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Coming Soon: Inaugural Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival

Get ready Melbourne! For the first time in Victoria the two-day Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival will be set amongst the vines at the iconic Rochford Wines in Victoria’s premium wine district, the Yarra Valley, over the weekend of April 1 - 2, 2017. The World Loves Melbourne attended an exclusive media launch pre-Festival and visited some key players involved in the Festival. This is big!

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This premium and stunning space at Rochford will be transformed and come alive for the inaugural Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival.

In conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne, wine and food lovers alike can enjoy the Yarra Valley’s finest wines, produce and food, as well as locally brewed cider and beers at the two-day festival which will run from 11:00am till 5:00pm – all whilst overlooking the rolling hills of the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges.

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Our first stop on our pre-Festival sampling tour was the fab Yarra Valley Dairy. Here you can imbibe the best of Farmhouse cheeses and we love the addition of hard cheese to the soft cheese range!

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Persian Fetta is an exotic sexy cheese.

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 We can't get enough of this Ash driven goats cheese.

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We are excited for all the cheese that's going to be at the Festival!

This is the first time in the history of Victoria’s premier wine region that both small boutique wineries and larger big name Yarra Valley wineries will come together in the one domain over two days, complete with live music and entertainment from Chunky Jam and Lisa Edwards performing over both days!

Names such as DeBortoli Wines, Hanrahan Vineyard, Balgownie Estate, Yering Farm Wines, Punt Road Wines, Paynes Rise Winery, Tarra Warra Estate, Zonzo Estate, Coombe Yarra Valley,Mandala Wines, Helen and Joey Estate, Boat O’Craigo,  Squitchy Lane, Bulong Estate, Sutherland Estate, Trellis Wines, Seville Estate, Helen’s Hill, Oakridge, Fergusson Winery, Badgers Brook Wines, Timo Mayer Wines, Journey Wines, Yileena Park, Thick as Thieves wines, Killara Estate and of course Rochford Wines will be amongst more than 40 leading Yarra Valley wineries taking part in the inaugural 2017 Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival.

Local brewers including Coldstream brewery, Watts River Brewing, Buckleys Brewery, Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse, Cherry Hill and Hargraves Hill will be showcasing their ranges of cider and beers, so there is something for everyone

The inaugural festival showcases Yarra Valley’s vibrant culinary community with a Farmers Market showcasing local food producers including Australian Harvest Fine Foods, Kookaberry Berry Farm, Nogo Sauces, House of Gingerbread, Jam Lady Jam, Fudge by Rich, Unforgettable Products, Coldstream Dairy YV Pies, Raw 4 the People, Blossom Organics, Cherry Hill Orchards, Silva Coffee, Hardings Fine Food s, Stone and Crow Cheese, Crumbs Gourmet Biscuits and Yarra Valley Dairy.

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The character of the region is well represented by Yering Farm; our second stop on our pre-Festival sampling tour.

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Yering Farm has won so many awards for its wine; and we also love the vibe.

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Revellers will sample an array of dishes from leading Melbourne and regional food trucks with the likes of Lady Paella, Babaji’s Kitchen, St Kilda Burger Bar, Mr Calamari, Cajun Chicken Twisted Mac, The Real Jerk and Toasta and Von Crumb taking part in the festival.

A unique set-up for the festival will turn the expansive green of Rochford Wines into a Festival Common where patrons can explore the many leading Yarra Valley wine varietals in individual ‘wine laneways’. The Laneways will feature varietals such as Chardonnay Lane and Pinot Noir Lane – the leading varietals in the Yarra Valley – amongst others such as Cabernet Lane, Shiraz Lane, or Sparkling Lane, as well as a lane dedicated for white wines and one for local beers and ciders.

Fun and lively cooking demonstrations will be held over both days at Festival Central, by top local chefs and restaurants in the region, who will provide their unique expert knowledge on the wine and food industry.

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Media delighted to be spending a day in the magnificent Yarra Valley. And here at Rochford Wines we were able to check out the festival grounds and dine at the stunning Rochford Restaurant; experiencing food from the packages that will be offered for the Festival. The region's finest and freshest local ingredients.

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Wine lovers will relish in tastings as the wineries will be showcasing everything from award-winning labels to latest vintages, and they can learn what makes the Yarra Valley one of Australia’s leading wine regions through a unique wine ambassador program.

As part of the select Masterclass Program running all weekend, wine enthusiasts can sample, taste and learn from a selection of some of the region’s finest winemakers and growers about their wines.

Upon entry event-goers will be provided with a commemorative festival wine glass and can choose to purchase wine tasting cards for $20  each allowing for 10 standard wine tastings of their choice. They will even have the opportunity to purchase their favourite mixed wines by the dozen on the day that can be collected on their way out or delivered to their door. 

The festival will also showcase a range of dishes from top Melbourne and regional food trucks and leading Yarra Valley producers and restaurants, alongside entertainment from live bands, DJ’s, as well as Segway rides.  

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There will also be a Wine Barrel Art Competition with local artists invited to exhibit their creative flair and turn a wine barrel into a whimsical work of art, with the barrels exhibited at festival, and be part of a people’s choice competition to win the best designed wine barrel. The money raised from the competition will be donated to the region’s local primary schools.

Hosting over 50 of the best local provedores and producers as well as wine, beer and cider artisans this festival will make for the ultimate weekend in the Yarra Valley, as festival goers can indulge in a culinary experience while soaking up live music and entertainment ideal for everyone.

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A visit to Watts River Brewing was an absolute highlight; for the top notch craft beer and the outstanding mutton chops of the dude above. They give their beers psychological profiles, which is clever and funny, including The Stable Extrovert and The Neurotic Extrovert. See their website for the psychological profile descriptions. I was wondering whether they might do a natural fermentation kind of beer like a Saison with psychotic tendencies?

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And as a special addition, the Sunday of the festival program will have a family focus including kid’s cooking demonstrations, stage shows, performers, and face painting.

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Our final stop on the pre-Festival sampling tour was TarraWarra Estate, where we sampled some of their finest wines. We were also captivated by the new Cellar Door and the astonishing grounds.

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General Admission tickets to the 2017 Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival are $25.00 (+BF) per person, per day including a commemorative wine tasting glass and an option to purchase a Wine Tasting Card for $20.00 (+BF) allowing for 10 tastings.

Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival Restaurant Dining Experience tickets are $150.00 (+BF) per person, per day and include entry to the festival, a decadent two-couse meal and wine at the award-winning  Rochford Restaurant, a tasting card and a commemorative wine glass.

Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD, head to Victoria’s leading wine district for the 2017 Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival and enjoy award-winning wines and some of Yarra Valley’s finest food and produce, for a truly memorable experience.

*Thanks to the legendary Leanne Tyrrell (extraordinary PR Consultant and Carlton supporter) for the day tour, as wel as Ross Stevens the General Manager Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival.

 For further information on the festival and to purchase tickets: