Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Gin Tasting

Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Four Pillars

We know Gin falls into the category of drinks not wine but Four Pillars is such a special place in the Yarra Valley to visit that it had to be included in our Premium Wine Day Tours. Here you can enjoy a tutored tasting of their amazing gins at what they call their little distillery which is warm and welcoming and one you will have on your list to buy as your favourite gin for ever more!

Yarra Valley wine Tour with Gin Tasting

Four Pillars Gin has been at the forefront of gins recent boom in popularity since it started in 2013. The good news is that this iconic gin distillery is just an hour out of Melbourne and a venue that Epicurean loves to take guests.

Four Pillars Gin, a craft distillery based in Healesville in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley. From the original multi-award winning Rare Dry Gin to the only gin in the world made just for a Negroni, from a Navy Strength Gin that is best in its class to the entirely unique Bloody Shiraz Gin. And they are always based on our four pillars of great copper stills, pristine Yarra Valley water, traditional, exotic and native botanicals, and a massive amount of love and attention to detail at every stage of the production process.

Four Pillars was created by three mates and one extraordinary still (Cam, Matt, Stu and Wilma). The first release was a Rare Dry Gin which has gone on to win medals around the world. And in 2019 Four Pillars was awarded International Gin Producer of the Year at the IWSC in London!

Here you will enjoy a tutored tasting of classic gins, signature gins and the famous Bloody Shiraz. The distillery has an awesome vibe and a great place to hang out and hear the success story of this little distillery and discover more about the distilling process.

Join a Family Small Group or Private Yarra Valley Tour Food and Wine Tour Yarra Valley and visit Four Pillar Gin Distillery

Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Four Pillars

Wine Tour Yarra Valley with Coombe Estate

Luxury Wine Tour Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s first wine growing district just an hour from Melbourne City.

The region’s relative cool climate makes it particularly well suited to producing high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sparkling Wine varietals. You will also taste wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon and cool climate Shiraz styles.

A breathtakingly beautiful region with expansive hills, and rolling valleys speckled with vines and local farm produce.

The wineries we have chosen for you to visit in the Yarra Valley  “AS SEEN IN BEST OF THE YARRA VALLEY” reflect the very essence of the region.

We present the resilience of Yarra Valley wine making families and their travels through the seasonal challenges that go back many generations. Through persistence and passion saw them build on humble beginnings to become the magnificent wineries they are today.

Big and boutique, we connect you with fascinating family stories attached to this amazing group of wineries on the ultimate Yarra Valley winery experience.

Group sizes are small (speak with us about a private tour upgrade for 2 guests) so we can introduce you to private and intimate experiences away from crowds.

Your Yarra Valley Wine Tour starts with a 10am pick up from Melbourne City Hotel/accommodation by a friendly and fully qualified guide. Returning to your door at approximately 5pm

2 Premium Wine Tasting Events includes Oyster and Sparkling Wine match at Coombe Estate, the once home of Australia’s first opera diva Dame Nellie Melba

2 Course Lunch with a glass of Wine (all dietary requirements catered for)

Wine Tasting at Lunch Venue

Yarra Valley Day Tour

Luxury 2-6 guests Yarra Valley with Epicurean

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Wine Tours Yarra Valley De Bortoli Estate

Wine Tours Yarra Valley De Bortoli

De Bortoli Estate is managed by third generation Leanne De Bortoli and Chief winemaker husband, Steven Webber at their spectacular winery in the Yarra Valley. The De Bortoli family are known for their premium wines and Italian heritage. Here, you will enjoy a cheese and wine pairing experience at the warm and friendly cellar door with Wine Tours Yarra Valley De Bortoli

This is one of our favourite wineries in the Yarra Valley and from the moment you arrive and see the view over the vineyards you will be at the very start of understanding why. Epicurean love a family story and this one is perfect expression of a family that share the love for food wine and the company of each other.

There is a wonderful story to be heard about the De Bortoli family and their lineage in wine making and their love for food and wine. Vittorio De Bortoli migrated to Australia, first in Melbourne and then the Riverina in 1924.

The De Bortoli family cultivate three unique vineyard estates in three parts of the region. The Winery Vineyard at Dixons Creek, which is home to the winery, Cellar Door and Locale Restaurant, is in the Northern section of the Yarra Valley. The Abbey Vineyard at Tarrawarra is in the centre of the region and Lusatia Park Vineyard at Woori Yallock in the upper reaches of the Yarra River.

The premium wine tasting event at De Bortoli includes international and local cheeses paired with estate grown wines and one of the most highly awarded wines in the world, the internationally acclaimed, Noble One (Botrytis Semillon)

De Bortoli is also included as a winery in Epicurean’s Italy in the Yarra Valley Day as a lunch option at the wonderful Locale Restaurant or a cheese and wine pairing in the Trophy Room.

Wine Tours Yarra Valley De Bortoli

Trophy Room Cheese and Wine

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Open for Business Yarra Valley Lunch Wine Tour

Mornington Peninsula Small Group Tour

Yarra Valley Lunch Wine Tour  5 stars

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Epicurean Wine Tours #openforbusiness

  • 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.

Tokar Estate Yarra Valley









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.

Dominique Portet Yarra Valley Wine Tours

Dominique Portet Yarra Valley








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.

Trattoria D’Soumah

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Tours for Two Honeymoon Tour Melbourne

Epicurean Yarra Valley Domaine Chandon

Honeymoon Wine Tour Melbourne

Tours for Two is a private tour to a Melbourne Wine Region, namely the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula. This tour is very popular with guests who are visiting Melbourne to celebrate their honeymoon. As such the tour is designed to be exclusive, intimate and romantic. There are many “behind the scenes” events during the day. We plan your day with your wine preferences and activity requests in mind. If there is a winery that you have always wanted to visit in the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula, this will be included. If you want to include a Gin Distillery tasting or a visit to an art gallery we can do this too!

The tour is designed to offer an exclusive insight into a world class wine region. You day will be relaxed and well paced. We promise a day to remember for many anniversaries to come.

Honeymoon Wine Tour Melbourne Options

Yarra Valley

  • 2 course Lunch at Domaine Chandon Tokar Estate, Ezard @ Levantine Hill Yarra Valley
  • Cheese and Wine Pairing ar De Bortoli Estate including the most awarded dessert wine in Australia, Noble One Yarra Valley
  • Premium Wine Tasting Flight at Yarra Yering Yarra Valley
  • Wine Tasting at Coldstream Hills, founded by wine critic James Halliday Yarra Valley
  • Sparkling Wine Range Tasting at Domaine Chandon
  • Gin tasting at Four Pillars Gin Distillery Yarra Valley
  • TarraWarra Museum of Art Yarra Valley
  • Yabby Lake Wine Tasting and Sculpture walk Mornington Peninsula
  • Premium Wine Tasting Soumah Wines
  • Cheese, Chocolate, Wine Fondue at Rochford Estate

Private Wine Tour

Yarra Valley Small Group Tour

Private Group Tour Four Pillars Yarra Valley

Tour inclusions

Your private tour includes Melbourne City Hotel/accommodation transfers at 10am with an approximate 530pm return

Tour in luxury Mercedes Valente WIFI enabled, with friendly, qualified guide

The rate of $800 (Australian Dollars) for a couple is all inclusive of 4 winery/events and a 2 course lunch with a glass of wine

Please include contact details email or phone so the day can be planned for you by our Tour Director, 48 hours in advance

Yarra Valley Wine and Wildlife Tour

Feed the Kangaroos Shore Excursion

Yarra Valley Itinerary with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours

The world class, cool climate wine region, the Yarra Valley is approximately 90 minutes from Melbourne, with a beautiful scenic drive through Kangaroo Ground for a siting of a mob of kangaroos in an outback paddock. Epicurean Food and Wine Tours visit wineries with compelling stories and generational history in the Valley. We give guests a real sense of this famous wine region that offers spectacular scenery and personalised cellar door experiences.

You will enjoy the varietals that the Valley is famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz and the world famous late harvest wines of De Bortoli Estate. The Yarra Valley is also known for producing memorable sparkling wines from Domaine Chandon, Seville Hill and many other local growers.

We have chosen wineries that offer premium wine tastings in comfortable cellar door settings. The wineries we visit offer scenic views over the valley and beautiful gardens. Join a bus for a small group tour with a maximum of ten guests or a private tour in a Mercedes Valente with family or friends, maximum of 7 guests.

This Yarra Valley wine tour offers the opportunity to taste amazing wines, enjoy a 2 course lunch with a glass of wine that is expertly paired and visit Healesville Sanctuary where you can get up close to some of our favourite Australian wildlife.

Yarra Valley Small Group Tour

Private Tour Yarra Valley

Pick up from Melbourne City Centre at 915am

Cheese and Wine Pairing at 3rd generation Italian winemakers, De Bortoli Estate

Visit Healesville Sanctuary Entry and includes a Koala Encounter

Enjoy a 2 course lunch with a glass of wine and wine tasting Tokar Estate

Finish your day with wine Tasting at Helen and Joey Estate

Return to Melbourne City Centre at approx. 5 to 530pm

Epicurean Food and Wine Tours include Melbourne City Centre transfers, WiFi in all vehicles and professional and qualified guides.

Contact us at www.epicureantours.com.au/contact for more information on booking



Wineries of the Yarra Valley that Fabulous Ladies of Wine Love

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

With 86 cellar doors and counting set within this picturesque landscape of big blue skies and gently rolling hills, where on earth do you start? Even for most of us wine loving women, 86 cellar doors equals a very big wine headache.

To help you with the decision making, and to ensure you make the most of your time in this gorgeous part of Australia, here are five of our favourite Yarra Valley cellar doors for the ultimate wine tasting experience!

Our number one tip? Don’t forget to tell them you’re a fabulous lady when you visit!

Our 5 Favourite Yarra Valley Cellar Doors To Visit

Fergusson Winery

82 Wills Rd, DIXONS CREEK, Victoria 3775 Open: Six days a week (closed Tuesdays) 11.00 – 5.00pm  www.fergussonwinery.com.au

This gorgeous Yarra Valley vineyard was first planted by the Fergusson Brothers, Peter and Michael in 1968.

Copy (2) of Fergusson 125 (2)

But today, the estate is managed by the truly fabulous Louise Fergusson! And her sons oversee the growing and wine making processes from their 40+ year old vines.

Not only does Louise Fergusson run the wine business, but she’s also a graduate of the prestigious La Varrene in Paris and her outstanding cookery saw her take home a gold medal at Europe’s Culinary Olympics.

No wonder the Fergusson Restaurant is a destination in itself! Overlooking the picturesque vineyard the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day except Tuesdays.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

With an emphasis on classic French varieties, Fergusson produce a good range from sparklings through to a muscat.

Starting with a glass of Miss Sapphire NV is a must – as it may be the only bubbly in Australia named after a blue staffy dog!

Then move onto their Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay (yum) before hitting the reds. The Louise Pinot Noir is a must try, and then don’t miss the Jeremy Shiraz and two different offering of Cabernet Sauvignons before a Muscat or Moscato for a sweet finish.

Yarra Valley Wine Tokar Estate

Lot 50 Oliver’s Rd, McLaren Vale  Open: Mon – Sun : 10:30am–5:00pm.

Tokar Estate has one of the most sensational views of the Yarra Valley in the whole region, plus wines so delicious that they won the Trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the 2015 Yarra Valley wine show.

The best Pinot in the Yarra? That is NO easy feat for a region known for Pinophiles!

A gorgeous, mid-range onsite restaurant makes for the perfect lunch stop. But make sure you book early to request an outdoor table in the warmer months. You won’t be sorry!

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

It’s not all about glamorous location of course. The Tokar family are seriously fabulous people. Rita and Leon Tokar and son Daniel put their heart and soul into the wines and the property.

They cellar door is open every day from 10am to 5pm.

The restaurant is open everyday for lunch and also on Saturday evenings for dinner.


Joie de Vivre is a delicious place to start! It’s a dry, sparkling Rose made from Pinot Noir & Chardonnay grown on the estate.


Of course, their Pinot Noir is not to be missed, but if you like your reds a little richer, then they also have one of the best Cab Savs in the area and a lovely Shiraz too.

Mandala Wines

1568 Melba Highway Dixons Creek Yarra Valley Victoria 3775 Open: Mon – Fri : 10:00am – 4:00pm Sat – Sun : 10:00am – 5:00pm www.mandalawines.com.au

Mandala make great wines that are truly Yarra Valley. And if you’re a Pinotphile, you’re really gonna love them.

Established by the Smedley family in 1999, Mandala has two separate sites under vine, both producing varietals that excel in the region. The Dixons Creek vineyard produces sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, while the second site at Yarra Junction was selected for its exceptional pinot noir growing conditions.


You’ll find their snazzy cellar door and glass house restaurant at the Dixons Creek site. The restaurant has expansive views of the surrounding vineyards and beyond.

They focus on locally sourced, seasonal produce to create an ever-evolving menu.

Mandala restaurant

It’s the Yarra Valley, so it’s probably no surprise to hear that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are a must do at Mandala.

Particularly the Pinot Noir, where they have a  gorgeous range of high-end and single vineyard Pinots. But really, everything is worth discovering here. Their Sav Blanc is a real surprise packet.


All current release wines are available to taste in the cellar door every day, and the special single site wines – including ‘The Compass’ Chardonnay, ‘The Prophet’ and ‘The Matriarch’ Pinot Noirs, ‘The Butterfly’ Cabernet Sauvignon and ‘The Rock’ Shiraz – join the list on selected weekends. Back vintages and cellar door only releases are also available throughout the year.

Yarra Valley Wine De Bortoli Estate

58 Pinnacle Ln, Dixons Creek VIC 3775 Open: Mon – Sun : 10:00am – 5:00pm  www.debortoli.com.au

They’re one of Australia’s first families of wine, and they’re still going from strength to strength! Leanne De Bortoli (and for the record, you pronounce it ‘deh-bort-ali’) and winemaker husband Steve Webber set up the De Bortoli Yarra Valley operation in 1987, which has now grown to 240 acres of vineyards.

We love them for their large range (there really is a De Bortoli wine for every taste, budget and every occasion), their commitment to family and tradition, and their continued striving to produce good quality wines at every price point. The Yarra Valley is not known for producing the best value wine in Australia, but somehow De Bortoli manage to keep their Yarra wines very affordable indeed.

Their cellar door is a must visit when you’re in the region. Not least of which is because in addition to the wine they also have a CHEESE ROOM and offer you the opportunity to do cheese and wine flights.


The De Bortoli Yarra Valley range is extensive, but they also offer tastings of wines from other regions in which they operate.

De Bortoli Vines at Dixons Creek in Victoria's Yarra Valley
De Bortoli Vines at Dixons Creek in Victoria’s Yarra Valley

If you’re planning lunch, then not to be missed is the heart and soul of their Yarra Valley Estate, the Italian inspired restaurant Locale.


Locale is family matriarch Emeri De Bortoli’s vision of a northern Italian-inspired trattoria with skilfully cooked, authentically Italian dishes made with fresh local produce continues to define what they do. It’s all about the De Bortoli family philosophy of sharing good food and wine with family and friends.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour Dominique Portet

870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream VIC, 3770 Open: Mon – Sun : 10:00am – 5:00pm

French style wine from a 10th generation winemaker right here in Victoria’s Yarra Valley? What’s not to love?!

Dominique and his son Ben (the 10th winemaker in the Portet lineage. Yes TENTH!) produce stunning, elegant and flavourful wines drawing on their family’s long winemaking history.

Portet Winery108

Chances are one or both of them will be floating around the quaint and welcoming cellar door when you pop in, ready to charm you with their wines as well as their smile.

They ain’t famous for their Sparkling Rosé for nothing! Start with that before moving onto their delicious Sancerre style Sauvignon Blanc, and Provincial style, dry Rosé. Those two wines have seen a LOT of fabulous ladies (and lads!) return to a love of Savvy B and pink wine! And they remain two of our absolute favourites here at Fabulous HQ.

Portet Winery210

Then leave room for their amazing Shiraz, Cab, Merlot blend – which is one of the best value reds in the whole Yarra Valley.


Finally, you can up the ante with the incredible, soft Shiraz sourced from their Heathcote vineyards (nearby) or some of their other premium offerings from their Origine label.

Bonus Winery: Journey Wines (Online Only)

Online Sales Only http://www.journeywines.com.au/

Now that you have tasted your way around the Yarra, how about something a little bit exclusive to remind you how wonderful Pinot country is?

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”. – Ernest Hemmingway

We love a bit of Hemingway. And we love a bit of Journey Wines. It’s the gorgeous, boutique, Yarra Valley wine brand of super fabulous winemaker Damian North. We love a bit of Damian too. He’s a lovely guy, making some seriously fabulous wines – using only those varieties that the Yarra Valley does best.

His ‘journey’ as a winemaker has taken him around the world, as he’s followed his passion for making premium Pinot Noir and clean, elegant Chardonnay. He’s now settled in the Yarra Valley, where he sources the fruit for Journey Wines from a number of exceptional vineyard sites in both the Yarra Valley and Heathcote, and makes his wines at the Medhurst winery in the Yarra.



Did somebody say Pinot? Yes, Pinotphiles, you will not be disappointed! Damian spent three whole years making nothing but Pinot during his time in Oregon in the USA. Let’s just say the two of them are now very well acquainted. And at only $34 a bottle, it’s exceptional value for money.


Journey Wines also produces a slinky Chardonnay and a super smart Shiraz. Order online and get them all into you.


Got a favourite Yarra Valley cellar door we haven’t mentioned here? Give ’em a shout out by leaving a comment below!

Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Birthday Tour

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Birthday Tour

This is a fabulous tour for guests celebrating a birthday that we hosted to the Yarra Valley. Yarra Valley, just an hour out of Melbourne is a world class, cool climate wine region that is home to both boutique family owned wineries in addition to some well known estates such as Yering Station, Domaine Chandon and De Bortoli. This Yarra tour is well paced and relaxed offering unique and interesting cellar door experiences at each winery visited. The

Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Birthday Tour itinerary below is based on what our guests have chosen when they considered their wine preferences and what they wanted to see in the Yarra Valley.

Guests will enjoy informed commentary of the Yarra Valley wine region and wineries visited as they travel in a luxury Mercedes Valente complete with WiFi.

De Bortoli Estate with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours cheese de bortoli image

Your first experience is a Cheese and Wine pairing at 3rd generation Italian winemakers at Debortoli’s. Taste outstanding Estate wines. Your memorable De Bortoli experience will end with a Noble One tasting, one of the most awarded dessert wines in the world.

Yering Station with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours

You will be welcomed at Yering Station cellar door for a tasting including reserve wines and take a walk through the gardens at Victoria’s oldest vineyard.

Tokar Estate with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours

A 2 course lunch is served at the beautiful Tokar Estate, in fine weather, overlooking the lush green vines. Tokar is one of the local’s favourites in the Yarra Valley where you can enjoy local and seasonal cuisine and a cellar door tasting to match a glass of wine with your lunch.

Domaine Chandon with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours

Private Group Domaine Chandon

Private Group Domaine Chandon

Yarra Valley is home to the Australian based Domaine Chandon. Here you can relax while you enjoy a tasting of 6 sparkling and still wines.

Coombe Estate with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours

Enjoy a tasting before a dessert in the restaurant at the very chic wine Coombe Estate with gorgeous garden backdrops, the former Australian home of opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.

Travel in luxury Mercedes Valente. WiFi enabled, commentary, transfers, lunch, afternoon tea and all tastings included.

Approx timing 930am with a 5pm return. info@epicureantours.com.au

For more information go to www.epicureantours.com.au or www.toursfortwo.com.au






Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Yarra Valley Wine Tour
Amie Hu has kindly let us share her experience of the beautiful Yarra Valley wine region when she visited in April.

You can read below for where Amie visited on her Yarra Valley Wine Tour, her favourite wine and food experiences across the world. Read more about Amie Hu’s travels at http://www.amiehu.com/p/melbourne-maps.html

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

It’s time for Yarra Valley that weekend in April, catching onto the tail of summer in Melbourne… the fields were blooming in a luxurious shade of yellow. Oh, and it’s never too early to indulge in a drink or two, as Yarra teaches. In fact, wine tasting is a deliriously happy affair.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

“Trust me you can dance,” ~ Wine

Oh yes.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

I was gloriously fattened up during that period of time, from an abundance of awesome food. I regret nothing! Yarra is generally flat, with gentle slopes of greenlands that stretch into the horizon forever and ever. I felt as if I was transported into a scene straight out of Heidi, okay, I know that is set in Switzerland but it sure feels like it.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour Yering Station
38 Melba Highway, Yarra Glen

Apparently they are extremely generous with their wine tasting servings – not that I am complaining! 😉 But it is pretty safe to say my ability to remember details just deteriorated from there, so the most striking memory I could recall is that I remembered nodding in approval to Yering’s wines, or were at least, pleasantly intrigued by what they offered. In particular, they had really fancy wines infused with a huge variety of fruity zests – sniff out pear, shortbread, green apple, almond, macadamia and treacle aroma in the Cuvee, and remember to taste lemon, honey, cloudy apple, orange sherbet, and grapefruit while you’re at it. They had about six of those for us to try. Tastings are not charged here.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour Tarrawarra Estate
311 Healesville, Yarra Glen Road, Yarra Glen

2014 Pinot Noir Rosé (AUD22/bottle) from Tarrawarra Estate is the best of their collection. Tarrawarra Estate has a couple of others such as the 2013 Roussanne Marsanne Viognier (AUD30/bottle), 2013 Estate Chardonnay (AUD28/bottle), 2013 Reserve Chardonnay (AUD50/bottle), 2013 Estate Pinot Noir (AUD28/bottle), 2011 Hunter’s Red Shiraz/Merlot (AUD22/bottle), 2012 J-Block Shiraz (AUD35/bottle) and 2009 K Block Merlot (AUD40/bottle). Tastings are at AUD5/pax.

Innocent Bystander
336 Maroondah Highway, Healesville

There aren’t many restaurants in the region, but the most popular one evidently has got to be the Innocent Bystander given the long queues. Time passes quite quickly if you’d put your name on the waiting list and hop to the next bar to have a drink first. They have a hall of fame with guest recommendations, newspaper/magazine features that flaunt how much of a stamp of approval they have from their fanbase. Their confidence shines through their wines as well, which they describe to be ‘reliable, over-performing and eminently affordable, varietal wines’. For starters, we had the Pork belly, chicken liver terrine with zucchini pickles and baguette (AUD13) and the Ora king salmon cured in pastrami spices with horseradish cream (AUD13) which hardly made a dent in our growling stomachs. The pork belly was one of the better ones I’ve tried, nearly achieving the instant melty effect that I love. The Ora king salmon was expectedly really tasty, so fresh and smooth, but I only wished it was a larger serving. Although it was quite a wait before our pizzas came, their Murray River salted frites (AUD7) kept us entertained for a while.

Innocent Bystander has an open-kitchen concept for guests to watch their chefs in action – particularly the Italian pizza chefs doing hand-stretched pizzas. Their pizzas are indeed overperformers, with fluffy and sinful pillows of buffalo mozarella cheese and savoury fresh slices of spicy pork sausage, San Marzano tomato and chilli on their pizzas (AUD24). Switching up with the San Daniele prosciutto, San Marzano tomato, cravero parmesan and rocket (AUD26), both pizzas that we tried were really delicious regardless.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour
Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Yarra Valley Wine Tour Dominique Portet
870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Dominique Portet is a 10th Generation winery in the Yarra Valley. Its architecture is telling of its historical roots from France, especially its large arched windows that allows sunlight to stream in. One of those we tried include the 2014 Fontaine Rosé which is distinctively bright salmon in color, with a celebratory blend of merlot (50%), shiraz (30%) and carbenet (20%). It is refreshing yet creamy, wonderful to enjoy during lunch just before a siesta, isn’t it?

Yarra Valley Wine Tasting

Yarra Valley Wine Tour Domaine Chandon
727 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

I have given up on drinking by now because it was quite an overkill after so many stops.. so I’ve retreated to photo-taking outside Domaine Chandon (the rest who continued their wine tasting adventures did mention they enjoy this stop the most). Right outside Domaine Chandon is a sizable amount of grape vineyards, you can simply find a lounge chair and watch the planes go by. Most people would also make a stop halfway to the

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie
35 Old Healesville Rd, Yarra Glen

so that’s something you can consider if you’re planning for a trip to the Yarra Valley.










Lady Goes Wine Tasting in the Yarra Valley with Epicurean Food and Wine Tours

Epicurean Chandon

Yarra Valley Wine Tours

The adventures of an expat Californian living in London and traveling the world. 95 countries and counting! A Lady in London recounts her day with Epicurean to the Yarra Valley

I got a good night’s rest there and woke up to a great little breakfast box full of cereal, milk, fruit, and granola bars. It was good sustenance to prepare me for my day of wine tasting in the Yarra Valley.

I was picked up directly by Fiona from Epicurean Food and Wine Tours, who had offered me a spot on her Small Group Tour of the Yarra Valley. She drove me and a couple from Texas to the vineyards in a comfortable van. It was equipped with WiFi, which I loved, but by the time we got to the valley an hour later, the views out the window were far more interesting.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour

Take De Bortoli winery, for example. It is one of the largest wineries in the Yarra Valley, but is still family owned. The cellar door and gift shop were busy that morning, but we were given a special wine-and-cheese tasting. We sampled no less than ten great wines, from an award-winning Chardonnay to the famous Black Noble, which was somewhere between a Port and a Muscat.

From De Bortoli we continued our wine tour with a stop at Yering Station. Their winery was modern and light, with contemporary art throughout the tasting room, shop, and restaurant. I didn’t like their wines quite as much as I had enjoyed those at De Bortoli, but the grounds were beautiful.

I even took a peek at the five-star hotel down the footpath, a property called Chateau Yering. It looked like a British stately home transplanted on Australian soil, what with its sumptuous historic interiors, heavy low-lit bar area, and fine dining restaurant.

The next stop on our wine tasting tour of the Yarra Valley was at Domaine Chandon. It was fun to visit the Australian location after having been at its Napa Valley counterpart in California just two weeks prior.

We sat for lunch in the winery’s bright, window-lined restaurant, which had stunning views of the vineyards and mountains in the distance. My simple linguine with salami, pesto, and chili was outstanding, and certainly one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in ages. The accompanying wine pairing allowed us to sample everything from sparkling to Shiraz.

After lunch we took a self-guided tour of the winery, where we saw the grapes being brought in by the forklift load. It was exciting to be in Australia during the harvest, and made me feel fortunate to have such good timing.

Leaving Domaine Chandon, we stopped at one final winery, James Halliday’s Coldstream Hills. The small, unassuming cellar door belied the high quality of the wines, and by the time our tasting was over I had fallen in love with more than one Pinot Noir.

Back in the van, we drove to Melbourne, where Fiona dropped us off at our hotels and said good-bye. It was a sad parting after such a great day of wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, but there was more of Australia to be explored.

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