- Jul, 05 2020
Have you missed a trip to Italy?
5 “Italy in the Yarra Valley” Food and Wine Experiences
So you may not be visiting the Amalfi Coast or the Venice Canals for a little while but a visit to the Yarra Valley with Italy in the Yarra Valley will have you experiencing food and wine in a region that is rich in Italian Heritage. There won’t be flight delays or jet lag for this journey to the Yarra Valley for an all Italian day with the inclusion of two of the best Italian restaurants to choose from for lunch and 2 premium wine tasting events.
From traditional home style, classic Italian dishes to modern Italian, all food is served with generosity and heart paired with wines that are elegant and lovingly made.
Italian food is the first choice when it comes to comfort and everyday eating, simple, delicious and accessible with enticing menus of Mediterranean flavours, artisan pastas, cold pressed olive oils, gourmet sauces, ravioli, pappardelle and tortelini, arancini, black truffles, local tomatoes and herbs and fresh seasonal produce gown in the Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley matches your dining experience with many Italian varieties of wine such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio, Savarro, Nascetta, Brachetto and Prosecco that can be tasted alongside the popular styles of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir popular in the Yarra Valley.
Italian heritage in the Yarra Valley
Italians have lived and worked in the Yarra Valley since the pioneer days and were part of the district’s early wine industry and made up a large part of the workforce on the construction of the Silvan Dam in the Dandenong Ranges, as well as running farms and businesses that contributed much to the area’s pre-WW2 agricultural industry.
Yarra Ranges Tourism celebrates this rich heritage with an annual event Ciao Yarra Valley Ciao where visitors to the Yarra Valley region can expect a huge showcase of Italian food, wine, entertainment and themed events.
One of the most famous Italian families in the Yarra Valley are the De Bortoli’s, now in the 4th generation and following the footsteps of their great grandfather, Vittorio De Bortoli. In 1924, Vittorio journeyed from Castelcucco to New South Wales and arrives in Griffith (formally known as Bagtown). In 1928 De Bortoli wines were born with Vittorio crushing 15 tonnes of Shriraz grapes. The Yarra Valley Estate purchased by the De Bortoli family in 1987 is today managed by grand daughter, Leanne De Bortoli and her husband, Chief winemaker, Steve Webber.
Stefano Stefani’s, (Winemaker and Owner of Stafani Estate Yarra Valley) had a childhood was spent in the small village of Lonnano, Tuscany, where he was surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Stefano came to Australia after meeting his wife Rina and they established their first vineyard in the Yarra Valley in 1997. The vineyards today at Stefani Estate are surrounded by over 300 Olive Trees, the Frantoio variety with an early harvest for a high quality olive oil
Italy in the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Day Tour
Locale at De Bortoli Estate
The menu at Locale De Bortoli Estate reflects the seasons as distinctly as the views of the vineyards from the restaurant. Home made pasta and authentically cooked risotto are menu constants while the sauces and ingredients that go with them change depending on the time of the year. Many of our ingredients are grown right on the Yarra Valley Estate.
The focus is to offer exceptional northern Italian cuisine served in a Trattoria-style dining room. Fresh food quality, comfort and relaxation are key. Authentic fare amongst the vines. The lunch menu at Soumah pays true homage to Northern Italian Cuisine.
Cheese and Wine Pairing at De Bortoli Estate
Like De Bortoli Estate we believe that wine tastes better with food so your Italy in the Yarra Valley day includes cheese and wine pairing at this beautiful estate.
A visit to Stefani Estate will have you feeling like you are in Tuscany with the valley views and the geese amongst the vines as you approach the warm and welcoming cellar door.
Premium Wine Room at Soumah
The premium wine tasting room, set in a private space alongside the restaurant is where a tutored wine tasting of reserve and museum release wines from Soumah takes place. Soumah are producing high quality award winning wines and importing many Italian varieties of wine.
Italy in the Yarra Valley Inclusions
- Transfers (Local and Melbourne City)
- Tour with qualified local guide
- 2 Premium Wine Tasting events chosen from:
Premium wine tasting at Stefani Estate, Premium Wine Tasting at Soumah, Cheese and Wine Pairing at De Bortoli Estate
- 2 Course lunch with a glass of wine at De Bortoli Estate or Soumah (depending on availability on the day)
- Jun, 26 2020
Food and Wine
I’ve discovered that you can define the very joy for a business that shares food and wine with people as it sprawls out of hibernation.
The very nature of this delight, was initially, not so easy to articulate but after close to 4 months of mastering sour dough bread (once or twice) and making many, many variations of Florentines (with an Australian icon of cornflakes) it has come into sharp focus.
It is quite simply the stories of the fabulous wine regions of Australia and how they came to be.
Not just the taste of wine but the taste of the varying terroir, not just the taste of the food but the abundance of the produce and the skill of the dedicated artisan producers.
It is the connection with the families and small business owners that run wineries, winemakers, culinary artists and chefs who feed and nurture their local communities and food and wine lovers hungry to explore.
These stories add an essential ingredient to the life long practice of sharing food and wine Visitors into these world class Australian food and wine destinations leave with an appreciation of the quality, innovation, hard work and determination that sits alongside the beautiful romance of wine and the love of good food.
Every great wine has a story, every label, every varietal, every vintage
Every memorable meal has a sense of place and an authentic connection to the region, a dedication to perfect a craft and an ongoing philosophy to refine it.
The Seville Estate restaurant delivers an ever changing menu that is influenced by their long history with the Yarra Valley. Vines were first planted at this site by Dr Peter McMahon in 1972 making Seville Estate a major player in the rebirth of the Yarra Valley.
With unrivaled views of the upper Yarra Valley, over the vineyards and surrounding vistas, Seville Estate are proud of the award-winning wines, consistently awarded 5 star James Halliday rating.
Their long history at this site has seen them develop close friendships with producers and these friends now deliver produce directly to the chefs as they ripen. Therefore, a dish may be available for only a small time as the produce will dictate the menu for the week, month or season.
Bread is baked daily, pickles, chutneys, and ferments take pride of place with locally sourced meats with a strong focus on the Kitchen Garden vegetables and herbs grown onsite. The menu is based on locally sourced produce that changes on a weekly basis. The event menu is crafted around the season and changes with the availability of fresh produce.
You can read about exploring more our featured destination the Yarra Valley and how to explore with a Private Luxury Tour here or make an enquiry below
- Jun, 19 2020
- With Daily departures from Melbourne City
- A 2 course menu with a glass of wine
- Two Premium Wine Tastings
BOOK HERE and include any dietary requirements
The Yarra Valley is a remarkable destination offering world class wines and and outstanding dining experiences. We offer a very special Yarra Valley Lunch Wine Tour as a private or small group experience.
A smaller group with even more personalised service awaits. Epicurean Food and Wine Tours are open for business and ready to host your food and wine tour in the Yarra Valley. With over 20 years of touring excellence we have established solid partnerships in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula that promise a well connected cellar door and dining experience.
Our group sizes are now 2-6 for a small group or private option. We depart daily from Melbourne City and some selected transfer points. All Epicurean guides are local to the region visited and fully qualified. We understand that you are looking for a memorable experience where your time in the chosen wine region (both about an hour from Melbourne City) is well spent. A private tour or smaller group size means that the tour is well paced and relaxed, bookings are made at every winery so we are expected and the cellar door staff can take the time to discuss the wine, detail the wine story and understand your own wine preferences.
The lunch venues we have chosen for you to select from include a wine tasting so you can choice the wine to pair with your meal. They are of course winery restaurants with amazing quality and creative chefs. In warmer months you are given the option to dine outside and enjoy the vineyard views
Tokar Estate established in 1995, is located in a stunning location in the Yarra Valley. Family owned and operated, Tokar offers award winning wines and traditional hospitality. Originally bought for the purpose of a hobby farm and City getaway, it was quickly identified that the site was located in a perfect location for winemaking. By 1999 the Tokar Estate label was launched with the Spanish Tempranillo, an award winning wine by Tokar that is their signature wine today. The restaurant is wonderfully warm and inviting with a commitment to providing well considered contemporary dining choices for all guests to enjoy. There is a spectacular view from the terrace to enjoy in warmer months.
Dominique Portet, Not only has the wine making lineage in the Portet family extended into its 10th generation but their beginnings were at Chateau Lafite in Bordeuax so you can expect something very special here in the Yarra Valley with their wine made by Ben Portet. French country bistro style dining with a wonderful choice with a stylish 2 course menu that is traditional of french cuisine. Enjoy lunch in the “barrel room” or al fresco when the sun is out with great views of the ranges. Wine quality is amazing across the board with Sparkling and still Rose, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Soumah, Trattoria D’Soumah Now this is a hidden gem located down a charming country road in the Yarra Valley at the very foot of Warramate Hills. You can expected Northern Italian dining here with a menu that adapt with the seasons and locally sourced produce. The Soumah range of wines are also inspired by Northern Italian varietals, made with fruit sourced from their own and other premium vineyards in the region including Nebbiolo, Brachetto and Savagnon. Soumah is delightful and oozes all the charm of a boutique winery with a real passion for the craft of wine making.
- Jun, 18 2020
A day of Food and Wine on the Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula Wine Tour
So my very first tour in 3 months. Today, a Mornington Peninsula Wine Tour. After so long it was wonderful to be able to spend the day talking about wine. As usual we had guests that were looking forward to a fun day filled with wine and food. The new normal of winery tours includes many regulations within wineries and now part of our process that need to be followed by wine tour operators. It is what we are all used to now with using hand sanitiser before entering a new location, signing in, social distancing and touching as few things as possible that are likely to be shared among other people.
I pick up Kimberley and Leah from St Kilda and was delighted to hear the familiar American accent. Both girls live in Melbourne and had never visited the Mornington Peninsula. It was one of those crisp winters day when the sun shines bright with a chill in the air so it feels like spring. I was a bit nervous with what the general procedure around health and safety restrictions would look like for guests. My biggest concern related to timing on the day and if the time spent at wineries was quicker than usual if I would be open to find enough wineries open on a Thursday to fill the day. Fortunately on the Mornington Peninsula I had sightseeing as a back up. I am happy to say that the day ran really well and we managed to include a stop at the Dendy Street Bathing Boxes for some more photos. I am so grateful for the wineries that have sprung back into the “new normal” and making this as comfortable as possible. Many mentioned that they are enjoying the smaller groups sizes and the local market. Guests also enjoyed being seated for what was more like a traditional wine flight with a dedicated and passionate cellar door representative.
We made bookings all the way so enjoyed being welcomed at each winery.
Red Hill Estate
Book Here, Tour Daily, Departing Melbourne
- Sep, 08 2018
3 or 4 guests $185.00 AUD per person all inclusive
5 to 7 guests $175.00 AUD per person all inclusive
8 to 11 guests $165.00 AUD per person all inclusive
A Private Yarra Valley wine tour means that you can set your own pace. You are also able to tailor the tour to suit your preferences for wine, food and sightseeing in the region. The Yarra Valley is a breathtakingly beautiful region just over an hour from the City Centre. It is home to over 80 cellar doors (tasting rooms) offering a range of varietals with the main plantings in the region being Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with lots of Sparkling wine options along the way. The stunning rural landscape is peppered with a variety of farming pursuits including cows, sheep, berries, fruit and vegetable production set amongst the rolling hills of the valley. The Yarra River, historically the Yarra Yarra River meanders through the region adding yet another gem on this journey
Kate Goodman – Goodman Wines
After just 30 minutes after being picked up you will be in the countryside en route to the Yarra Valley Wine region. The journey takes in the neighboring townships of Warrandyte where the rural landscape is dominated by the Yarra River as it winds through the Warrandyte Gorge. and Kangaroo Valley, which as its name suggests is home to a mob of kangaroos that you will see in a natural bush setting.
Syd Bradford-Thick as Thieves
A Private Yarra Valley Wine Tour also means that you can take the opportunity to experience unique and memorable cellar door experiences. You may have always wanted to meet a winemaker or are interested in the many food and wine pairings on offer. Epicurean Food and Wine Tours, with 19 years of touring excellence under their belt have worked diligently to create winery experiences that will surprise and delight. Epicurean love the wineries in the region that are family owned and operated, pioneering families of the Yarra Valley as they believe this allows guests to be better connect with the region. This includes a cheese and wine pairing at De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, a 3rd generation winery and one of Australia’s First Families of Wine.
Another experience you included on your Private Yarra Valley Wine Tour is a visit to the stunning Coombe Estate Yarra Valley. The once home of Australia’s first Opera Diva, Dame Nellie Melba. Set on 7 acres with Victoria’s oldest swimming pool is the lovingly restored home that is open to the public for cellar door tastings, an al la carte restaurant and award winning Coombe Farm Guests will be offered 2014 Tribute Series Nellie Melba sparkling blanc de blancs on arrival matched with a beautiful freshly shucked Sydney Bay oyster with red wine vinegar & shallot dressing.
If private tastings are a must do on your private wine tour we will visit award winning winery, Dominique Portet where their Mediterranean style cellar door and captivating barrel room is the perfect location for tasting Dominique’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon. Dominique Portet himself is a 9th generation French winemaker who now has son Ben as the 10th in a long line of winemakers. Dominique Portet got his first whiff of wine at one of the world’s most illustrious wine properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild. It was here in Pauillac that his father, André Portet, served as régisseur (vineyard & winery manager)
Private Yarra Valley Tour Dining
Your lunch dining will again have you spoilt with the many options presented. Winery restaurants that are amongst Australia’s best with exceptional food and service. Offerings extend from charcuterie and cheese boards to degustation lunch options. Summer Deck dining and cosy open fires in cooler months. Restaurants with kitchen gardens that you can wander through, chefs with passion and local produce that will inspire.
If your day in the Yarra Valley is calling for bubbles we will be driving you along the long, tree lined drive to arrive at Domaine Chandon. In the heart of the Yarra Valley, Chandon have recently unveiled private tasting rooms and a prestigious cellar door. Not to be outdone by the truly magnificent scenery the cellar door is elegant and sophisticated. Enjoy a range tasting of 6 sparkling an still wines or a glass on the terrace. Walk the grounds or take the self guided tour to discover the secrets behind Australia’s leading méthode traditionnelle producer who has been confidently crafting sparkling and still wines that are stamped with their distinct style.
If you feel like leaving the path of wine we can incorporate a visit to the bushland haven for Australian Wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary. Another diversion from wine is Four Pillars a local distillery specializing in gin with a modern tasting room. Another favourite may be the famous Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery to finish the day with an icecream.
Your Private Yarra Valley Tour is perfect for a couples tour, a family that want to visit wineries and include some other fun activities or a work group.
All Private Yarra Valley Tours can be designed with you and your group in mind. Prices start at $180 pp and include Melbourne and local transfers
Tour vehicle is luxury 7 seater Mercedes Valente