31 March 2010

Yarra Valley

This time around I have learnt my lesson to not be so kiasu and picked a car rental place very close to where we were staying. It was a short 5 minute walk to the car rental place where we picked up our car. It was suppose to be a Hyundai Getz which is the cheapest car but in the end we got upgraded and we got a.....

We picked up the car the first thing in the morning and started our journey to Yarra Valley which is our first stop. Just as we were about to reach Yarra Valley I saw a sign that says Trout Farm. It sounded interesting so we decided to stop. Unfortunately for us it wasn't open and we were about to leave disappointed until turned around towards the car and saw this...

We drove on to East Warburton to check into our accomodation for that night which was called Gundalle Cottages. We found out that it was smack right in the middle of a privately owned small vinery. The owner has built 2 small cottages which he rents out to people who comes to Yarra Valley. He was so kind as to give us some good advice on what to see in Yarra valley and even gave us a bottle of merlot which he grew and made himself. We graciously accepted and dumped our stuff in the cottage and headed out.

Our first stop was Yering Station which I know produces pretty good wine. Our plan was to actually have lunch at one of the winery.

We went for a little spot of wine tasting and left with a fantastic bottle of wine. We walked towards the restaurant and were heart broken to see how expensive the meals were. We decided it was out of our budget and we would have to find another place for lunch.

Just out from Yering Station we found the Yarra Valley Diary farm. We decided heck we should go see some cows and maybe see if we can get some lunch. There were no cows as the cows were in a different section of the farm and we are now allowed to go there. However they had alot of dairy products so we decided to have cheese for lunch.

We had their cheese platter which comes with assorted turkish bread as well as normal bread. We were recommended to completment the meal with a slice of Australian trout and finally wash everything down with a cuppa coffee. It was a trully fantastic lunch and less then half the price of what we would have to pay a Yering Station. We slowly feast on the cheese and bread while looking out towards the green pastures.

With our bellies filled, we left the dairy farm and headed to our furthest destination for that day which is the Yarra Valley Kiwi wine farm. We were almost disappointed as after about 30 minutes drive, the place was closed because they were preparing to head to the Royal Melbourne Show which was happening the coming weekend. It was a family runned business so they were short of hands. Lucky as we were about to leave the place, the owner walked out and we asked him if we could just taste some of the kiwi wine. He was gracious enough to allow us to do a little of wine tasting and we bought a bottle of very potent kiwi snapps.

The next stop is Chandon which is a premier champagne winery in area. We were told by Gunther (owner of Gundalee) to head there for a spot of champagne. Since we were not really champagne drinkers, we decided to just take in the sights and also take some pictures.

We decided to head back early before the sun went down because when it gets dark in Australia, the roads become filled with wildlife like wallabies and kangaroos and it pretty dangerous to drive around. We made our own dinner....

Dinner consisted of smoked salmon, porchetta, avacado, soup and some corn crackers. It was all washed down with the bottle of wine that we got from Gunther. All fed and drunk, I decided to walk to the balcony and it was pitch black and a little eerie until I looked up.

We were crazy enough to walk around in shorts in the freezing cold weather to get this pictures.

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