Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yarra Valley

If you're looking for something to do, you can never go wrong with a Wine Tasting Tour. This will be my 3rd international wine tasting tour. Go figure, you'll probably get a little tipsy (or sh*t face if you're a light weight); and any time you you get a bunch of intoxicated people together, you'll meet people. That's exactly what happened. I ended meeting a couple folks from my hostel. They were both down to earth. They seemed like really good friends who've known each other for years, but it turns out, they met in Thailand earlier this year. The gentleman - Luke - is from the UK who's been traveling for 8 months now. He decided to quit his job and just go. The gal - Mal - is from Sydney who came down here to Melbourne to hang out.
The tour covered 4 wineries and a huge lunch at a botique winery. The wines that we went through were good. Not the best, but good enough. The region where Australia produces a higher quality of wine comes from another region - the Barrossa Valley which is located 8 hours from Melbourne and and hour away from Adelaine. The four wineries we visited were:

De Bortoli - Family owned and one of the largest exporters of wine in Australia
Train Trak - A botique winery that caters their wines to restaraunts
Yering Station - The oldest and first Winery in Victoria
Domaine Chandon - I thought they were only located in Napa

In my opinion, of the four, Domaine Chandon had the better wine. I purchased 2 bottles of their Shiraz which is only made in Australia. Accoring to the wine host at the winery, the Shiraz is not exported. I also found thier Rose to be quite tastey.
When i got back to the hostel, I had dinner with the 2 folks that i had met on the tour. We ate a place called Clay Pot. The food was good. We shared a mixture of tapas and 2 different clay pot dishes.

Sting ray, octopus, calamari, string beans, eggplant, portabello mushroom, and a tomatoe mixture.
Clay Pot dishes:
Morracan Clay pot - Seafood ebmeddded on top of seasoned cuscus topped with finely grounded mint.
Cajun - A gumbo seafood mixture layed ontop thick rice

The Morracan Clay pot was my favorite. After dinner we headed back to the hostel. I had a beer then called it a night.