Wine tasting can be a fun activity for the whole family. So it makes sense that the Yarra Valley is home to some of Australia’s best kid friendly wineries!
There are a number of great wineries that have a play area for children or even BYO picnic lunch. Read on to find out about some of our favourites.
The Yarra Valley is home to many of Australia’s top winemakers and is one of the most popular destinations in the country. With its cool-climate growing conditions, the Yarra Valley is well suited to growing classic varieties of Australian grapes including Semillon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Yarra Valley wines tend to be light in colour, have pleasant aromas of red fruit, flowers and herbs, with refreshing acidity and tannins that provide structure and mouth-feel. They’re a popular choice in Australia and are often compared to those from New Zealand and Bordeaux.
Paynes Rise is a small, family run winery that produces varietal wines from estate grown fruit in the Upper Yarra Valley. Their cellar door is incorporated into 1860’s homestead of Seville’s first settler Thomas Payne and it’s an idyllic place to visit with kids.
At Paynes Rise, owners Tim and Narelle Cullen are committed to producing wines that are a true expression of the vineyards unique qualities and the upper Yarra cool climate. Their approach is simple and traditional, making use of no additives or enzymes and allowing the oak to play a key role in the wines production.
There’s a great outdoor area where kids can play and adults can enjoy a glass of wine with a bite to eat. The winery also has a large indoor space with a great view of the vine-laced hills.
Aside from wine tastings, there’s a large restaurant and bar that offers gourmet meals and local produce. There’s a special kids menu that’s perfect for younger guests.
Yarra Valley is a great destination for families and you’ll find plenty of wineries that welcome pets. In addition, there are a number of beautiful walks and parks around the region.
The passion project of billionaire philanthropists Marc Besen AC and the late Eva Besen AO, Tarrawarra Estate is a restaurant, cellar door and art museum rolled into a feast for the senses and soul. The 400-hectare vineyard sits on prime Yarra Valley farmland, defined by heritage and a deep sense of place.
They produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are made to express the unique terroir of this stunning location. They also make several single block heritage varietals and estate blends.
Their 29-year-old H-Block is a backbone of their Reserve Pinot Noir, with its low yielding soil providing the optimum ripe fruit balance, and consistent winemaking for a style that expresses the true form of the site and a perfect finish. The resulting wine is bright berry fruit, opulent vanillin oak and smooth ripe tannins with firm acid to support its longevity.
TarraWarra wines are individually crafted to reflect the subtle flavours of the grapes, and a balancing blend of modern technology, traditional methods and a love of the region. They release their wines at two years of age and further cellar for 5 or more years to enhance the richness of the fruit flavors and the structure of the wine.
At the winery itself you will find a subterranean cellar door designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects that is carved nonchalantly into the side of a hill. When you open the automatic doors, it is like entering another dimension of cool.
You can stop by for a tasting (redeemable on purchase), or grab a glass and some nibbles to enjoy while enjoying the view on their lovely summer deck shaded by native pepper berry trees. It is a great way to spend a day in the Yarra Valley with family and friends.
Located in Wandin East, this is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for fresh cherries and a beautiful garden setting. They’re also a great place to get the family together and enjoy an afternoon of cherry picking!
The Yarra Valley is known for its deliciously sweet cherries, and Cherryhill Orchards is one of the best places to find them. The orchard is open to the public during the summer and offers a ‘pick your own’ service where visitors can pick as many cherries as they like for a minimal cost per kilogram.
It’s a fun way to spend a day with the kids, and it also has a lot of great things to offer for adults too! You can try their famous cherry ice cream, as well as buy some packaged preserves, sweet cherry syrup and barbeque sauce to take home.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, the orchard has teamed up with other businesses to create an even more unique experience. You can pop next door for wine and lunch at Rochford Wines; get a sunrise hot air balloon ride from Global Ballooning, followed by a champagne breakfast and cherry picking in the orchard; or have the Posh Palais organize a fully catered private picnic between the cherry trees.
The ‘Pick Your Own’ service at this orchard is available from November until January, and each kilo costs $10, which is much cheaper than buying them at the store! The orchard is also open for general visits outside of the cherry-picking season, where they sell boxes of cherries and a range of sweet cherry treats.
De Bortoli Wines
De Bortoli Wines is a family owned and operated winery with a history of producing premium wines. Established by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli in 1928, the company has grown over three generations to become one of Australia’s largest family-owned wine companies.
Located in the Yarra Valley, De Bortoli Wines boasts an award-winning winery with a contemporary Italian style restaurant that serves food and drinks to match. The winery also offers a tasting experience and a chance to enjoy the estate’s delicious wines from their cellar door.
For those looking to try a range of affordable, kid friendly wines, the winery has a wide variety available for tasting. From the more standard wines you’d find in your average supermarket to a wide variety of more expensive labels, there’s something for everyone.
The most famous of the wines is Noble One, a botrytis semillon that is a favourite amongst wine fans worldwide. This wine is made from a mix of Semillon, Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes that have been cultivated in a Botrytis induced method to produce a richly flavoured, complex and distinctive botrytis style Semillon.
Another wine to keep an eye out for is their Cabernet, which is a solid, ripe and elegant Cabernet that has spent 150 days on skins before being aged in seasoned French oak. The dark cherry, mulberry and red berry fruits are layered with savoury herb flavours that will pair well with a variety of dishes.
For those wanting a quick and easy drink, the Prosecco Rose is a great choice. This is a light and refreshing wine that is perfect for sharing with friends, as it’s a great price point.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie
The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is a sweet destination where you can indulge your love of chocolate in the beautiful countryside only one hour from Melbourne. Set on 16 hectares, surrounded by picturesque Yarra Valley vistas, an orchard, wetlands and farm animals, the Chocolaterie is a wonderful experience for the whole family to enjoy.
The family-friendly Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is open daily, 9am-5pm and offers free entry. You can browse through thousands of hand-crafted chocolates in their spectacular showroom and watch talented European Chocolatiers at work in their production viewing rooms.
This kid friendly winery also has an excellent cafe, where you can relax with your loved ones and enjoy a meal while enjoying the view of the Yarra Valley. They offer a great range of delicious desserts and barista made beverages.
For adults there’s a high tea, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink on arrival, followed by decadent petite delights and ribbon sandwiches. All served with endless organic local teas, barista coffee and real hot chocolates.
They have a huge selection of ice cream and gelati flavours, including some that are pretty crazy! The best way to try them is to book a taste testing session.
There are also a number of fun workshops and seasonal events to take part in at the Chocolaterie, including Become a Junior Chocolatier. Children will get a personalised badge, chef’s hat and apron, graduation certificate and take home three chocolate creations!
A visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is well worth it for the quality chocolates, a delicious dining hall and views of the Yarra Valley. They also have a nice cafe that serves good ice creams, chicken pizza and steak sandwiches.