And the Yarra Valley most definitely beat me at my own game. Far too many glasses of sparkling and pieces of margherita pizza were consumed, but it was all for LOVE. In celebration of our beautiful friend's engagement, my partner and I ventured to the Yarra Valley to drink, eat and most importantly, celebrate. While I definitely paid for it the following Sunday (hours of cuddling the sausage dogs nursing my hangover), it was absolutely worth it ten times over. So buckle in kiddos, and prepare for a recap on our Yarra Valley winery and brewery shenanigans.
From the peninsula, it takes about 1.5hours (or less, depending on traffic) to reach the stunning plains home to countless wineries, breweries, chocolateries and cheese factories. I have a few other favourites in the valley, some grand and luxurious, and others simply a cellar door on the family farm- but I will save those gems for a later date. Today, I am here to discuss the stunning Zonzo Estate and Meletos Brewery, which were the picks for the stunning couple, Briley and Stefan.
The special day kicked off from Mount Eliza, where we all jumped onto a bus and settled in for the trip. I thought it would take a lot longer than it did, but thanks to Eastlink, commute from the peninsula to up north was only one toilet stop away. The first venue, which is where we also dined, was Zonzo Estate. This spectacular vineyard is a wedding destination for many, and I was not surprised to why after our visit. Snaking up a long dirt driveway, the venue stands tall with its high ceilings and floor-to-ceilling windows, oozing contemporary, rustic and just damn romantic vibes. From the lined lights, to the 360 degree views of the Yarra Valley, Zonzo estate ticked all the boxes.
Lunch consisted of anti pasto plates, wood fired pizzas- for any of my regular readers, I am sure you know what my favourite flavour was- including the likes of a potato and cheese, salami, prosciutto and Margherita, and finally roast pots consisting of slow-cooked lamb, roast potatoes and veggies. The setting was for sharing, but there was more than enough food to go around, even despite my partner being there, who is often referred to as the "family bin"- you got leftovers? He has you sorted. The man can eat! But no one was left hungry. What I loved most about the lunch, was not only the setting- I mean c'mon, looking at that view while stuffing your face isn't the worst of ways to spend a Saturday, but also the service- I swear my glass was never left empty for more than a few minutes! My pick for the day was sparkling, because we were celebrating love- DUH! But I was also a fan of the pinot noir and rose. If you're wanting to wow your guests, then Zonzo is right up there with the places to consider. It's the perfect match for your dream wedding, or just as Briley and Stef organised, an engagement. One of a kind, and something a little different, being of course in the Yarra Valley.
The next and final stop for the day, was Meletos Brewery. This was smaller scale, but oh my lord it is an architectural vision. Cathedral ceilings, green vines lining the entrance, stunning vineyards and large picnic tables, readily awaiting to accomodate your every Yarra Valley dream. I am without a doubt visiting again so I can again bask in all that is Meletos and share this special place with someone else. It was just right up my alley: stunningly structured yet still casual. That's what the girl wants! I loved that it can accomodate larger groups, allowing enough space for you to laugh and eat and wine and enjoy, without stepping on the toes of guests around you. Since my visit a little birdie has told me you can even stay at Meletos. Picture yourself waking at sunrise to the birds singing (apparently they sound different within the Yarra Valley), orange hues shining over the vineyard...mmmmmm, yep- I'm booking this.
While reflecting on the day through a splitting head ache the following morning, I can't help but praise Briley & Stef for organising such a unique way to celebrate their special engagement. A wine tour of the Yarra Valley is something many of us have never even participated in, let alone celebrated an engagement with. None of the usual party in the backyard stuff, this was a step up and a half and I loved every moment of it. So I guess the question now is: do I organise a Yarra Valley wine, cheese and chocolaterie tour, showcasing what is at the doorstep of the peninsula, Melbourne and beyond? I'll let you sit on it.
Until next time!