Kathie Baker celebrates the simple pleasures that Yarra Valley has to offer
Yarra Valley, the region east of Melbourne, is home to some of the most amazing wineries in the world. From the small, quaint little winery, such as Kelly Brook, located in Warrandyte (not quite the Yarra Valley) to the larger wineries of the calibre of Chandon.
These wineries attract thousands of visitors each year. Many are set up for weddings, accommodation, food and more. The area, lush and fertile is impossible not to fall in love with. It’s even more special when the sun is shining. I was fortunate as the God’s were smiling down upon us and we managed to pick a day of sunshine, during a week of rain.
Each winery really does have its own speciality, with flavours that have been blended from a wide range of grapes and the diversity of individual techniques. The flavours are influenced by some many factors, including storage and when the grapes are picked.
I recently took my mother and an overseas friend to Chandon for a wine tasting.
The entrance to the estate was grand and the long driveway boasted of more to come.
There were so many international visitors at the Winery and the sign near the car park greeted people in their respective languages. The wine “expert” spoke several languages, including English and Chinese, with his native tongue being French.
The buildings were purpose built, playing host to guests, wine and dining. With a choice of inside and outside options, although busy, it didn’t feel “overcrowded”. The main thing was everyone, including us were have a great time.
Our host delighted us with his stories and with each sample of wine the stories seemed to get funnier to my mother and my friend. By the sixth bottle, (they had probably had the equivalent of 2 glasses), I deemed them both wine experts in their own rights and shuffled them along to get some fresh air.
The Yarra Valley is home to so much. Today I’ve touched on wine however this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Celebrate the region’s other great harvests with the lush farmland also yielding freshwater fish, artisan dairy products, organic fruit and vegetables, and pastas and preserves.
In the next issue, I’ll continue the journey through the Yarra Valley, exploring some of the hidden cafes and the well known chocolate factory.