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Yarra Valley - vineyards and cellar doors

The Yarra Valley is regarded as one of Australia’s best winegrowing regions. However, its total vineyard area is barely 2642 hectares of vines.

Vineyard soils vary up and down the valley. Typically, they range from deep fertile red volcanic soils around Seville and Hoddles Creek to more widely distributed, clay-based sand or loam duplex soils.

The Yarra Valley is regarded as the source of some of Australia’s finest chardonnays. Not surprisingly, it is the region’s key white grape variety (656ha) in terms of vineyard area - and by a long margin. Look especially for barrel-fermented wines made by Coldstream Hills, Mount Mary, Oakridge, Toolangi Vineyards Estate and Yering Station.

Cool climate Chardonnay also lends itself to the production of top quality, bottle-fermented sparkling wines. Seek out those of Domaine Chandon and Yarrabank.

Pinot Noir (707ha) is the valley’s principal red wine variety. More than a quarter of its vineyard area is planted to the famous Burgundian grape. Red wine varieties overall account for almost two thirds of Yarra Valley vineyards. In recent decades, Cabernet Sauvignon (438ha) has moved from its earlier position of dominance to be the region’s second most widely planted red wine grape, while Merlot (169ha) literally has the wood on Sauvignon Blanc (153ha) as its fourth most important variety.

Pinot Noirs from Carlei Green Vineyards, Coldstream Hills, Diamond Valley, Giant Steps, Mount Mary, Toolangi Vineyards Estate, Yeringberg and Yering Station figure among the region’s most distinguished recent releases.

That is not to say the various red wines made by De Bortoli, YarraLoch and Yarra Yering can be overlooked. The Yarra Valley is a wine producer par excellence.

Take nothing for granted.

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