Our Yarra Valley
We live it. You’ll love it. The amazing Yarra Valley is only a stones throw away from stylish Melbourne, Victoria.
The original inhabitants the Wurundjeri, are a people of indigenous Australian nation who have lived in the Woi Wurrung area for up to 40,000 years before European settlement. Wurundjeri remain active in the community today – practising culture, performing ceremonies and passing on knowledge to younger generations.
The Yarra Valley is the name given to the evergreen region surrounding the Yarra River, also known as Birrarung, or River of Mists. The river originates approximately 90 kilometres east of the Melbourne and flows towards it and out into Port Phillip Bay.
The towns of Healesville and Yarra Glen are probably considered the central part of the Yarra Valley. Its proximity to Melbourne and high profile wineries have made it an important destination for wine tours, receiving over 4 million visitors a year.
It is a cool climate region with 300 vineyards and 160 wineries. Best known for producing chardonnay, sparkling wine and pinot noir.
The region is cooler than Bordeaux but warmer than Burgundy. Vineyard elevation varies from 50m – 430m.
The Yarra Valley was Victoria’s first planted wine region. The first vines were planted at Yering Station in 1838 by the Ryrie brothers. The station was subsequently bought by Swiss-born Paul de Castella in 1848 which lead to a number of Swiss immigrants moving into the Valley.
Although profile and plantings had grown considerably by the turn of the century, economic decline, the threat of phylloxera and changing palatal preference impacted on cool climate viticulture and by 1937 the region was entirely converted to dairy farming. The wine writers’ talk about the valley being “lost to the cow”.
The Yarra Valley is teeming with wineries to visit. It is hard summarise the top ones as the list keeps getting longer. Top of the list would include: Mount Mary, Yarra Yering, Yeringberg, Oakridge Winery, Coldstream Hills, Chandon and Yering Station. Other popular wineries for the vine trekker include: Punt Road, De Bortoli, Tarrawarra, Rochford, St.Huberts, Seville Estate, Yering Farm and Innocent Bystander.
Today, with significant investment from both Australian and international companies, the Yarra Valley is no longer made up of the odd small, owner operated winery. Rather, the region is a significant player in both the quantity and quality of the Australian wine scene.
The Yarra Valley makes some of the best cool-climate wines in the world.
Yarra Valley Wine Facts
WINE AUSTRALIA YEAR 2018
Total exports by volume: 1,804,000 litres
Total vineyard plantings: 2,150 hectares (all Australian regions 135,133)
Top 5 export markets: 1. China 58%, 2. UK 14%, 3. USA 8%, 4. Hong Kong 3%, 5. Singapore 2%, 6. Others 15%
Tonnes crushed in 2018: 12,113 (all Australian regions 1,794,182)
Top 5 varieties: 1. Pinot Noir 38%, 2. Chardonnay 34%, 3. Shiraz 7%, 4. Pinot Gris / Grigio 5%, 5. Cabernet Savignon 4%.
Population: Yarra Glen 2,600, Healesville 6,500, Woori Yallock 2,800
Yarra Valley Weather
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a weather station at Coldstream which keeps track of all climate statistics since 1994. Coldstream is central in the region and is at an elevation of 83 meters. Click here for full details.
The Yarra Valley and Enotourism
Enotourism or Vinitourism refers to tourism whose purpose is or includes the tasting, consumption or purchase of wine, often at or near the source.
Where other types of tourism are often passive in nature, enotourism can consist of visits to wineries, tasting wines, vineyard walks, or even taking an active part in the harvest.