Wine. That’s what Ken’s 35th birthday was all about! Wine and great friends.
For Ken’s gift, I got us tickets to a wine tour in the Yarra Valley just outside Melbourne Australia. We went with a tour company called, Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tours. The Yarra Valley is what they call a, “cool climate wine region” and is best known for producing some of Australia’s best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines.
We met up with two friends of ours and the rest of our fellow wine enthusiasts participating in the tour. There was about 16 of us in total. Now, tour groups are hit or miss. A good group of people can make or break the experience and, thankfully, we lucked out this time.
It took about an hour to get out to the Yarra Valley from the city and I spent the time catching up with fellow expat friend, Heather and her husband David. We were having such a good time chatting I almost didn’t notice how amazing the fall colors of the valley were as we approached our first winery, Yering Station.
A short drive later and we were at the old Farmhouse Cheese Shop at the Yarra Valley Dairy. We tasted five of their hand made cheeses. All delicious, but I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like.
The farmhouse itself was so cozy and filled with lots of goodies from chocolates to homemade soaps and lotions. I could have done some serious damage in there, but thankfully for my wallet, we were ushered on quickly.
Next up was the Domaine Chandon a part of the French Champagne House, Moët et Chandon. Here we enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine and the amazing views. We got to choose from four different types of champagne. I went with one they like to call, “Christmas in a Bottle.” I don’t know if I tasted like Christmas, but it was still delicious.
By this time we were ready for lunch, which we had at the Rochford Winery. It was good to get some food in our wine and champagne filled tummies. Lunch was satisfying and we got to browse around the shop for some fudge and other goodies. It was also a perfect spot for a nice photo op.
What better way to end the day of drinking with an oppertuntiy to stuff our faces with ice cream and chocolate!? Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery was super busy but with good reason. They had some of the best ice cream I’ve had while living in Australia. We had plenty of time to see the chocolate being made, do a bit of a tasting, and then relax on the grass and take in the view.
I’d highly recommend a winery tour of Yarra Valley. It’s a great way to spend the day and get to experience life outside of Melbourne without having to worry about driving or what to do or go next. Everything is taken care of for you and if you’re lucky, you might even make some cute friends, like these guys…I leave you with Poppy and Freckles.