Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tour

Australia is one of the world’s top wine producers and (while in Melbourne) you must make time to visit Yarra Valley. There’s over 80 wineries in Yarra, 50 of which have an open cellar door for tastings. Since I was traveling solo, and didn’t want to drive home drunk, I booked a Yara wine tour.

You could easily do a DIY wine tour. You can do a little research online or get recommendations from Yarra Valley’s Tourist office for wineries to visit. Find 3 – 4 wineries, anything more and I’d have to say you have a drinking problem ? .

Note: Some wineries may charge a cover for wine tasting, but that’s generally refundable if you purchase bottles from them. For popular wineries, reservations on weekends is recommended.

Winery #1: Napoleon Brewery And Cider

I have to be honest. At the beginning of my tour,  I worried that I’d picked the wrong operator. Our first stop was to an organic farm, the second was to Napoleon Brewery. This wasn’t what I was expecting on a wine tour. When you go on a wine tour, you expect wine. Two stops in and NO WINE!

Napoleon is actually a gorgeous estate that’s based in a converted farmhouse. The inside of the brewhouse is huge and beautifully designed. There’s a massive bar and dining area. While we were there we sampled some of their apple and pear flavored ciders. Very tasty and it definitely got the inner alcoholic in me warmed up. I could easily see myself sitting in a porch somewhere knocking back a six pack of their ciders without feeling it.

Winery #2: Dominique Portet Winery

If there was one stop on the tour that I didn’t like, this was it. We got to tour the cellar room for Dominique Portet and it was a large cavernous room with some wine barrels stacked up. The person giving the tour, while knowledgeable, wasn’t engaging. Also, as she was presenting the wines for sampling, there was a persistent feeling of a hard sell of their product that was a little off putting. This was the only stop on the tour where no one bought anything from the winery.

We got to sample 2 or 3 wines. They were OK, but not very memorable. This isn’t a place I would recommend anyone visit on a wine tour. The setting and the interactions with the staff is a little too sterile and formal. This isn’t conducive to having a good time while sampling the wines.

Winery #3: Rochford Winery

This was the turning point in the tour for me. Finally, the wine bottles were being uncorked and the good stuff started flowing freely. The entrance to the winery takes you into the shop floor, which is filled with wonderful wine displays. In the back there’s a nice tasting room that’s perfect for big groups.

The difference between Dominique and Rochford was night and day. The person giving the tasting was not only knowledgeable, she was also engaging and funny. More importantly Rochford was very generous with their wine. We sampled probably 5 or 6 different bottles. With each sample we learnt interesting details as we chugged, um sipped, our wines.

Rochford was rewarded for their generosity.  Several people in our group bought from their store.

Winery #4: Killara Estate

After Rochford I was feeling tipsy, happy and didn’t think another winery would be able to top it. I was wrong. Very wrong. Killara Estate was the tour showstopper. As you walk into the winery you come across an outdoor deck with incredible views of the vineyards. It was heavenly and a perfect place to stand and enjoy the wine while taking in the lush scenery.

Our host at Killara was boisterous and funny. He had a cheeky humor that really livened up the tasting. Again, like Rochford, this winery was generous with their sampling. I don’t know if it was the setting, the great atmosphere or the fact that I was pretty much toasted, but I loved our time at this estate.

This is what wine tasting should be. A fun atmosphere, drinking as much wine as you can while pretending to listen to all the information being shared — and kangaroos!

In the vineyard there was a small group of kangaroos grazing as we drank. In my drunk state, I squealed like a little girl with excitement.

Below is a video from my wine tour. Add alcohol to any occasion to make it better :

Ready To Book Your Trip To Australia?

Use Skyscanner to search thousands of flights for the best deals.

Agoda is a great site to find discounted rooms around the world.

Viator has biggest selection of excursions from group tours to day activities.

Australia Travel Videos

Recommended Travel Gear

Related Posts

A Guide To Magnetic Island

Located in the North of Queensland, a short ferry ride from Townsville, is Magnetic Island. It was named by Captain James Cook in 1770. As…

Guide To The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is one of the most popular day trips from Sydney. It's made up of 7 separate national parks, covering 10,000 square kms…

A Guide To Byron Bay

Byron Bay is renowned in Australia for being a hippie/liberal community that loves alternative culture and celebrates uniqueness and…

Animals In Australia That Can Kill You

Now that I've safely left Australia I feel I can write this post .... it would've been bad luck if I'd done it earlier. While I was…

Learning To Surf In Queensland

Queensland is blessed with a gorgeous coast that's lined with incredible beaches offering excellent surfing conditions for people of all…

Crash Course In Aussie Lingo

Known as "Aussie Strine", Australian slang is almost a language unto itself. It's a colorful and descriptive way of speaking that I…

Visitors Guide To Noosa

Noosa was one of my favorite stops on my trip through Queensland. This beach town is famous for being the Hamptons of Australia. It exudes…

What To Expect On A Liveaboard In The Great Barrier Reef

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef has always been on my bucket list. It was an incredible experience that totally lived up to my…

Australia Itinerary

One of the goals of my of destinations section is to always have a two week itinerary for the country that I am reviewing. Doing it for…

Guide To Free Attractions In Sydney

Every long term traveler dreads being stuck in an expensive city, trying to figure out how to make their dollar stretch. Most world…

Why You Must Visit St. Kilda

St. Kilda isn't an area that's necessarily on people's must visit list when in Melbourne, which is a shame. This is a beautiful…

5 Coffee Shops You Must Try In Melbourne

Melbourne has a love affair with coffee. This is a city that's home to countless cool coffee shops serving up artisanal cups of magic.…