De Bortoli Winery and Restaurant Location: Pinnacle Lane, Yarra Valley, Yarra Glen, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 5965 2271 I first chanced upon De Bortoli a few years ago. I had been invited along to a spontaneous weekend escape to the Yarra Valley, with the whereabouts of the lunch date kept a close secret until arrival. The day that we set out from Melbourne was absolutely beautiful – the sun was out, the air crisp, and the skies crystal clear; a perfect day for a winery visit. I remember the car rolling onto the De Bortoli drive, the first glimpse of those rows of vines, and the first look-in to those cellar doors. That day we dined on one of the most exquisite degustations I had been treated to, matched with wines and delivered with impeccable service. It’s a intimate, romantic space, and somewhere which is understandably a popular destination for engagements, weddings and other important celebrations. I instantly knew we’d found something special.
Merricks Creek Wines Location: 44 Merricks Rd, Merricks Victoria Contact: 03 5989 8868 http://merrickscreek.com/
I fell in love with Innocent Bystander the moment I stepped in. Expansive, open and all-inclusive, only a single sheet of glass separates Innocent Bystander’s winery from its restaurant, artisan bakery and wine and cheese tasting area.
Set on the gorgeous Balgownie Estate, with a full view of the sprawling vineyard through the floor to ceiling windows, Rae’s Restaurant offers hearty breakfasts with mammoth proportions. Admittance will allow you a selection of one hot dish, plus access to the continental breakfast on offer (cold meats, cheese, toast and spreads, cereals and pastries).
Montalto Restaurant and Winery is a stunning vineyard sprawled across acres of gorgeous greenery in Red Hill, Victoria. The Estate itself is comprised of the Montalto Restaurant, bakery, olive grove, summer gardens, and wetlands walk, which displays a number of interesting artworks by various artists as part of the estate’s collection.