Yarra Valley Winery Restaurants
Monday, 10 October 2011
The Yarra Valley in the Australian state of Victoria surrounds the Yarra River which begins about 90 kilometres east of Melbourne. That proximity makes the Yarra Valley a popular spot for city residents looking for rural day trips and a spot of wine-touring. The area’s relatively cool climate has turned it into one of the world’s fastest growing wine regions with a reputation for producing high quality Chardonnay, sparkling wines and Pinot Noirs. Combine those fine wines with beautiful views and a meal at one of the Yarra Valley winery restaurants, and you’ve got all the essential ingredients of a memorable day out.
The Rochford Winery might be best known for its Day on the Green music festivals but its wines and its restaurant are good enough to outshout even the loudest of grunge bands. The winery produces a broad selection of award-winning whites, reds and sparkling wines, while the restaurant, which is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, will give you a hearty start to the day or a midday repast that includes Coffin Bay oysters, cauliflower and saffron soup and Sichuan pepper crusted kangaroo loin.
Popular with couples and a perfect location for nuptials, Zonzo is located in the Train Trak vineyard, surrounded by 45 acres of vines and open spaces. The restaurant opened in 2007 and has already been named one of the “Hottest Winery Restaurants” in Australia. The food helps as much as the location, and the restaurant serves genuine Italian food in a casalinga style. Finely crafted pizzas are placed in the centre of the table for everyone to enjoy as they relax with a local wine.
Also popular as a wedding destination Fergusson Winery and Restaurant is best known for its spit roast. Led by Louise Fergusson, the restaurant won the 1996 Victorian Tourism Award for “Best Winery.” In addition to a dining hall made of solid native timbers, cathedral ceilings and a fireplace to hold that spit, the venue is also known for its estate range Pinot Noir/ Chardonnay Brut produced from 40 year old vines.
Many of the winery restaurants in the Yarra Valley pride themselves on their local cuisine and genuine cooking. Leon and Rita Tokar of the Tokar Estate have brought a taste of the Mediterranean to the Victorian countryside. Even the dining can be done al fresco on the restaurant’s beautiful outdoor decking where diners can admire the views at the same time that they enjoy the bottles made by the winery’s winemaker Rob Dolan.
Kellybrook winery’s vine-covered terrace makes for a perfect location for eating, drinking and taking in the Yarra Valley orchard belt. And that’s before you’ve even reached the food. Tasting menus are available, giving diners a chance to savour different delights each season. The spring tasting menu, for example, includes twice-cooked pork belly cooked with a Kellybrook cider glaze, Hiramasa Kingfish and blue cheese ravioli. And it’s all less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne.