Find out what it’s really like to take a tour of the Yarra Valley – Melbourne’s renowned food and wine region!
Our new Go West intern Jess recently took a tour to the Yarra Valley and is ready to share all the details! From meeting amazing people on tour to indulging in a gourmet winery lunch. This is a tour Jess recommends for “all wine and food lovers”!
We asked her all about her experience on the Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour from Melbourne with tour guide chris H – and here’s what she had to say.
1.What was the highlight of your tour to the Yarra Valley?
For me the whole Yarra Valley tour was amazing. From meeting amazing people and enjoying the great scenery of the vineyards and wineries to the amazing wine and food tasting in between. It is an easily reachable destination just an 45 minute drive out of Melbourne that I would highly recommend to anyone above the legal drinking age.
2.Which was your favourite destination to visit?
Eg. Rochford / Chocolaterie / Yering My favourite destination of the Yarra Valley Gourmet tour was Rochford Wines. The wines that we tasted were probably my favourite. The explanation of all of the wines was great with some humour in-between as well. After this we had a great lunch at their restaurant and we were able to discover their property more. Rochford Wines also had a Gin bar for the gin-lovers and an amazing view from their rooftop.
3.What was the best thing you tasted on tour?
The best food that I tasted during this trip has to be the beef oyster blade at Rochford Wines. The 16 hour slow roasted beef had an amazing taste to it and I will definitely be going back to eat this delicious dish again. Regarding the wine my favourite wine had to be at Rochford Wines. At this location we taste tested a white wine originated from New Zealand, which was by far my favourite. It had a fresh and not to strong taste to it.
4.Can you tell us about your tour guide?
My tour guide during this trip was Chris H. His enthusiasm and humour, made this a trip to never forget. He was very attentive and informative and he had a very cheerful positive attitude. This created a great atmosphere during the tour. Everyone was able to enjoy his sense of humour and have a few laughs in between the wine tasting.
5.Who would you recommend this tour to?
The Yarra Valley gourmet Tour is a great day out for all wine and food lovers. It as an easily reachable destination just an 45 min drive out of Melbourne with a diverse and broad itinerary. Wine tasting, cheese tasting and chocolate tasting are all a part of this amazing tour. Additionally, the scenery and views are beautiful, which makes this the perfect day out.
6.What did you learn about Yarra Valley wines?
All of the Yarra Valley wines are created and have always been created with a lot of passion and love. It all comes down to the fruit, which is the first step of the wine making process. It is the meeting point between vineyard and winery. Then the fruit is carefully selected based on flavour. All of the wineries have their own ways of creating the best wines, which all gives them their unique tastes.
7.What wines did you taste on tour?
There were a lot of different wines that I tasted during this tour, varying between red wines, rosé, white wines and some sparkling wines. We tasted Pinot Noir, Sauvignon, merlot and more. All of the wines had an unique taste to it. There are a lot of wines to taste so it is the perfect day to discover some new favourite wines.
8.What food did you taste on tour?
I was able to taste various seasonal fruits, cheeses and chocolates during this tour. At the end of the day, there is also a possibility for ice cream lover to try out some fresh ice cream at the Yarra Valley chocolatery. At Rochford wines we had a delicious dinner. We were given four choices for lunch, I decided to go with the Beef Oyster Blade. The Beef Oyster Blade was a flavourful dich which I utterly enjoyed.
9.What is the scenery in the Yarra Valley like?
The scenery in the Yarra Valley is a mixture of breathtaking views that travel over Farmland, Vineyards, forest and waterways. Boutique wineries and vineyards are found around almost every corner in the valley. The Yarra Valley is an amazing way to relax from the busy city life in Melbourne.
10.Who were some of the people you met on tour?
During this tour I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world who all wanted to taste the amazing wine and food that The Yarra Valley has to offer. This made for a great atmosphere during the entire tour. People from diverse backgrounds attended the tour. I was able to meet people from Singapore, India, New Zeeland and more. Additionally, I was able to talk to some hosts about their properties and backstories, which was very interesting to listen to. For example, I was able to talk to Anna, the lovely owner of Coldstream Dairy. She told me about her own company and her reasoning behind opening up this dairy farm.
11.How far from Melbourne is the Yarra Valley? What is the bus journey like?
The Yarra Valley is only a short 45 minute drive from Melbourne CBD. The bus journey was nice and quiet, since everyone was still pretty tired on our way there. Some nice music was played in the background and information was given about the Yarra Valley. On our way back almost everyone was sleeping, due to the great lunch in combination with a lot of wine tasting. This tour probably has the least amount of driving before getting to the actual location, which makes it a great trip for people that do not want to drive for too long.
12.How did this Go West Tour compare to other tours you’ve taken?
This tour had a different atmosphere than some of the other tours that I have taken so far. The atmosphere was great and everyone was very exited about day drinking. It was a great opportunity to meet people from all around the world while tasting some amazing wines and food as well.
13.Tell us about the destinations you visited on tour?
· Yarra Farm Fresh
The tour started at Yarra Farm Fresh with an opportunity to taste a range of seasonal fruits and other local produce. After this we had the opportunity to buy some local produce in the Yarra Farm Fresh shop.
· Balgownie Wines
The first winery we stopped at was Balgownie wine. Here we taste tested some of their best wines next to a beautiful view of their winery. This estate had a simply sophisticated look to it and the view from their balcony gave a breathtaking view of their vineyards.
· Coldstream dairy
During the tour we also got to taste some cheese at Coldstream Dairy and we got to meet Anna, the lovely owner of the shop and her dog. She brought out multiple platters of cheese with crackers for everyone to taste. The cheese and the location where really nice, we also got the opportunity to buy some cheese after the tasting.
· Rochford Wines
At Rochford wines we had a wine tasting, followed by a lunch which was of course served with some wine as well. The property also had a gin bar for the gin lovers out there. Additionally, you are able to go on top of the roof to get an amazing view of the valleys scenery.
· Yering Station
Yering Station is Victoria’s first vineyard. Here we had a wine tasting as well, followed by some spare time to walk around on the property. From the balcony, you can enjoy some breathtaking panoramic views.
· YV Chocolaterie
The last stop was the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie. At the chocolaterie we have the opportunity to taste test some of the chocolates that they produce there. They had a lot of different chocolates to taste test varying from orange flavour to pink chocolate. An extensive explanation of how chocolate is made was given as well, which made it even more interesting to taste these delicious chocolates. At the chocolaterie there is also an option to buy some delicious ice-cream and chocolates.
Want to take a tour?
If you’ve read this and want to join in a Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour – you can book via our website. Here’s our full itnerary, so you know what to expect:
- Taste some of the valley’s freshest fruits, juices, and other local products at Yarra Farm Fresh
- Sample wine and cheese at the iconic Balgownie Estate – one of the great wineries of the Yarra Valley
- Taste the valley’s freshest cheeses at the Yarra Valley Dairy
- Enjoy a delicious lunch at Rochford Wines – choose from four different meal options and enjoy a glass of Rochford’s quality wine
- Sip away at a wine tasting in one of Australia’s great wineries, Yering Station
- Enjoy an exclusive chocolate tasting at the valley’s sweetest location, The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie
We hope to see you on tour soon!
On Tour with Jess is written by Jessica Senden – Marketing Intern @gowest.com.au