Today the Uni hosted a wine tasting session in the Yarra Valley through the Wine Society Club. Overall, when I received the invitation I jumped right on it, as it would be a chance to one attend my first ever wine tasting, and two get out of the CBD to visit the Yarra under a blanket of changing leaves. While I thought this may finally be my chance to meet a few locals, I yet again fell on a hoard of exchange students! However, I ended up having an absolute blast!
Starting off with our first stop, bright and early at 10AM, we visited the Domaine de Chandon to try three of their sparkling varietals. As all the college kids boarded off the bus the general consensus was about like….
Yet, a majority of us In fact, we were impressed to find out that this vineyard was actually part of the Moet group, making their sparkling that much more impressive from the college budget point of view. On the tasting line up included a dry (brut), a pinot noir, and a sweet sparkling wine. Raphael and I were both impressed to see a sparkling red wine! While it was highly untraditional from such a classic wine maker such as Moet, we took it was a sign that times, they are ‘a-changin,’ as far as wine is concerned at least…In the end, we fell on a blessing, as it turned out that we gained entry that day to a MG vintage/antique car show. Leaving our sparkling tasting, I felt as if I was in a scene from The Great Gatsby; music was playing a light swing song, the cars were out on display all waxed up with gleaming colors of bright ruby red, and majestic blue, the sun was shining over the rolling vineyard hills, and I had a glass of sparkling in my hand. What more could one ask for in a Sunday Morning!
Moving to our next vineyard, we attended a cellar door tasting at Sticks. Personally, I was most impressed by their pinot noir, a recent release from their reserve, and I decided this is the one I should bring back to my roommates! I describe this wine as if I know what I am talking about, but in reality, I was sitting next to some wine connoisseurs who informed me that it was indeed a good choice because of its balance, and fruity notes considering that it is a cool climate grape growing in Australia. While I do enjoy a glass or two of wine, I must say that I am not always the classiest of sippers. While many of those around me were spitting into pales and swirling their cups with water, my whites and reds quickly blended into a dark pink, my own version of rose I suppose.
In any case the atmosphere at Sticks was unparalleled! The tasting took place on a balcony where we were free to eat our packed lunch under large umbrellas while looking over the vineyards and barrels placed over the rolling hills. In the mean time I picked the brains of the connoisseurs next to me, and peered over their vivid notes they had been scribbling throughout the tasting.
Moving on to our final vineyard we could not have asked for better weather as we drove up the road to Seville Estate. In fact, the vineyard seemed to agree as they relocated our tasting to be on their outer deck looking over the landscape. The Estate was by far the most rustic as local dogs ran around happily and there was a small cafe set up where workers were quizzing each other on their wine knowledge over a glass of wine. We felt privileged to taste from of their prize winning Chardonay as well as their light and young Shiraz.
As the day came of a close, we all rounded up the bottles we had purchased and headed back on the bus back to Melbourne. The tasting was a great experience, and I can recommend it to anyone (over 18)! I appreciated the genuine openness with which we were met at each vineyard, and cannot wait to test my new knowledge next time I head to the wine store!
“Une journée sans vin est une journée sans soleil”