If so, it doesn’t apply in the Yarra Valley!  Not on a Tour the Valley tour, not to Camilla’s group of friends and not when you have Four Pillars Gin on your doorstep!

A few times every year, Camilla catches up with three of her school friends and their partners and this time, they decided to holiday for a few days in the Yarra Valley.  They flew in from Sydney and Brisbane and had 3 days in the valley together and sensibly decided to let us put together a private tour for them where they could responsibly enjoy the variety of wine, gin, beer and cider tastings that the Yarra Valley has to offer!

John collected them from their accommodation in Launching Place, and headed first to Four Pillars Gin for some tasting paddles and the group enjoyed the gin (I know – before lunch!!) and learning about the distilling process and of course absolutely loved the building.

Dominique Portet was their next stop where they all enjoyed the sparkling and Chardonnay tastings.  Nice to try some French influenced wines at DP – especially knowing we were taking them to Italian inspired de Bortoli’s later.

They lunched at Tokar Estate and had fun choosing their complimentary glass of wine to have with lunch and then enjoyed some extra glasses whilst relaxing, chomping and chatting.

After lunch John took them to Meletos for a cider and beer tasting paddle and they were suitably impressed with the architecture and landscape design.  It is a great spot and Steve and Vonnie Frazer have created such a stylish group of buildings, we love taking tours here, it never fails to impress.  There’s a great little article about Meletos here.

From one iconic Yarra Valley landmark we then set off to the next, up the Melba Highway to de Bortoli’s, one of Australia’s largest oldest family run wineries.  Currently run by Leanne de Bortoli, the winery was started in 1928 by Leanne’s grandfather, Vittorio De Bortoli, after he left his village in northern Italy to migrate to Australia.  Their wines and food are reminiscent of Italy and in the cellar door, Gayle made up a great cheese platter for the group to enjoy with their wine tasting.

One of our favourite spots to take people visiting the Yarra Valley to has to be TarraWarra Estate – for it’s ‘hobbit style’  entrance to its underground cellar, sensational wines and great views over the vineyard and Valley.  Camilla and friends agreed with our choice and clearly loved their TarraWarra visit.

By now they had managed to purchase enough wine and cheese to see them through supper that night at their B&B so John dropped them back, happy in the knowledge they’d had a great day sipping and tasting their way around the Yarra Valley, all in the comfort of their own private tour.