Hurrah! Wine tour number 2 and this time a tour of the Yarra Valley wineries with the Wild Wombat tour company and our host for the day – Craig…
We met with Craig and the 5 ladies who were joining us on our tour at the first winery on the list – St Huberts – one of the oldest wineries in the region, and tried to sensibly taste their wines despite it only being 10am… Their main range is The Stag and their premium is the St Huberts, and they cover the range of Yarra Valley specialities – mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but we also tried their Blanc de Noir sparkling, a Roussanne, Shiraz, Cabernet Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and finally a desert Late Harvest Viognier.
Next on the list was the totally stunning Helen and Joey estate – which captured the girls the minute they saw the life-sized unicorn statue standing on the balcony overlooking the valley.
This is a really beautiful location and the tasting was delivered with such enthusiasm it was my favourite vineyard so far this trip. We tried Wines from their Alena, Layla, Inara and Late Harvest ranges – across Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cab Sauv Merlot. I’m not a fan of Pinot Noir but the Merlot Cabernet was really good.
Next was the Soumah estate, which has an Italian influence and really striking bottles with a bright blue label – again the location was stunning and the food looked great even though this wasn’t our lunch stop. They had some unusual grapes so we tasted a Savarro, a Tutto Bianco, Al Fiori and a Brachetto in amongst the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah.
Lunch was at the Tokar Estate – another completely stunning building in a gorgeous setting but first a tasting (yes really, by this time I was a little in need of food). Our host was a hilarious chap who seemed to really love his wine, and we went through the Rose, and in his words “an unpretentious, just glug it…” Carafe & Tumbler Chardonnay, through to the single vineyard Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and more unusually a Tempranillo. Then lunch where Wayne and I had both opted for the fish of the day which was a delicious Baramundi, paired with a glass of course – lush.
Next stop we popped into the Chocolate factory before our final vineyard, Yering Station,by which time, much the same as the last tour… I’ve no idea what we tasted mainly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but safe to say I’d probably had enough.
Craig needed to drop the ladies back into Melbourne so very kindly offered to drop us off at Meletos – a restaurant and bar several km out of Healesville, and pick us up on his way home. So we managed to wile away a couple of hours nursing a small drink and sharing a pizza in the completely stunning surroundings – such a hard life…