Just lately I spent the weekend in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. In the course of the weekend, I headed out to the Yarra Valley, about an hour to the north-east, for a day trip to the world-class wineries within the region. It was a glorious day, with record-breaking cold temperatures and thick fog in the early morning (it was nonetheless about 2C at 10:30am when we arrived at our first vacation spot), that fined up to one in all magnificent blue skies and vivid sunshine for the afternoon. While a Yarra Valley vineyard trip could be expensive (mainly primarily based on how much wine you purchase!), it will probably nonetheless be affordable for those who follow these tips.
1. Self-Drive, with Care
The easiest option for a winery trip is to book onto a bus tour, however this is often quite an costly option. The cheaper option is to self-drive, either with your own car or a rental car, for about $50 for the day. Seize a map of the wine region before-hand or from the first winery you visit, then head to whichever wineries you want. Just be careful that whoever is driving both skips most of the tasting, or is spitting. It’s additionally a good suggestion for everybody to take your time.
2. Visit the Smaller Wineries
In Australia, wine-tasting is normally complementary, although a number of the larger, more fashionable wineries are starting to charge. At both Domaine Chandon and De Bortoli, there was a $5 per person charge, redeemable in opposition to most purchases. And unfortunately, just because you’re paying doesn’t imply there are necessarily more folks serving to with the wine tasting!
To avoid the crowds and expenses, head to among the smaller wineries. There you’ll get more personalised consideration, often from the winemaker themselves, though you normally really feel obligated to buy at least one bottle. An interesting small vineyard to visit is Dixon Creek Estate, with owner Graeme Miller, which also has superb views of the valley. Alternatively, should you don’t intend to purchase anything, because you’re just about to fly out, you might really feel consolationable paying a small fee and then not shopping for any wine.
3. Have a Picnic or Attempt a Platter
Most wine areas have an ideal range of restaurants, positioned both at the wineries themselves or within the region. However, costs might be quite high, and if visiting on the weekend they can be quite busy, and require a booking (which we discovered at at Innocent Bystander in Healesville). Often it’s higher value to graze on a tasting platter, from a local producer that is selling their own produce. Yarra Valley Dairy does nice-value cheese platters for $32 (as of 2015). Alternatively, put collectively a picnic either earlier than you leave for the day, or from the products on sale at cellar doors and native farmers markets, then take pleasure in it within the picnic grounds at a number of the wineries. The Yarra Valley Farmers Market is held the 3rd Sunday of each month at Yering Station.
4. Look out for Cellar Door Specials
Most wineries may have wines on the market that are only available at the cellar door. Usually, these might be excellent bargains, particularly shortly earlier than they release their new season wines within the spring. Alternatively, reductions are normally given when you purchase in bulk, or sign as much as be a wine club member, with common deliveries of wine all through the year. Enquire for delivery costs, for those who’re not driving your own automotive, which could even be included in the worth for those who buy in bulk.
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