My first vineyard tour ever was during my trip to Australia at the end of November, and what a way to experience something so amazing for the first time! I don’t know if a winery tour in the states will ever top my Australian wine excursion, but that certainly won’t stop me from attempting to recreate that experience. We started really early in the morning since we were staying in the city, about an hour from the wineries. I had a good book to occupy myself during the drive; and when I finally looked up, we were driving through the most stunning mountainous terrain. All of the wineries were located in the valley, and our driver took us on a very scenic route, which was much appreciated because I couldn’t get enough of the mountains. It was absolutely breathtaking (and we even saw Kangaroos).
I’m definitely not a wine connoisseur, and each of the five vineyards on the tour taught me something I’d never known about grapes, wine growing, and types of wines in general. All of the sommeliers were so knowledgable and incredibly friendly, like most Australian people. There were no silly questions, and they were more than willing to impart their knowledge with us. I also really enjoyed experiencing a wide range of vineyard sizes – from the small, family-owned winery to the large corporate vineyard.
I really loved the Chandon winery in particular. We were given a private tour of the winemaking facilities. Unfortunately, it was not the growing season, so wine wasn’t actually in production, but it was so much fun seeing the giant vats and barrels anyways. Seeing the entire process from start to finish made the wine tasting at the end of the tour even more exciting because I knew exactly what it took to get the wine to that point! In contrast to its industrial winemaking facility, Chandon had the most gorgeous vineyards. The different kinds of grapes were designated by various colors of roses. You forgot that the roses were serving a function because the effect was so breathtaking.
My second favorite winery was Yering Station where we also ate a delicious lunch. The restaurant on the property was modern in design, and the whole back wall was made of floor to ceiling windows, allowing guests to view the beautiful property while enjoying a meal. In addition to the restaurant, Yering Station had a quaint little shop where you could purchase chocolates and all kinds of other goodies for the road. It was a shame that it was our last day, so we couldn’t purchase much to-go!
Our final stop was an Italian winery, and the highlight for me there was the cheese shop. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to cheese in general, and the selection they picked for us was out of this world. It was the most delicious cheese I’ve ever tasted. The wine pairings were perfect, but I definitely will never forget the cheese. My favorites were the goat cheese and the brie. I’ve been searching high and low since I’ve been home for that brie that I tasted. I don’t think I’ll be able to find it here, so I guess I’ll just have to take another trip to Australia!!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures! I had such a wonderful time, and the memories still put a smile on my face.