picnic in the grass.
Here is a list of my favorite wineries and the wines that were my favorite…
- Domaine Chandon
- Punt Road … Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
- Yerring Station
- Medhurst … Frances dessert wine
- Moet Chandon
- Mac Forbes
- Giant Steps
Most establishments close by 5 pm, so be sure to get an early start, or make a weekend out of it! There are plenty of spots to AirBnb or
More than wine…
If you are the designated driver, not into wine, or just wanting to mix things up, try out these cool places…
- Yarra Valley Dairy … jams, cheeses, wines, food, and more
- Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery …. load up on samples
- Skydive Australia … most unique experience and beautiful views
- Four Pillars Gin Distillery
Apps to Consider…
My friend works in the wine industry and uses an app called Vivino. This is where you can take a photo of a wine bottle and save it to your favorites or read reviews from professionals.
Traveling with a group? TriCount is an app where you can organize expenses among a group of people. You can input all expenses of every individual and it splits the cost at the end. So, if one person pays for one wine tasting (most wineries do not let you split) and another person pays for gas and another pays for cheese, you can input it into the app and see who owes what at the end.