The beauty of  having your own private tour, is that you get to discuss with us what you really want to see and do on your tour.  So when I collected Gabby and Josiah from Balgownie Estate last weekend I already knew that Gabby isn’t a huge fan of wine and so I’d already worked out an itinerary that included an afternoon of visiting great places ‘other than wineries’.  

The lovely pair were enjoying a two-day escape to celebrate Josiah’s birthday and they had a heap of wonderful things planned including a helicopter flight and a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary.

Kieren looked after us beautifully at de Bortoli’s cellar door and although it was early to be drinking wine (!) Gabby loved their sweeter varieties and purchased a bottle to enjoy later!

We then went to the fabulous former home of Dame Nellie Melba, Coombe Yarra Valley, to hear all the wonderful stories from Gordon (cellar door maestro) and enjoy the Dame Nellie Melba memorabilia as well as try a tipple of their sparkling and merlot. After some wine purchases and a quick coffee we set off for Domaine Chandon for another sparkling tasting and a tour around the Riddling Room which is so impressive.

Our visit to Medhurst Wines was the highlight of their day – they lovely Bidelia at the cellar door who explained all about their wine making process and they really liked how relaxed they are up there – so much so – more wine purchases were made!

Tokar Estate were extremely welcoming and Gabby & Josiah thoroughly enjoyed their lunch – and the view – well, it’s hard not to be impressed really.

We thought we’d mix things up a bit after lunch and headed to Meletos for a cider tasting and they loved the old brickwork and heritage buildings.  Then, my inspired idea of strawberry picking at Gateway Estate backfired a little; I don’t know if it was the amount of school children in there or the lack of sun – but whatever the cause, the strawberries were hard to find!

So we finished off with a visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery where Josiah bought gifts for his family and friends and Gabby managed to find some sugar free chocolate (I know, how clever?) to enjoy later back at Balgownie Estate.

They had organised a really great break and we were delighted to be part of it and help celebrate Josiah’s birthday.