I have partaken in many activities all over the world, but surprisingly up until now wine tasting was not one of them. I’ve always wanted to spend a day driving (being driven!) around a wine valley, popping in and out of different wineries, but never had the opportunity. Australia seemed like the perfect place to experience wine tasting for the first time. I heard that Yarra Wine Valley was a great place to go wine tasting, so signed up for a trip there. Not only are there wineries, but fresh farms and even a chocolate & ice cream factory. Looking at their itinerary, it was not a difficult decision to book a tour with Go West Tours, which would take me to all of the popular places within Yarra.
The first stop on the tour was to a farm that had a shop filled with the freshest fruits, vegetables, chips, jams, juices… basically anything you can think of. We were able to try different samples, as we learned more about how it is all produced. For once, I wish I wasn’t traveling long term, otherwise I would have stocked up! I did get a jar of vanilla-orange jam for my toast in the morning. I can’t wait to spread that on with my next breakfast! If you do purchase certain items that need to stay cold, the bus conveniently has a cooler for any items that you purchase that needs to stay refrigerated.
After our fruit fill, it was time to try some wine at DeBortoli Wines. We started with some champagne followed by a mixture of whites and reds. The samples kept coming, which were of course, accompanied by cheese and crackers. You can’t have wine without some cheese and crackers to pair it with!
Good thing I paced myself with the cheese and crackers while wine tasting, because our next farm was all about the cheese. Brie, goat, feta.. you name it. I had a hard time choosing a favorite, but the goat cheese was pretty darn good!
Thankfully, I am a bottomless pit, because lunch at Rochford wines was next. You have a variety of food options, but I went with the lamb. When I sat at the table, I had three different wines already waiting for me. Each one was selected to be paired with one of the three courses. Goat cheese and black olive tart was the appetizer, slow cooked lamb for entree and chocolate cake for dessert.
The last winery of the day was at The Melba Estate, where we tried another type of champagne, plus reds and whites while learning interesting information about each wine.
We ended the day with more dessert at the Chocolate & Ice Cream Factory. There are a bunch of free samples when you first walk in, but to add on top of it, we got to try even more. They have there own special flavors such as Honey & Lavender, Strawberry & Balsamic and even spicy chili flavors. They were definitely unique! Besides chocolate, the gelato was supposed to be out of this world so I had to try it as I love my gelato! I had Rocky Road and Honeycomb which was delicious. I wish I could have tried one of every flavor that they had.
After a day of nonstop eating and drinking, it was time to head back to Melbourne. I definitely didn’t need to eat dinner that night! If this is what exploring a wine valley is like, it will certainly not be the last time I visit one!
**Thank you Go West Tours for hosting me. As always, my opinions are my own.