If you’ve come to this page because you’re planning a trip to Yarra Valley, firstly, jealous… secondly, well done – this industry needs our support at the moment and one of the only ways to do that is getting out into regional Victoria and supporting our local winemakers, vineyard owners, and the thousands of workers the wine industry employs.
Naturally, you want to uncover the best Yarra Valley winery restaurants, that way there’s no trial and error (we’ve done it for you). So we’re gonna give you a bucket list to tick off and if you’re staying for a week maybe you’ll get to try more than a few.
We always like to include a little bit of information about the region. Honestly, it does help to know a splash of history and a dollop of wine knowledge, so you can go into battle with your armour on. Wine tastings can be a bit of an information overload, especially after the third glass. Read on to get the gist of what they’ll tell you (we won’t bore you with anything too fancy).
The Yarra Valley Wine Region
The Yarra Valley wine region is a unique mix of culture, history, and community. The winemaking tradition in the Yarra Valley isn’t just about making a decent bottle; it’s also about creating a network of wine enthusiasts who are passing on the country’s centuries-old enthusiasm.
There are 80 Yarra Valley wineries that cover 9900 acres, each with its own backstory to tell. The region’s appreciation for the rich history runs deep, and most winemakers would be delighted to share it with you. During peak season, when traffic from Melbourne is high, the Yarra Valley wine area receives a lot of attention; so be sure to book well in advance.
The Yarra Valley, located on the southern fringe of Port Phillip Bay and Mornington Peninsula, is a cool-climate area owing to its high elevation and proximity to the ocean. The cool climate is ideal for Yarra Valley wineries, vineyards, and particularly Pinot noir, which accounts for 29 percent of production and Chardonnay at 25 %.
The region has been making wine for almost 170 years, with the first vintage being produced in 1845. The Yarra Valley was the site of Victoria’s first vines, which were planted in 1838, making it the state’s oldest wine-producing region.
Yarra Valley Winery Accommodation
If you plan on visiting more than a day’s worth of wineries, you’re going to need a solid sleep strategy – take into consideration distance to accommodation, the surrounding selection of wineries, and obviously the quality of the abode. Here’s a few options for Yarra Valley winery accommodation that we frequent whenever we’re in the region.
- Balgownie Estate
- Chateau Yering
- Holly Lane Mews
- Araluen Boutique Villas and Lodge
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6 Yarra Valley Winery/Restaurants
Let’s jump into the juicy goss on a few Yarra Valley winery restaurants that we at Wine Regions know you’ll be telling mum about.
The Stables at Stones
The historical stables served as a private quarters for the farm hands and animals. Now built and re-decorated, the establishment has a Victorian era decor mixed with a plant lover’s Instagram to create an environment that exudes quality and is equally replicated through the menu and service.
The menu captures the fresh bursts of flavour, the ebbs and flows of seasonality meshed with the apparent wealth of experience showcased by the head and executive chef. The front of house show pride in their work, with a hint of humour coated with professionalism which we can all attest, is the final piece of the puzzle to a stellar dining experience.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 252 reviews
4.4 ⭐️ Google Review from 101 reviews
Coombe Yarra Valley
An obvious selection to a list of the best restaurants in Yarra Valley, Coombe is an industry standard for what restaurants should strive for. Most of them menu uses state grown produce; vegetables are crisp as if they were plucked from the earth seconds before it was thrown into a pan or served ‘as is’ on your plate
Melba Gin Cured Trout with spanner crab – sea herbs and Yarra Valley smoked salmon caviar – If that isn’t the image of decadence…
To match the garden party setting upon which the restaurant overlooks, Coombe Yarra Valley also offers a high tea packed with the usual suspects like scones with jam and cream, cakes, desserts, savouries, and sparkling wine pretty much on tap.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 282 reviews
4.3 ⭐️ Google Review from 312 reviews
Bianchet Yarra Valley
Surging in at number three (not in any particular order) of Yarra Valley winery restaurants, Bianchet is a French-styled bistro that emphasises bold flavours simplicity in ingredients but absolute perfection in execution.
As most restaurants in Yarra Valley should (but don’t), Bianchet grows a lot of their produce in the surrounding gardens. No soggy tomatoes or bendy carrots in this restaurant.
You can expect grande servings at the table – sample the Gippsland Black Angus Prime Cut, braised daikon, mushroom, Pommes puree or the Gold Band Snapper, Bouillabaisse, king prawn, fennel.
Their plating is delicate with great attention to detail. Almost a shame to lick the plate… almost.
4.0 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 144 reviews
4.0 ⭐️ Google Review from 127 reviews
Oak Ridge Wines
Oakridge Wines’ approach of combining handcrafted wines with gourmet cuisine in an aesthetically appealing way is, quite simply, perfection.
The winery, which was founded in 1978, is a family-owned operation. Well known for its awards but even more so for the ongoing compliments via word of mouth spread by the folk that have dined at this Yarra Valley Winery restaurant and sampled the inspiring menu.
Executive Chef Aaron Brodie’s philosophy for choosing the menu’s direction is actually not to choose at all, he let’s the garden guide his hand, acting as a meer translater of taste.
Charred rainbow trout, miso, smoked trout soy, onion weed and sesame – matched with the 2019 Vineyard Series Henk Chardonnay – sounds like a match for the gods.
Tour the grounds, they may even show you their incredible kitchen garden, not to mention the lushious fields of vines that tie the knot on the fantastic aesthetics that this establishment’s got going on.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 515 reviews
4.6 ⭐️ Google Review from 350 reviews
I think it’s always important to include at least one traditional Italian restaurant when recommending in the Yarra. There is an incredible Mediterranean influence in Victorian wine culture which is one of the reasons you’ll find wood-fired pizza on 40 % of menus through every region.
But Fondata 1872 has gone above and beyond wood-fired pizzas. Find zucchini flower stuffed with ricotta and lemon basil pesto, or pan fried barramundi with celeriac puree and almonds or if you’re a shiraz tragic then the 300 g Wagyu porterhouse with potatoes and jus.
Head Chef Christopher Lillico also hosts a traditional Italian cooking class once a month (that sells out very quickly we might add). You get to partake in practicing some of Fondata’s trade secrets guided by the very best. This includes making and rolling gnocchi and serving it up in two of Fondatas famous dishes – the fried gnocchi, pumpkin, and sage, and the Ricotta gnocchi, tomato ragu, fior di latte and basil.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 164 reviews
4.6 ⭐️ Google Review from 423 reviews
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of Yarra Valley winery restaurants and thank you for supporting the local wine industry!