Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yarra Valley 2012: Yarra Valley Dairy


Yarra Valley Dairy
70-80 Mc Meikans Rd 
Yering, Vic 3770
Ph: (03) 9739-1222


Our trip to the Yarra Valley included a visit to the famous Yarra Valley Dairy.  Located in a 100-year old milking shed, the quaint cheese shop sells local produce, wines, and merchandise, as well as the range of cheeses produced in the factory next door.

The farm shop

The YVD range

Imported cheeses and charcuterie to complement the YVD range

Desserts


We were taken through a guided tasting of the cheese range at the counter - my favourites were a nice bitey cheddar, and their Fresh Goats Pyramid, which tasted just like German quark.  I bet it would make an amazing cheesecake! (In the picture above you see the Ashed Goats Pyramid, also lovely).

Before this trip, I had actually visited the Dairy once before, and didn't realise that they do guided tastings!  My previous visit was on a weekend, and the shop was so packed that we could barely get to the counter to buy cheese, let alone request a tasting.  (It seems to be a very popular destination for daytrippers!)  I'd absolutely recommend visiting during quieter periods, if possible, to get the full experience. 


We also sat down to enjoy their cheese platter, which includes their flagship Marinated Feta, Fresh Goats Pyramid, Hot Cow (cow's curd with chilli), and Le Jack (a white mould goats cheese).  Accompaniments were a sweet chutney (marinated figs in our case), and very generous amounts of bread and crackers.

Cheese Platter - $25
Clockwise from top left: figs, marinated feta, fresh goats pyramid, hot cow, and  Le Jack


The $25 platter represents good value for money, especially when you consider that it could easily feed two for lunch, or even more people if it was just for nibbles.  (The next week, we happened to visit the Main Ridge Dairy, and couldn't help but compare their smaller $38 cheese platter to this one.)

We actually couldn't finish the platter between the two of us, and the staff kindly packed up the leftovers for us to take home (I hate to waste!).  Their marketing manager, Di, also gave us a selection of their cheese to try, including their new range of marinated cheeses: Saffy, Cardi and Juno, in a snazzy Yarra Valley Dairy cooler bag.  (Just quietly, I was just as excited about the cooler bag as I was about the cheese - I know, I'm a total dork and I have a thing for nice shopping bags!) 


I'm still working my way through the cheeses, but want to show you a dish I made the day we returned from the Yarra Valley, using the Saffy (a fresh cows' milk cheese marinated in saffron, lemon zest, cumin seeds and garlic) .  I layered roasted capsicums on a platter, and drizzled them with olive oil, toasted pine nuts and crumbled pieces of the Saffy.  We served it with a grilled eggplant salad, fresh bread, and the leftover cheese from the platter for a simple supper.  Gorgeous!


Yarra Valley Dairy on Urbanspoon

Sarah and Sandra visited Yarra Valley Dairy as guests of Yarra Ranges Regional Marketing.

This is the second post from my Yarra Valley 2012 Trip series.

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