The IPTA (Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia) 2018 Annual Conference was held in Melbourne recently and 20 of its delegates were keen to come out the Yarra Valley afterward and enjoy a post-conference day’s touring.

Between them, Linda at IPTA and the team at Visit Yarra Valley had put together a lovely leisurely day which began on Saturday at 9.30am when John picked them up from the Langham Hotel in Melbourne.  The poor things were exhausted from all that conferencing but soon the combination of Yarra Valley fresh air and local gin at Four Pillars Gin invigorated them all and they thoroughly enjoyed their gin tasting, seeing the impressive gin stills and admiring the building.

Coombe Estate was their chosen venue for lunch, which was an inspired choice, as once again there is so much to see and do.  Dame Nellie Melba’s former residence, Coombe Cottage was built in 1912 and is set within a terrific estate, encased behind its towering cypress hedge, and for years locals yearned for a glimpse of what lay beyond.  The group had the opportunity to tour the gardens with tour guide Di Logg and hear the stories of which famous actors, artists and members of the royal family had swum in the swimming pool (the oldest outdoor swimming pool in Victoria no less) or been entertained by Dame Nellie at Coombe over the years.

Planted over seven acres, with croquet lawns and tennis courts, all landscaped more than a century ago, the grounds are home to rare plants and an oak tree rumoured to be 180 years old.  The garden tour is a great way to hear the stories of Melba’s extraordinary flambouyant life, immense fame and her love for Coombe.  They visited the Melba gallery, observing her paraphernalia from a bygone age and had a special viewing of her music room – which was organised directly with the estate.

After their magical time at Coombe, the group was driven to Pimpernel Wines, a boutique, family run vineyard (6 hectare) owned by cardiologist Mark Horrigan and his wife Fiona.  Situated on Hill Road, their vines are grown in what is considered to be premium Yarra Valley terroir, rated 5 stars by wine aficionado James Halliday, Pimpernel wines are made by hand, bottled by hand, pruned by hand, so a tasting of their high-end wines at this individual quirky cellar door rounded off the group’s day tour perfectly.

Everyone had a super time and loved the Yarra Valley and would have slept very well that night, having tasted, seen, heard and experienced so many new places, people and flavours.

If you are interested in a post-conference day tour of the Yarra Valley or Dandenong Ranges, get in touch with us today and we can put together a day for your delegates to remember.