Australian Wine Tour Co. – As Reviewed by a Customer

Punt Road Winery

Meet the apple distributor and learn the art of wine tasting.

Balgownie Estate

Enjoy a delicious lunch and a sparkling Shiraz while still having time to taste other wines.

Yering Farm Estate

Enjoy Pink Lady Cider at this rustic farm.

Domaine Chandon

Spend the day learning about the production of quality sparkling wines.

With a glass or two of your choosing

A scenic drive from the CBD to the Picturesque Yarra Valley


Today is Friday, and I am joining the Australian Wine Tour Company for a wine-tasting experience in the Yarra Valley. Tony, our guide and driver, will meet us around 9:20 am, near the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.


The bus can hold up to 24 people, but today’s group is only eight. Today’s group is made up of people from Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. We meet with visitors from India who have just returned from a Yarra Valley early-morning balloon flight.

Tony gives us a summary of the day as we travel from the city to the destination. We take an unexpected turn onto Springvale Road, heading towards Warrandyte. Soon, we will travel through the Yarra hills and enjoy some picturesque bushland. This route offers a more relaxing introduction to the Yarra Valley than other routes through Ringwood or Lilydale.

As we drive through Wonga Park, Tony points out some magnificent houses. Aaron Baddeley, a top golfer in the world and winner of both the US and Australian PGA Tours, owns the first house we see. It is a stately hilltop home. John Farnham’s stunning homestead is not far away. It boasts spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Punt Road Winery

Punt Road was our first winery. The 150-acre boutique winery has a long history that dates back to the 1920s when it was primarily used for farming and only a few vines for personal use were planted. The Depression and World War II destroyed the wine industry. Lands were returned to agriculture. In the 1960s, the winery began to make a return.

Tony explained to us the importance of wine tasting and said that we should pay attention to its color, scent, and taste. We then move on to the Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignons, and fortified Semillons. I use the 10% tour discount to buy the Pinot Gris 2014 and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Punt Road has a large orchard that grows pink lady apples. They are one of Australia’s largest apple distributors.


Balgownie Estate

Balgownie Estate first opened in Bendigo in 1969. Balgownie Estate purchased its Yarra Valley vines in 1999. In 2002, they began planting Chardonnay vines and Pinot Gris grapes that are well suited to the cool climate of Yarra Valley. The winery now has a restaurant, conference center, 69 spa suites with one bedroom, and a day spa.

John, our host and guide at Balgownie Estate, meets us upon arrival. John hosted a wine tasting while we engaged in spirited interstate rivalry about whether South Australia or Victoria produced the sparkling red first. We agreed to disagree in the discussion and then proceeded to taste the Balgownie Estate Sparkling Shiraz. This was a great start to our journey. We were then asked to taste two whites, two reds, and a sparkling wine before heading to lunch.

Tony sends us a menu before we arrive at Balgownie Estate. This covers all types of dietary requirements, saving time at the venue. The restaurant has a perfect atmosphere that allows everyone to enjoy good food and wine with each other.

Yering Farm Estate

This rustic boutique winery, the smallest in the Yarra Valley, makes up for its lack of size with charm and old-fashioned customer service.

Yering Farm produces only 7,000 cases of wines per year. They don’t distribute their wine to major retailers. They do, however, distribute to certain restaurants. We were given a selection of wines to taste, including Duck Down Under Rose Pinot Noir, Run Rabbit Run Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay, and The Foxtrot Cabernet Shiraz.


The crisp, refreshing apple cider is perfect for lazy afternoons. It has a slight tint of pink because it is made with crisp Pink Lady apple.

Domaine Chandon

Domaine Chandon is a French Champagne House founded in 1986. Tony, our guide, gives us a short talk about the production of sparkling wine. The tour was very informative and included great graphic displays that were easy to understand. Chandon Winery offers a self-guided winery tour that is available daily between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm.


Shane will introduce four different types of sparkling wine produced by Chandon. This magnificent winery offers us the chance to enjoy a full glass of sparkling wine. We can choose from Chandon Brut Rose or Vintage Brut 2012, as well as Cuvee Riche or a sparkling Shiraz. I chose the sparkling Shiraz and sat outside to enjoy the countryside.

This is the perfect tour for wine lovers. The guides of the Australian Wine Tour Co. are full of interesting information about wine and its production. You can taste the wine without having to worry about driving back to Melbourne.

It’s time to leave the beautiful and relaxing place. We return to the city via scenic Yarra Hill. As I drift off, it seems like the time has passed quickly.

Contact the Australian Wine Tour Co team today to learn more about this tour.

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