Being in Melbourne for just over a week and definite wine lovers it was only natural that Thanya and I would come across the idea to go on a Yarra Valley wine tour. We researched a few but ended up liking the write up for ‘Dancing Kangaroo tours’, they included 3 wineries, a brewery, a cheese factory a chocolate factory and lunch at a café all for a reasonable price of $145.
We were picked us up from Central Melbourne opposite Flinders St Station (handy for my public transport lyf) in our little coach bus. Tours are limited to 11 people which was a good size, small enough to have time to taste lots of wine but large enough for someone to buy a bottle when your not feeling a particular cellar door! Our tour guide and driver for the day was Johnson. Our tour group was made up of 7 from Perth, 2 from Sydney and 2 from the Gold Coast. Johnson filled us in on some of his Melbourne tips including making sure to try the Asian food in North Richmond. He said there is a half kilometre stretch of amazing food so good that once you’ve passed the first version of a restaurant you might find the number 2 further down the street.
We ventured out to the Yarra via the picturesque town of Donvale and Lilydale, everywhere was so pretty and green and lots of farm animals.
The first stop of the day was St Huberts, a vineyard dating back to 1862. Dominic was a great host going into as much detail as we wanted about each wine, going into the processes and letting us sample a large tasting range. I loved the wines there, the history was evident in the complex flavours of each. There was tasting notes supplied that went into great detail about the composition in each one, how it was made and the flavours you could expect. A very quaint place and my favourite wines of the day! Really enjoyed the Rousanne a white varietal I haven’t stumbled across before.
Next up was Helen and Joey Estate. On the way Johnson told us the story of how this couple from China came out on a wine tour to the Yarra years ago and fell in love with the place. They ended up purchasing a property that had dwindled down to a grape farm until they decided to reinvigorate it and start the orchard all over again. Its hard to believe it had a period of not being a winery with its amazing panoramic views. Despite being on a hefty amount of wine tours over the years its the best views I’ve had to accompany a tasting. A cute quirk of the place is the Unicorns featured around the property, there is even a large one on the deck that your are allowed to sit on, an Instagrammers utopia! Once again it was really nice to have a Cellar Door manager that was so passionate about the process. Steven educated us on the geography of the area and the great lengths the winemakers have gone to including sourcing an award winemaker to work with them full time. The wines very delicious and very drinkable, we were all impressed.
Then it was time for a break from wine into the Yarra Valley Dairy. Well I have never had such amazing cheese in my life! We each had about ten different tastes and each one was as tasty as the next. Thanya is still going on about the Chevre and Dill goats cheese and it’s been 2 days. Part of me wishes there was a Perth franchise, the other part of me is slightly grateful as my diet might subsist of cheese if it was a bit closer. The other tour members stocked up on cheese but as we were hitting the town that night we forced to leave the cheese as a tantalising memory.