Explore The Beautiful and Bountiful Yarra Valley

It’s a ritual I’ve seen many times before. She holds the glass up by the stem and examines the colour and clarity of the wine. Next, she swirls the glass to release the aromas and then watches the wine run down the side of the flute.

“Just drink the bloody thing” I say impatiently.

She ignores me and buries her nose in the glass and takes a good sniff. After that, she raises the glass to her mouth and takes a tiny sip. The wine is swished around her mouth before it is finally swallowed. It’s painful to watch but the joyful look on her face is priceless – she is happier than a kid in candy store!

Yes…. If you haven’t guessed already my wife (Carly) loves wine. So she’s very happy to be sampling a few vinos at the Chandon vineyard in the Yarra Valley. The area is a vibrant hub of more than 80 award winning wineries with a variety of prominent cellar doors.

With a history dating back over 170 years the Yarra Valley was Victoria’s first wine growing district. Vines were originally planted at Yering Station in 1838 when the Scottish-born Ryrie brothers ventured into the Yarra Valley as they moved their cattle south from Sydney.

Viticulture subsequently spread rapidly through the 1860s and 1870s. However, production for Yarra Valley wine stopped in 1921 when demand for fortified wine increased.

Replanting began in the late 1960s and the valley enjoyed a renaissance with some of Australia’s winemaking icons rediscovering the region, amongst them Mount Mary, Yeringberg, YarraYering, Wantirna Estate and St Hubert’s. By the early 1990s, the area under vine exceeded the pinnacle of the 19th century. The Yarra Valley is now recognised as one of Australia’s foremost cool climate producers of Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir; Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

Today, I am the designated driver and reluctant chauffer for Carly’s wine tasting adventure. After Domaine Chandon we head for Yering Station (Victoria’s first vineyard). Set in a stunning location with breathtaking views, immaculate gardens and striking architecture the winery offers an excellent wine and food experience.

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