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Escaping To The Yarra Valley Pt1

A few weeks ago, in a vain attempt to educate a Burgundian friend on the merits of Australian wine, we set out to see the delights of the Yarra Valley. Unfortunately, our designated driver was extremely hung over and went back to bed, which meant that I had to shoulder the driving responsibility.

Despite our early set back it turned out to be a fruitful (pun attempted) day and quite interesting.

I like the Yarra but find that it is very two-speed. There are some of Australia’s best wines in its boundaries, and also some shocking wines. We tried to avoid the latter.

Speaking if it’s boundaries

The Yarra is too big, the diversity and footprint make any generalisations about the region almost impossible and rather silly to attempt. Thankfully, however, there is now a push to define subregions and even highlight particularly good individual plots. Hopefully, this will help improve regional understanding and quality.

We started at the Coldstream Hills winery as they were opening the doors. This earned us the tag of “early internationals”. True to form and expectations there was a range of wine from commercial to interesting to amazing. Pinot and Chard were the best varieties. The Reserve wines stood out as did some of the single vineyard wines. A good yardstick for measuring further visits.

A little further down the road, we stopped at the wonderful Yarra Yering. The wines are consistently amazing as they were this day. I grumbled to myself as my French friend and the guys pouring us the wine discussed their favourite Grand Cru’s of Burgundy and giggled inwardly as they scorned people’s love of screw caps and I got to point out that one of the wines was in fact corked.
Great wines, highly recommended.

Sooo much serenity.
Great View from Warramate.

Warramate was the next stop and proved fascinating tasting wines from the top of the hill Coldstream Hills, midslope Warramate and the lower down Yarra Yering. It also gave us our most informal host, freely poking fun at customers and their peculiarities (once they had left of course). The wines here were not bad, just not exciting. They seemed to be missing something.

That took us to lunch. This topic and more tasting will be tackled in a later entry.

Read the stunning conclusion here