The 5 Best Wine Tastings in the Yarra Valley, Melbourne

Domaine Chandon is known for its palatial interiors and excellent sparkling wine
Domaine Chandon is known for its palatial interiors and excellent sparkling wine | © mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Herta Nune

Melbourne isn’t short on wine bars offering everything from exclusive wine tastings and food pairings to master classes, but if you’re looking to get away from it all, and to learn about the wines right where they are produced and in a budget-friendly way, the Yarra Valley presents a relaxing and distinguished wine experience.

1. Soumah


Soumah prides itself on its location. Not only do the Warramate foothills of the Yarra Valley provide a cool climate, where the northern Italian varietals on display flourish, but its hidden location also builds up quite the sense of anticipation, unlike most other wineries in the region. The search for this petite vinery is well worth it, as its warm ambience and knowledgeable sommelier create a unique wining experience. Try its Skye Blox 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon or choose a glass of Single Vineyard Chardonnay, which pairs beautifully with a cheese plate, effectively eliminating the initial 5 Australian Dollars (£2.70) tasting fee.

2. Sticks


Sticks boasts a great variety of wines and – for the style-conscious – some really impressive contemporary decor. From the creatively engineered wine display to the chalkboard setting out hand-written winemaking techniques, every detail of Sticks is carefully thought out and beautifully executed. The two-for-one specials are a steal, and the wine tasting is free whether you choose to make a purchase or not.

3. Domaine Chandon

Winery, Brewery

© Oliver Förstner / Alamy Stock Photo
The first notable difference between Domaine Chandon and other local establishments is its size. The sheer grandness of the building is really something to behold – the first thing you encounter is countless rows of bottled wine for sale, and that’s just the beginning – and, unlike most other Australian wineries, Domaine Chandon also offers a large selection of sparkling wines. A small set of stairs leads to the high-ceilinged main tasting room, with its semicircular bar serving a mix of red, white and sparkling wines for AUD$5 (£2.70) per tasting.

4. Maddens Rise


Maddens Rise is another quirky gem that’s well deserving of your attention. Inside you’ll find a lengthy communal table where visitors get the chance to chat with fellow wine enthusiasts, while generous portions of various blends (including new and reserve wines) are passed round for tasting. The reserve wines come with a higher price, usually ranging between AUD$40 and AUD$50 (£22-27), but the complexity and flavour they offer is well worth the extra spend.

5. Wild Cattle Creek


The Wild Cattle Creek winery may not be quite as big as Domain Chandon, nor as petite as most cellar doors, but with its old charm, picturesque surroundings and manageable size, it’s no wonder it’s so popular – particularly as a wedding venue. The rustic L-shaped bar offers a versatile selection of wines, guaranteed to keep taste buds happy and wallets even happier, as tastings are free of charge.

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