4 Great Yarra Valley Wineries

The Yarra Valley wine region is a stunningly beautiful area just outside of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. It’s not one I’d really heard of before and it’s relatively new on the Aussie ‘wine’ front. 40 years ago there was just a hand full of vineyards in the area. Now, there are well over 100.

From Melbourne, all you need is a car and a coin toss for the designated driver. It’ll take around an hour to get there and then you’ll find that most of the vineyards are together in clumps. Of course, you could book onto an organised tour but I did one of those and wasn’t overly impressed. Lots of people on a coach which spends more time doing drop off and collections and at the hella-touristy chocolate factory than actually visiting the wineries.

Over the course of several months, we had several trips to the Yarra Valley and these four places are my absolute must-see picks from the vineyards we went to. If you only have one or two days, make sure these are on your list!

Nillumbik Estate

A gorgeous, small family run vineyard which has a different vibe to the bigger, more commercial operations nearby. Don’t expect anything too fancy. Their small bar and restaurant serve wine by the glass and bottle and delicious, crispy freshly baked pizzas. Grab a bottle of chilled chardonnay, a pizza to share and enjoy a leisurely afternoon out on their decked area. The views are amazing: across the vines and onto the hills beyond.

Nillumbik winery, Victoria

Find them here:

Yarrawood Estate

Although we weren’t massively impressed by the food, Yarrawood is worth a visit. They win points for a lovely location and the most ridiculously delicious Sauvignon Blanc. They have a cellar door and also a bistro style cafe with lovely lawns and decking. We loved sitting in the shade of the trees and watching the birds and clouds float by. Bliss.

It’s also just off the Melba Highway which is the main road back into Melbourne so it’s a nice final stop on the way home.

Yarrawood winery

 Find them here:

De Bortoli

This was one of our favourite vineyards but also the busiest. They cater for coach tours which arrive frequently for their popular wine and cheese pairing. Try and go midweek to avoid the crowds. Head to the cheese counter for a plate of cheeses which are then paired with wines spanning the De Bortoli range at the tasting bar. Their award-winning Noble One Muscat is the nicest pudding wine I’ve ever tasted and their sparkling wine (below) is pretty good too.

If you’re looking for something extra special, they have a restaurant too. We’ve not eaten there but the menu looks great, with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced produce.

De Bortoli Winery

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Dominique Portet

Although I visited this vineyard as part of an arranged Yarra Valley tour, it is open to the public too. This one, of them all, had the most European feel. Unsurprisingly really when we found out that it’s run by a 10th generation winemaker whose family hails from the Bordeaux region of France!

Dominique De Porteau Winery

Find them here:

The Yarra Valley really is a gorgeous part of Victoria and well worth a visit. It’s a cool climate region and is best known for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines. Although I’m not usually a fan of Chardonnay, I urge you to try it there and to keep an eye out at home too. I’ve seen De Bortoli wines on sale in the supermarkets and Yarra Valley wines are starting to appear here too. That said, we drank some excellent Sauvignon Blancs during our visits too!

Ohhh to be sat typing this in a winery and not at my desk on a cold windy October day… sigh!

14 Comments

  1. 26th October 2017 / 12:29 am

    Ah! Thanks for the tip on the chartered bus tour. I wish there was a more intimate version so that I could get around with a friend who can also participate.

    • 26th October 2017 / 9:00 am

      I’m sure you can charter a private tour for sure so you don’t have to toss up who drives! The big bus tours are not worth the money though, we spent all day on the bus and hardly visited anywhere good!

  2. 26th October 2017 / 4:13 am

    Wine + Australia = heaven on earth!

  3. 26th October 2017 / 4:35 am

    Uff this leaves me yearning to be in a vineyard in Australia! If I’m ever in the area, I’ll definitely refer to your recommendations!

  4. Madhurima
    26th October 2017 / 5:51 am

    Beautiful pictures! The bubbly is tempting. Thank you for sharing this information write up. Wish to go there someday

  5. 26th October 2017 / 8:23 am

    I always admire how beautiful Yarra Valley is every time I see it on TV. Featuring beautiful landscapes, amazing food and exquisite wines, it is definitely a place to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 26th October 2017 / 10:13 am

    I often travel to Oz because I am currently living in Bali and next time I go it is just going to be to drink wine!! Omg!! I think that I will go to all of these places. They look incredible. I love the serene nature of the wine valleys. Or vineyards I mean.. But your photos capture it perfectly. And the food on that first one!!!! OMG!!!

    • 27th October 2017 / 5:10 pm

      Ah not too far then! We spent some time in Bali too! Very jealous as it’s cold and windy in the UK now. If you do go, let me know! I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

  7. 26th October 2017 / 5:37 pm

    I will admit that you had me at wine hehehe. I have a friend from down under and every time he goes home he brings back several bottles of wine. They are delicious. I am always surprised how you can get so great wine from all around Europe, and down there in Australia…! Thank you for sharing your experiences =)

    • 27th October 2017 / 5:09 pm

      I’m so jealous that you have a friend who can bring you Aussie wines home! The stuff on sale in the UK tends to be their worst, I think they keep their tasty wine for themselves, and I don’t blame them!

  8. 26th October 2017 / 9:57 pm

    I’ve heard so many great things about Yarra Valley. I don’t particularly drink wine (or any alcohol drinks) but I’m interested in visiting vineyards and the wine-making process. It’s nice to know that there are a lot of vineyards around the area. So it’s really worth doing this trip on your pace rather than with a tour.

    Will take note of this when we visit Melbourne next time! 🙂

  9. 26th October 2017 / 11:39 pm

    So the vineyard look so pretty in your pics but I sadly don’t drink wine so I often feel such tours are not for me. Are there other things that may attract a non wine drinking person?

  10. 26th October 2017 / 11:40 pm

    So the vineyard look so pretty in your pics but I sadly don’t drink wine so I often feel such tours are not for me. Are there other things that may attract a non wine drinking person?

    • 27th October 2017 / 5:09 pm

      There are plenty of places to walk if you enjoy just being out in the fresh air. There’s also a chocolate factory there with tastings and all sorts of things being made and sold!

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