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Friday 22 October 2021

Go small; go Yarra Valley

With restrictions easing in Melbourne today for those who are fully vaccinated, members of the Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries Association have brought forward their reopening dates and will be offering a range of experiences to Victorian wine-lovers - including picnics, tastings and new menus.

As the Yarra Valley is technically within Metropolitan Melbourne, the extended lockdowns have been particularly challenging for boutique wineries across the region, with many losing close to 90% of their direct cellar door sales over the past two years.

Members of the association are relieved to welcome guests back to their family-run cellar doors from today but all guests will need to provide proof of vaccination and check into each winery as per government regulations.

Some of the re-opening dates vary, so check before you travel.

Among the members are Steels Gate Wines cellar door and restaurant at Dixons Creek, which produces classic Yarra Valley varietals, as well as interesting Iberian wines including graciano and bastardo; Yering Farm Wines, a small, single estate winery, orchard and sheep farm; and Sutherland Estate, run by a former barrister and a former ballerina.

Others include Soumah of Yarra Valley (above), with outstanding wines, an authentic northern-Italian Trattoria and luxury accommodation; family-owned Warramunda Estate; boutique operation Whispering Hills, Brumfield Winery, Killara Estate with breath-taking views; Boat O’Craigo; Kellybrook Winery; Tokar Estate; Seville Estate; Seville Hill, Elmswood Estate and one of my personal favourites Mandala Wines, as well as Payne’s Rise.

For those looking for a feed as well as a wine tasting, Steels Gate Restaurant offers European, Asian and Indian fusion dishes with many of ingredients coming straight from the on-site garden; while Trattoria d’Soumah has a new menu for summer which will include antipasti boards, mains and wood-fired pizzas.

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