When I moved to Australia I had no idea of the importance that country has in the production of world wines, but it did not take long for me to notice. The Australian wine industry is the fourth largest global exporter, with about 750 million liters a year. The wines are produced in all existing Australia’s states, and more than 60 designated regions totaling approximately 160,000 hectares. The most common types of wine found there are: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The most famous Australian wine is the Penfolds Grange, this wine has won more than 50 gold medals in national and international competitions.
When my mother came to visit me in Australia in January 2014, we had the pleasure of visiting some of the nearly 2000 wine houses in Australia. Most of these are of small operations. The area we chose was the Yarra Valley, along the river that names it, located east of Melbourne, Victoria, where I used to live. The wines produced in this region are most commonly Chardonnay, sparkling and Pinot Noir. The main advantage of this wine-producing region is in close proximity to the city center of Melbourne, thus receiving more than 3.1 million visitors each year, it is a traditional tourist attraction! At the time I got the day trip to the Yarra Valley in exchange for a translation work I did for one of Melbourne’s tour companies. We left close to 9 am from the city center, took a bus with other tourists, most of Europeans, and the first stop was the delicious chocolate factory Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, in the middle of the beautiful countryside fields of the Yarra Valley. The second stop was at a farm of organic berries, Gateway Estate, flavors and indescribable colors! There they also manufacture liquors with those fruits. The third stop was in a small wine house called Combe Farm, where we tasted the best sparkling wine I’ve ever had the pleasure of finding, I had to buy a bottle! Then we stopped for lunch in a very interesting town, Healesville, about 7 thousand inhabitants, with charming architecture, mostly in Victorian architectural style. This city has been setting for several films and local series.
There, we also had the best vegetarian risotto in history, my mother will remember. After lunch we went to the high point of this tour, the Dominique Portet wine house with a history that goes back to 10 generations, starting in the 18th century in Bordeaux. “Here I found a wine with fragrance and structure reminiscent of the Bordeaux wines. The Yarra has a charm and beauty that engulf and their wines are you worldly.” Says Dominique Portet (ninth generation).
The farm’s architecture comprises a beautiful chateau in French architectural style, gardens with a water fountain and French statues, boules court and wineries specially installed to maintain the properties and quality of the wines produced there. It was simply transcendental, a ride that should be overestimated, for sure it will not disappoint you. More about the Yarra Valley through the lens of my camera access: www.facebook.com/vonderliebl CHEERS MATE!