Coombe Yarra Valley
Time Out says
Dame Nellie Melba's estate has been turned into a winery and restaurant that is well worth a visit
Coombe Estate is right at the intersection of the Maroondah and Melba highways, and although its address is Maroondah, its heart is 100% Melba.
The former home of Australia's first artistic export has been turned into an excellent restaurant and cellar door, specialising in Yarra Valley cool-climate wines like chardonnay and pinot noir. Tastings are $5, and the knowledgeable staff will guide you through a personalised tasting geared towards your personal preferences. Love lighter reds like pinot noir but not a chardy fan? Your tasting will have lighter styles and will stay away from heavy chardonnays (though you might be surprised at how zesty and light the Estate Range chardy is). If you're more of a merlot fan, the staff will give you more full-bodied reds to try. And if you buy a bottle, the tasting fee is waived.
You'd do well to start your day in the Yarra Valley at Coombe, which offers a high tea-style breakfast from 9.30am on weekends. For just $35 each you'll get a tiered stand filled with quiches, croissants, mini muffins, mini waffles, mini French toasts and brownie bites. And yes, there are scones (warm, fluffy scones with accompanying jam and cream, thankyouverymuch). It comes with a glass of blanc de blanc sparkling, as well as tea or espresso coffee. It's the perfect way to start a busy day of wine tasting. The restaurant is also open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday, and high tea Wednesday and Saturday.
But seriously, Melba. There is Dame Nellie's music playing throughout, and the house includes a museum filled with paintings and memorabilia of the woman herself. House tours are also available, and in the warmer months, you can tour the gardens as well.