Australia produces some of the very best wine in the world, and for wine aficionados, there is nothing more enjoyable than touring the vineyards and tasting some of the produce from Australian's best wine regions. There are many to pick from, but residents of Melbourne should definitely know about Yarra Valley since it's only one hour east of the city, making it a perfect day trip for people short on time. Here's everything you need to know to make the most of touring this region.
Tour or DIY? There are tonnes of ready made wine tasting tours that can take all the hassle out of transportation for you. If you really don't feel like driving on your day off, this is definitely the way to go, and it's also a good idea because your tour guide will be able to share their expert knowledge about the region. Fortunately, going on a tour doesn't mean you have to spend lots of time cooped up within a car. Many people enjoy cycling for a portion of the Yarra Valley, as the landscape is green and beautiful. If this sounds like a good idea to you, you should have no problems finding a wine touring company that can offer cycling as part of the experience. And, of course, if you like to do things your own way, you can always drive there yourself.
The best time to visit. In truth, there is not really any bad time to visit the Yarra Valley. Throughout the year, there are always tastings, so if tasting a range of wine is important to you, the date shouldn't hinder your experience too much. But, of course, part of the experience of visiting vineyards is enjoying the nature and the landscapes, so you may want to avoid the hottest part of summer (as a day in the full Australian heat could be pretty draining). March is an interesting time to visit because this is harvest season and you can actually see the grapes being plucked from the vines.
Check out some breweries at the same time. While the Yarra Valley is best known as a hub of vineyards, many microbreweries have started to pop up in the area too. They are well worth checking out - just remember that beer before wine is the key to preventing a hangover the next day! If you are part of a couple, one a wine lover and the other a beer lover, the Yarra Valley is the perfect trip for you.