Chillout Tours runs small tours of up to 11 people (or up to 25 for privately booked tours), and the bus picks up eager wine tasters in the centre of Melbourne, outside St Paul's Cathedral. The first stop is the world-famous Domaine Chandon winery, owned by Moët and Chandon and purveyors of some of Australia's favourite sparkling wine. You'll get a whole glass of sparkling wine at this stop, which you can enjoy while taking in the view. The second stop is at small winery Soumah, which sells Yarra Valley stalwarts chardonnay and pinot noir but also specialises in northern Italian varietals like nebbiolo, brachetto, pinot grigio and savagnin, which the winery has renamed 'Savarro'. The stop includes lunch, and the food is first rate. Then it's off to Yarra Valley behemoth De Bortoli for a tasting with matching cheese, and the final stop is at boutique winery Yering Farm.
$128. Meet St Paul's Cathedral. 9.25am-5.30pm.
If you like a bespoke experience book your Yarra Valley winery tour with Wild Wombat. The company is all about creating personalised tours that cater to guests' individual tastes. Let the team know about any wineries you’d specifically like to visit ahead of time and they’ll do their best to accommodate. These small group tours (maximum 11 people) will even take into account your favourite varietal of wine so that you have the best Yarra Valley experience possible.
$115-$140. Picks up from CBD as well as Lilydale Station, Healesville and Marysville. 9.30am-5pm.
Sure, the Yarra Valley might be known for its award-winning wineries, but there’s a lot more to the region than just wine. On the Café Bus Winery Tours you’ll explore two of the valley’s top wineries (Gateway Estate Farmhouse and Killara Estate Winery) as well as Napoleone Brewery and Cider House and Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to taste wines, pick your own strawberries and enjoy a two-course lunch.
$135. Meet Immigration Museum (east side) or from your hotel. 7.45am-5.30pm.
The Australian Wine Tour Co runs tours from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley daily, perfect for those who keep odd hours. On the tour you’ll visit wineries such as Punt Road Wines, Balgownie Estate, Yering Farm and Domaine Chandon while be guided by a wine expert. Don’t worry if you’re new to the wine world, because your guide is there to entertain and educate, not give you a lecture. As well as cellar door tastings, the tour also includes an à la carte lunch at a local winery.
$130. Picks up from various CBD locations. 9am-5pm.
Go West is one of Melbourne’s top tour providers, so these guys know a thing or two about drinking your way around the Yarra Valley. Their wine tour is perfect for those who get snacky. You’ll start the day at Yarra Farm Fresh tasting fresh fruits, juices and local goodies before moving onto De Bortoli for wine and cheese. Other stops on the tour include Yering Station, Yarra Valley Dairy, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery and Rochford Wines for lunch.
$135. Picks up from most CBD accommodation. 8am-5.30pm.