The Yarra Valley is a wine lover’s paradise with its premium cool climate wines. But it’s not just about the wines – it also has some great cellar doors to explore.
A great way to enjoy all the Yarra Valley has to offer is to book a tour. This includes tastings at Coldstream Hills, Medhurst Vineyard and Domaine Chandon and lots more!
1. Domaine Chandon
Domaine Chandon has a reputation as one of Australia’s best cellar doors. Founded in 1986, Domaine Chandon is home to the largest range of cool-climate sparkling wines, backed by time-honoured production techniques from around the world. Located in the picturesque Yarra Valley, the cellar door is a place to experience Chandon’s vision brought to life with self-guided tours, walk-in wine tasting and an intimate dining experience at their restaurant.
When it came time for their Yarra Valley visitors centre to receive a face lift, Domaine Chandon turned to cross-disciplinary design firm Foolscap Studio to deliver an elegant yet industrial space for their new cellar door. The design explored the science of ‘Alchemy’ by using a medley of metal finishes and textures to achieve a refined finish that spoke to the decadence of their product.
The design also took inspiration from their location, with the overall colour palette reflecting their lush Yarra Valley location. The space features a lounge bar, restaurant with exciting seasonal menus by head chef Joshua Smyth, several tasting areas and an outdoor terrace.
Guests can also indulge in the brand’s Etoile Wine Club, which allows them to purchase a range of limited release Chandon wines. The cellar door also regularly holds fun events for their members, such as Brunch in Bloom every Sunday – an experience where guests sit around a shared table with glasses of Chandon wines paired with a seasonal menu.
If you’re planning a visit to the Yarra Valley, don’t forget to book a driver and plan some time to stop off at one of these great cellar doors along the way. You’ll never regret the time you spend here – it will be the highlight of your trip!
A great way to learn about the making of champagne is by booking a guided tour at Domaine Chandon. It’s a wonderful way to get a deeper understanding of how champagne is made from grape to bottle, and you can also learn some other things about the region’s winemaking history! It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family.
2. Oakridge Wines
The Yarra Valley is one of the country’s most popular wine regions, with a vast array of cellar doors and restaurants. It’s an easy one-hour drive from Melbourne and perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway.
The region is home to many chardonnay and pinot noir producers, with some able to produce sparkling wines as well. But if you’re looking for something a little more special, there are a number of other grapes to try, including nebbiolo and savagnin.
One of the best cellar doors in the Yarra Valley is Oakridge Wines, which is family owned and has been producing award-winning wines since its establishment in 1978. They also have a renowned restaurant, serving meals that are designed to be shared and influenced by the kitchen garden.
While they have a lot of great chardonnays on their menu, they’re known for their Pinot Noir, which is produced in small quantities and is known for its delicate fruit flavour. They also have an impressive range of wines from other grapes, like shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
Aside from their delicious range of Yarra Valley wines, they also have some fantastic wine tastings and a great restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. They’re a great place for a long lunch and a wine-matched meal.
They also offer a range of wine tours, with both private and group options available. These are a great way to get to know more about the region and its wineries before you make a decision on which ones to visit.
Another cellar door to check out is Medhurst Vineyard, which has a large terrace overlooking the vines and gently rolling hills. They have a number of different tastings on offer and also have a Wild Child range, which is made with more experimentation and creativity than usual.
This is a family-owned and operated winery that is perfect for those who enjoy a quieter experience, with plenty of space to relax. They also have a scrumptious wine-matched menu, with each dish sourced from their own kitchen garden. They’re a wonderful spot for a long lunch, and you can even book in a private wine tasting.
3. Medhurst Vineyard
The Yarra Valley is a cool-climate wine region in Victoria and boasts some of the country’s most respected winemakers. With stunning scenery, renowned winemakers and plenty of local artisanal produce, it’s easy to see why this is one of Australia’s most popular wine regions.
Founded by Ross and Robyn Wilson, Medhurst Wines is the realisation of their long held and shared vision to make wines of provenance from their property in the Yarra Valley. Each Medhurst wine reflects the site and variety from which it is made, as well as the season in which it was grown.
Their signature Pinot Noir is an artfully poised expression of this Valley’s Pinot grapes, marrying buckets of juicy black cherry with effusive violet blossom and lively sunbursts of cranberry. It is an expression more than deserving of its 95 points Halliday Wine Companion rating.
At this modern, architecturally notable vineyard and winery, Medhurst focuses on producing highly regarded pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. Guests can sample these excellent wines, and enjoy lunch at the Yarra Valley’s most beautiful winery.
There’s a warm and friendly atmosphere at Medhurst, with cellar door staff providing a personalised tasting experience. Grab a table outside, or book a grazing box and settle down on the grass with a delicious wine and lunch.
With a focus on quality and authenticity, the team here is dedicated to crafting outstanding wines from their 35-acre vineyard, resulting in highly sought-after fruit. All fruit is carefully selected and managed, producing wines with authentic flavours and lovely textures that impress the most passionate of wine connoisseurs.
The winery’s design accentuates the natural setting, nestling quietly into the existing hill and reducing its impact on the landscape. A meandering path guides patrons from the cellar door, through a series of landscaped spaces and to views of the production area and vines beyond.
A subtle curve in the building’s form accentuates its position within the landscape and frames key views of the surrounding Warramate forest. The interior employs a raw and natural palette of materials chosen to accentuate the sights and smells associated with the winemaking process.
4. Giant Steps
Giant Steps is one of Australia’s leading cool climate wineries and a benchmark for single vineyard wines. Founded in 1998 by Phil Sexton, Giant Steps focuses on the best sites to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of purity and finesse. Under the direction of winemaker Steve Flamsteed, they’ve become recognised as one of the most progressive and respected wineries in the country.
They’ve gained a reputation for releasing some of the most sought-after, benchmark Yarra Valley releases each year. As well as a range of cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the label also produces high-quality, regional bottlings of Shiraz/Syrah and Bordeaux varietals.
Their 2022 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir is a standout, delivering remarkable vibrancy and approachability. It’s a perfect introduction to this much-celebrated variety at a great price.
It’s a good place to start when looking for a new Yarra Valley wine. It’s made from the 2022 vintage, which was a highly experimental season, and has produced a surprisingly elegant and vibrant wine that is very approachable.
The Giant Steps Yarra Valley Chardonnay is a blend of five of the company’s key own/managed vineyards – Sexton, Gruyere Farm, Tarraford, Applejack and Wombat Creek. It’s designed for earlier approachability without compromising on quality and is the ideal wine to try if you’re new to the region’s renowned Pinot Noir style.
In 2020, California-headquartered Jackson Family Wines purchased the Yarra Valley winery, which was run by owner/founder Phil Sexton and winemaker Steve Flamsteed. The deal included 30 ha (75 acres) of vineyards and added the winery to two other assets the US dynasty owned in McLaren Vale – Yangarra Estate and Hickinbotham Clarendon.
On “Giant Steps,” Coltrane takes a massive leap in the artistic direction of his jazz career, experimenting with chordal improvisation and modal jazz on his first auteur masterpiece. As noted jazz journalist and historian Ira Gitler put it, the song “is an all-encompassing modality – it’s like a sheet of sound.”
Tommy Flanagan’s performance on this track is on the money, though he has a hard time keeping up with Coltrane. Drummer Art Taylor keeps things steady and even-paced, while bass player Paul Chambers gets a couple of solos on the faster cuts.