Food, Travel

Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Wine Compass

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The World Loves Melbourne was priviledged to imbibe a fabulous wine tour by Adam Nicholls from leading wine tour company Wine Compass.

Along with businessman friend Mark La Borzetta and Lisa Holmen from leading Melbourne blog, Lisa Eats World, we enjoyed a memorable day. Rather than visit the larger wineries we opted for the more boutique wineries. This is a great way to get the essence of Yarra Valley. As the main roads through Yarra Valley wind through the valley floor, it's refreshing to also travel along the ridge to visit new wineries we've never encountered before.

Adam the owner of Wine Compass provides a professional and enjoyable experience on his wine tours; this being the second tour we've been on. He sources engaging bespoke experiences, tailors the itinerary for you, provides first class transport (this time in his Mercedes 4WD), collects your wine and puts it away, constantly provides water for any hydration issues, arranges decent meals for the lunch, and is all round personable.

Pimpernel Vineyards

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Pimpernel Wines is a compelling visit in Yarra Valley for its boutique feel and the sheer quality of the wines. We tasted just about every wine in the range and felt all of them were standouts. 

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Winemaker Damian Archibald took us through a sensational special barrel tasting. Even the young wines of current vintage a couple of months old showed complexity and depth. A theme was the elegance of the wines. We loved the Viognier and Chardonnay with big hits of vanilla, and the Pinot Noir (No 1 and No 2),  the Syrah, and the GSM.

Damian explained to us that Pimpernel vineyards is all about dry run viticulture; they don't irrigate in the same vein as the great wineries of Europe. This provides for greater intensity of flavour as roots have to compete for moisture.

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Pimpernel Vineyards is a family run winery inspired by the regions of Rhone and Burgundy in France. Damian is the winemaker and is often at Cellar Door; his passion and personality make for a first class Cellar Door visit.

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Damian then took us through a second tasting at Cellar Door; this time the finished product. Once again we were struck by the elegance of these wines, keeping their structure. The Cellar Door is open Friday through to Sunday, as well as Public Holidays. Or by appointment! 

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Beautiful grounds and a killer view enhance the experience at Pimpernel Vineyards.

 

Soumah Wines

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Soumah Wines was a magical experience in a desirable part of the Yarra Valley; the Warramate foothills. Sweeping views from the Cellar Door are inspiring. The World Loves Melbourne appreciates the Italian influence at Soumah. Walk past the olive trees and the conifers to get to the Cellar Door. Adam from Wine Compass (pictured above) leading the way.

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With the fireplace pumping and engaging Cellar Door, Soumah was a brilliant visit. It was like Northern Italy descended on Yarra Valley. 

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We note varietals here that we don't always see in Yarra Valley; such as the award winning Savarro. Soumah features styles of Northern Italy such as Pinot Grigio, Rosata (deep colour), Brachetto and Nebbiolo. Other standouts include French styles of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Viognier. Soumah has a single vineyard focus, and looks for quality over quantity.

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We were surprised by a young Cabernet that was amazing. Note the deep colour of the Rose above...

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So where to go for lunch in the Yarra Valley? Adam did well to bring us to Soumah for a superb bespoke lunch. The Italian style food was the perfect match for the Italian style wine.

Oxtail baby! Yes please! 

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Charcuterie! The Tasting Board was a winner... 

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Sea scallops, pancetta and porcini in linguine; the perfect combination.

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Brett Butcher the owner called in to engage with our tour.

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Lamb shoulder cooked overnight (in this spherical shape) with olives and butter pea gnocchi was top notch. Rich and rewarding the lamb was full of flavour and the broth intense. The delightful soft pillow gnocchi was a great accompaniment.

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Also first class was the Swordfish with roasted fennel, salsa verde and tomato almond pesto.

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Adam enjoyed a massive delicious Roast Pork Knuckle with cannellini beans, peppers and mixed salad.

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Highly recommended.

 

Yileena Park

 

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Yileena Park is another magical Yarra Valley destination with boutique wines that highlight the strengths of the Yarra Valley. A family run winery, the wine features Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Merlot. Soil conditions here are favourable for growing premium wine.

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Once again, sweeping views are magnificent.

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Cellar Door is appealing featuring Tasmanian Myrtle and granite bar, with a range of smoked produce for sale (love the Duck Ham and Stilton cheese).

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We sat down with Owner Bob Curtis for a special tasting; and imbibed the delights of the first class wine, smoked goods and the amazing views on the balcony overlooking the spectacular Yarra Valley.

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Bob pulled out the Reserve Cabernet; an elegant full flavour wine.

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Bob Curtis offers first class produce that has been authentically smoked; so delicious we had to take some products home with us. There's heat in the mustard.

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Duck ham is a highlight; full of smoky flavours.

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Our tour with Adam from Wine Compass was memorable. Book your tour today! 

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