Vines were first planted in the Yarra Valley in 1838 by three brothers, William, James and Donald Ryrie. They produced their first wine in 1845 with the viticulture catching on relatively quickly throughout the 1860s. The cooler climate lends itself to the production of high quality chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wines. After a brief hiatus between 1921 and the 1960s, the region is now considered one of Australia’s foremost wine producing areas. Experiencing a food and wine tour on your Yarra Valley getaway is an absolute must.
The Yarra Valley is a year round tourist destination. In summer the mercury rises on average to 26 degrees, while winter is a little chillier with average highs of 12 degrees. Apart from January being a generally dry month, rain falls consistently year round.
The region hosts many events including the Tesselaar Tulip Festival held from September and October, the Melba Festival, held in October to celebrate opera and the Yarra Glen Racecourse Twilight markets featuring around 300 stalls offering local produce, art and craft.
The closest airport is Melbourne’s principle airport, 22 kilometres north-west of the CBD near the suburb of Tullamarine and handles passengers from major Australian cities and many smaller towns. The following airlines fly to the Melbourne:
Flying from Sydney to Melbourne takes about one and half hours and Brisbane to Melbourne takes just over two hours. Perth to Melbourne takes just over four hours.
Visitors have the option of staying in one of Melbourne’s major five-star international hotel chains including the Sofitel, Marriott, Hilton and the Hyatt or staying in the heart of the Yarra Valley in a boutique luxury B&B or hotel. Valley options include Amethyst Lodge, an award-winning five star B&B in Dixons Creek, Annabelle of Healesville, a four and a half star B&B near Healesville or the Chateau Yering Hotel, a five hotel in Yering.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
This is serious wine country; with over 50 wineries generously throwing open their cellar doors and giving enthusiasts the opportunity to sample their best drops. Consider taking the Melba Highway to explore the wineries around Yering, Dixon’s Creek and Yarra Glen, known for its famous farmers market. Alternatively, drive down the Maroondah Highway to check out Marysville and Healesville, boasting an animal sanctuary. The third option is the Warburton Highway, with many berry farms and boutique wineries.
Ballooning over the Yarra Valley is a popular pursuit. Many operators ensure you’re in the air to appreciate the spectacular sunrise across the valley and some complete the experience with a gourmet champagne breakfast in a local winery. This is truly a majestic way to appreciate the beauty of the region.
Don’t Leave Without…
Melbourne is a modern, cosmopolitan city, so the chances are, if you accidentally forget your favourite moisturiser for example, it’s easily replaced at a local chemist or supermarket. However, once in the Valley, specialised items may not be readily available.
Things to be careful of…
Wine tasting can be great fun. But drinking and driving don’t mix. Enjoy within moderation, alternatively enjoy an organised tour and be driven in luxury from vineyard to vineyard.