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Regions In Focus:

The Yarra Valley

Its vine-covered slopes sprawl out from the foothills of the Great Dividing Range rolling effortlessly towards to the City of Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Lush, green and serene, this beautiful and tranquil place is known as the Yarra Valley.

Victoria's Yarra Valley is one the state’s most treasured and historic expanses. Originally, the Yarra Valley was home to the aboriginal people known as the Wurundjeri. Its temperate climate ensured it acted as a life source. In more modern times the region acted as a thoroughfare from the city to the once abundant gold fields that spread out over the state.  Now, once again, it is a beautiful and bountiful food bowl for Victoria and beyond.

The Yarra Valley has had a long-standing history with Australia’s wine culture. The first vines were planted as far back as 1838 by the Ryrie Brothers on a vineyard now known as Chateau Yering. However, by 1921, less than 75 years later, the Yarra Valley had ceased production. This was owing to the region's inability to produce the then popular, fortified style of wines. The 1960’s saw a resurgence in vineyard planting, with the region beginning to coming to fruition in the 1990’s.

Today the Yarra Valley is known nationally and internationally as a premium wine region, specialising in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pinot Noir grapes picked for pressing

Pinot Noir:

Arguably the varietal with the most success in Victoria, Pinot Noir has risen to prominence in the Australian wine industry. Pinot Noir is known to winemakers as notoriously difficult to grow and generally produces low yields each year. However, when expertly crafted it is one of the most enjoyable of Australia’s original varieties. Pinot Noir prefers cooler climates like the Yarra Valley, the Mornington Peninsula, The Adelaide Hills, Pemberton in Western Australia and Tasmania.

Yarra Valley Pinot Noir ranges from light to medium bodied with flavours of plum, strawberry and cherry. Quality Pinot Noir fruit from the Yarra Valley is also highly sought after to craft premium Australian sparkling wine.

Chardonnay Grapes ripening on the vine

Chardonnay:

A varietal that has undergone a major evolution in style and craft within the Australian wine industry. The Chardonnay grape has re-emerged as a staple for almost every winery in the country. However, it has only been in the last decade where cooler climate regions have excelled in producing premium Chardonnay.

A Yarra Valley winemaker’s version of Chardonnay is typically modest in its use of oak. Generally, they would choose French oak and prefer second or third use barrels. These Chardonnay's then typically taste of white peach, fig and melon. Quality Yarra Valley Chardonnay grapes are also sourced for premium sparkling wine production.

Ripe Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes ready to be harvested

Cabernet Sauvignon:

A grape made famous in the Bordeaux region of France, Cabernet Sauvignon is commonly called ‘the King of grapes’ by members of the international wine community. It is one of Australia’s oldest varietals and considered a true classic. The Coonawarra and Margaret River are globally recognised as premium Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions however, Yarra Valley producers are starting to be recognised for producing outstanding quality fruit.

Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is generally produced to be a stand-alone wine or is blended with varietals such as Cabernet Franc or Merlot. The body is medium to full, it is generally described as having silky tannins with herbaceous aromas and a dark fruit, driven palate.