Cheese and Champers

9/24/2006 09:37:00 PM

On Sunday, I took a tour of 3 Yarra Valley wineries, organised by the social club at my cousin's work. This meant that it was subsidised (only $60!), including lunch, a cheese platter, 2 full glasses of wine and unlimited tastings.

It was a big day - our coach met us at 9:20am on Sunday morning (what a crazy hour of the morning to be out and about!) outside the Arts Centre, and drove us down to the Yarra Valley.

First was Domaine Chandon... famous for sparkling wine!

Here's the delicious cheese platter, including Domaine Chandon's own chutney and a fab glass of cuvée riche. I picked up a bottle of it as well.

Here are the lovely grounds of Domaine Chandon. Apparently they do lots of weddings.

Surreal Greenness

This is the wine cave, where the bottles are rotated to disperse the sediment. Or something like that.

Wine Cave

Next stop was Helen's Hill. We started with more tastings...

Helen's Hill

Spitoon - You can spit out your excess wine in here, or just drink it all.

We had a fabulous lunch at Vines Restaurant at Helen's Hill. It was a choice of 2 courses, including a glass of wine. I liked their shiraz so much that I convinced the table to buy an extra bottle to have with lunch. There was a really big selection of meals; I think I got about half on camera.

Sweet potato gnocchi, tossed with Yarra Valley venison kabana, mushrooms, cream and wilted brussel sprout leaves

Vines' Yarra Valley Platter - a taste of the Yarra Valley with a selection fresh (sic) seasonal produce, including meats and fish, marinated vegetables and cheese.

Pumpkin Pastie - Filo pastie filled with pumpkin and burghul, baked then served on sliced pickeld tomatoes and fetta cheese.

Shrimp Vindaloo - Mild shrimp Vinadloo curry, served with a traditional tomato cucumber salad and streamed (sic) rice.

Poreterhouse Steak - Black Angus steak grilled, served with a mashed potato and pea patty, napped with Bourguignonne mushroom sauce

My lunch - Classic 'Gamekeeper' rabbit and bacon casserole, served with mashed potato and witlof. Divine!

Wattleseed and quandong cake topped with a "Kennedy and Wilson" chocolate glaze icing and clotted cream

Warm saffron rice pudding with yogurt and quince granita served with a dipping biscuit

Strawberry custard cream brulee (sic) with a carmelise (sic) sugar top, served with a passionfruit and strawberry salad, accompanied by Yarra Valley strawberry ice-cream

So, very full and a little bit tipsy (some moreso than others!), we stumbled along to the next winery, Yering Farm. Their port was delicious, so I got a bottle.

View from 3rd winery

We were driven back to the Arts Centre at about 6pm. What a great day!!

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.