Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published January 30th 2011
Melburnians are lucky enough to live a short drive away from two of the state's premier food and wine regions, the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley. Being chauffeur driven through valleys and vineyards and to gourmet hotspots by Epicurean Food and Wine Tours or Melbourne Hosted Tours will have you sitting in the lap of luxury while enjoying all the delights these fertile and picturesque regions have to offer.
You can enjoy either a private tour, join a small group tour, or perhaps arrange a corporate tour (or ask your boss to) depending on your preference and budget. Tour options can be flexible, so do ask if yours can be tailored to suit you better.
When I did my tour of the Mornington Peninsula with Epicurean Food Tours, they included more food stops than wineries given I'm a bit of a tee-totaller. They also picked me and my friends up from my doorstep in a luxury 4-wheel drive, which was oh so nice.
We visited the Merricks General Store for a homestyle, yet very upmarket morning tea with lashings of country hospitality, Montalto Restaurant and Vineyard for an exquisite lunch accompanied by expansive vistas of rolling vineyards and silver olive groves, and Red Hill Cheese for a platter of artisan cheeses and some informed and delightful conversation. There were plenty of other stops too along the way.
Melbourne Hosted Tours' journey through the Yarra Valley takes in premium wineries, including Domaine Chandon (with a glass of sparkling and superb cheeses) and the historic Yering Station for some wine -sampling and tasting eduction, and a fabulous lunch at the rustic, award-winning Fergussons Winery. Need I say more?
I highly recommend treating yourself to some pampering, getting on the websites to explore the many different options available, and then jumping on the phone with your food and wine loving buddies to make it happen.