The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s most prestigious wine region and only about an hour east of Melbourne. We needed to go and without any Australian holidays in our near future now was as good a time as any. Plus, it was a long, sleepless week with sick children and it was Father’s Day in America.
We stayed the weekend. We booked a rustic, farm-stay cottage (Argyles), complete with fireplace on the inside and cows, chickens, wild birds and small vineyard on the outside. It was a bit more “rustic” than I thought but we loved our stay. We roasted homemade marshmallows, cooked hearty breakfasts and enjoyed their boutique wine. C and C loved it, but they love “vacations.”
We visited local attractions. Healesville Sanctuary is dedicated to Australian wildlife and was just down the road from our cottage. The animal hospital and platypus were our favorite highlights but you really know you are in Australia when the local wildlife starts to torment or wants to mate with (we weren’t entirely sure) the animals in captivity. This happened at their birds of flight show and almost produced savage results. The sanctuary was an absolutely fabulous place, but it was raining, and windy, and cold so our visit was cut short.
We tasted wine. Here’s our list of tastings. When you think of Australian wine in the States you think decent and cheap. However, our minds have been changed completely. While you can still get a really nice bottle for around $20 (much tougher in the States these days), it’s the $40 and $80 bottles that really blew us away.
- Yarra Yering
- Giant Steps – wood fired pizzas were a hit with the kids
- Maddens Rise
- Punt Road
For complete wine listings and recommendations see James Halliday, the Robert Parker of Australia. How did we taste all this wine with 2 toddlers? That requires an additional post.